Not A Good Sign - From a Distance

Not A Good Sign From a Distance cover
Not A Good Sign
From a Distance
AltrOck Productions / Fading Records
2015
6.5
Not A Good Sign is an Italian prog rock project which started somewhere in 2011 by Marcello Marinone, Paolo “Ske” Botta (keys) and Francesco Zago (guitars), after a successful collaboration with Yugen and Ske. Along they have Alessio Calandriello (La Coscienza di Zeno) on vocals, Martino Malacrida on drums and the newcomer Alessandro Cassani on bass. “From a Distance” is the band’s second studio album, which also marks the departure of Francesco Zago, who was replaced by GianMarco Trevisan.
 
Not A Good Sign fancy the 70s avant-garde progressive rock music. Bands like King Crimson (especially), Van Der Graaf Generator, Anekdoten, Gentle Giant & ELP among others, will cross your mind while listening to “From a Distance”. The musicianship is superb, as all the members give the best of themselves. We also have Jacopo Costa on vibraphone & glockenspiel, Eleonora Grampa on oboe & English horn, Maurizio Fasoli on grand piano and Gian Marco Trevisan on electric guitar in the album. Even though the album is a pure prog rock one it doesn’t feature very long tracks – the longest is about 7 and 30 – so that’s gonna freak out the prog freaks but it will satisfy the prog listeners in general. Moreover, the production of the album is not retro… it does have a warm “analog” sound and it’s full & clear.
 
“From a Distance” is a fine album which has its moments. It’s smooth and it has a “moody” character on the whole. For instance, “Not Now” and the instrumental “Aru Hi No Yoru Deshita” are wonderful tracks. Somehow this album is missing that “X” factor to take it to the next level for some reason. It kinda lacks the passion and the “fire” of their debut in a way. Everything seems a bit “programmed” and “by the book” at times – and progressive rock music is meant to be otherwise…it is meant to give the artists the creative freedom to experiment and come up with various “weird” music ideas every so often. Do not get this wrong, I’m sure the prog freaks will enjoy this album quite a lot…