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Ubi Maior - Nostos CD (album) cover


Ubi Maior


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.74 | 35 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Νοστος (Nostos) - Return

The debut album of the italian contemporary prog band Ubi Maior reveals an unespected passion for ancient poems and literature. In this case the band alternates a famous latin expression (Ubi Maior...Minor Cessat) to an ancient greek word that means, as I said above, "return" from the greek verb νοστέω (nostéo). The album's title is intriguing for a prog album and certainly catched my attention and my deep interest, since I studied ancient greek and latin at school. So, not only passion for music, but also a personal need for my brain to re-live the past glories of all those hard (but satisying) translating-day's-nights.

Epic literature, in particular, comes to my mind. Odisseus (Ulisses) and Argonauts, in particular. Nostos/Return had a particular meaning for ancient and classic greek people. It also has the meaning of "fruitful". Every famous "return" has been fruitful and godblessed, 'cause it was when the hoeroes could return back home to familiar loves.

And so Ubi Maior sing and play as they were a nouvelle hero who has to pass through unspeakable adversities, horrible wars and apparently endless fights, before he reach the warm light of home. It's not a case that the last track is "La Tua Casa Comoda" (Your Own Comfortable Home) a cover of the same-titled track of IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO.

The album is builded by seven strong compositions and opens with the wonderful "Vendetta" which is melancholic and soft for the first two minutes until it explodes in an exciting traditional italian symphonic prog plus some fiery electric guitar play and "nocturnal" lyrics: "I'm sharpening the blade in the night..:". "Terra Madre" (Motherland) is a more soft tune and, to be honest seems built upon a non-prog structure enriched by remarkable job on synthesizers a la ELP's "Lucky Man". Very pleasant listening.

"Livia" is an enjoyable short piano and synth gem. Great sensibility on drums. "Messia" is probably the most favourite of mine here, musically speaking, at least. It's the stronger one with faster tempo and explaining well the ancient greek word "PATHOS. The only remark is about lyrics that appears a little bit unispired even if about a science fiction story starting in the 2141 year when, according to Ubi Maior, (evil) men from Neptun will land on earth and they will try to destroy us and our planet. Fortunately a "Messia" will finally come, after so many troubles and atrocities.

"Oltre il Vento" (Beyond the Wind) is another shorter tune about 3,45 minutes played faultless with an appreciable delicacy. A tasteful introduction to "Nostos" epic (over 23 mns!!). This adventurous track has some memorable moments, indeed, but it's somehow weaker, in my opinion, than the other six. Pointless sometimes, but, fortunately the second half appears more varied and intriguing. A very good one, though!

What I could say more? Even not a pure masterpiece, Nostos is one of the most exciting records ever released in Italy in the last years. Highly recommended. It's destined to become a classic!!!

4.50 and all my congratulations to the band for such an opus! Let's hope Ubi Maior will not disappear as many other their colleagues...

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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