It has been eleven years since we have had a new album from this Italian gloomy prog band from Genova and it's a real beauty. Il Segno Del Comando formed in the mid 90's as a side project of the singer (Mercy) and bass player (Diego Banchero) of the gothic prog band Malombra.
"Il Volto Verde" is the bands third release and is much darker than "Der Golem" from 2002. It has a real nod to the 70's Italian bands who defined the genre such as Goblin, Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Antonius Rex and Jacula. Singer Mercy is no longer with the band, he has been replaced by the female singer Maethelyiah from the gothic bands Blooding Mask and The Danse Society.
The album starts off with "Echi dall' Ignoto" which is an intro performed on keyboards by Freddy Delirio of Death S.S. It is very reminiscent of Goblin and sounds like it would fit right in one of Dario Argento's horror films.
Tracks two "La Bottega delle Meraviglie" and three "Chidher il Verde" feature the lovely ethereal voice of Maethelyiah and are both spooky and heavy with some gothic overtones.
Track four "Trenodia delle Dolci Parole" starts off with nice acoustic guitar and features the vocals of guest singer Sophya Baccini who has also made two beautiful dark prog albums.
Track five "Il Rituale" is a short instrumental track featuring some nice bass guitar from Diego Banchero.
Track six "La Congrega dello Zee Dyk" features David Krieg on vocals and reminds me of Jacula.
Next up is "Il Manoscritto" which might be my favorite track on the album, it features Maethelyiah on vocals and has a bit of a Magma style to it. Track eight "L'Evocazione di Eva" is a keyboard heavy instrumental featuring guest keyboardist Claudio Simonetti on organ, moog and mellotron so naturally it has a Goblin/Daemonia feel to it.
Track nine "Retrospettiva di un Amore" features the heavenly voice of Maethelyiah. It starts out slow but when the heaviness kicks in it has a strong Il Balletto Di Bronzo influence. Track ten "Usibepu" again features Maethelyiah's vocals and is very gothic sounding. I am reminded of Jacula again.
Next we have "L'Apocalisse" featuring Gianni Leone of Il Balletto Di Bronzo on keyboards and voice. It is a nice fast paced heavy track with wordless vocals. Finally "Epilogo" closes the album and also features David Krieg on vocals. Again I am reminded on Goblin and Jacula and also Antonius Rex
and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells to an extent.
Rounding out the lineup are Roberto Lucanato (guitar), Davide Bruzzi (guitar), Fernando Cherchi (drums), Vinz Aquarian (moog), Giorgio Cesare Neri (guitar), Maurizio Pustianaz (keyboards), Alessio Panni (drums),
Martin Grice (flute and sax) and Paul Nash (guitar).
If you like your Prog Rock on the eerie side then this CD is an essential purchase.
Reviewed by John Longo on March 16th, 2014