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Ad Maiora

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Ad Maiora Repetita Iuvant album cover
3.98 | 58 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Molokheya (5:12)
2. Life (7:03)
3. Fermati (4:49)
4. Torba (7:51)
5. Invisibile (6:41)
6. Repetita Iuvant (5:32)
7. Etereo (5:45)
8. Never Mind (5:48)
Bonus track:
9 Whaling Stories (Gary Brooker - Keith Reid) (7:18)

Total Time 56:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Paolo Callioni / vocals, tambourine
- Flavio Carnovali / guitar
- Sergio Caleca / keyboards, guitar (3)
- Moreno Piva / bass, backing vocals (3)
- Enzo Giardina / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Marcella Arganese

CD Oltre La Musica ‎- OLM162065 (2016, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to habelard2 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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AD MAIORA Repetita Iuvant ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

AD MAIORA Repetita Iuvant reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Formed in Milan in 2009 and delivering their first self-titled album back in 2014, Italian group Ad Maiora proved right from the start to be a talented band offering pleasing and intelligent progressive music. But whilst their debut was charming and reliable, the two years since have done wonders for the band, and the follow-up album in 2016 shows Ad Maiora stepping up with a more truly impressive work in so many ways! `Repetita Iuvant' is instantly more dynamic and daring, with greater fire to the playing, catchier song-writing, longer instrumental stretches full of variety, and even better, it sees the band adopting Italian vocals (after the wholly English-sung debut) to great dramatic effect throughout, although there's still English pieces here and there too.

Opener `Molokheya' bristles with danger and intensity, all slinking electronics and Flavio Carnovali's twisting-turning mantra- like electric guitar runs, Paolo Callioni's voice more boisterous and urgent than at any point on the debut! `Life' takes the form of an unexpectedly angry protest song, where Moreno Piva's slinking bass pulses with subtle grooves and Sergio Caleca's colourful synths take flight to bring some balance to the biting lyric and raging vocal, and the guitars move between grand fluid Pink Floyd-like soloing and grinding chords. `Fermati' is the first piece to adopt Italian lyrics, a gutsy heavy blast of stop- start maniacal riffing book-ending dreamy and thoughtful passages sung with dignity to perfectly convey a reflective lyric. `Torba' brings us to the half-way point and is the first of three purely instrumental pieces, an adventurous Banco del Mutuo Soccorso-like ride of pure RPI classical/orchestral-like synth grandiosity, tip-toeing piano, tasty Hammond organ and eerie Mellotron choirs (with just a touch of Rick Wakeman-esque fanfare pomp!) over majestic guitar themes and creeping bass purrs.

Despite being another Italian vocal piece, `Invisible' is predominantly instrumental-based and constantly fuelled by Mellotron veils and Hammond organ around the introspective atmosphere and stirring passionate vocal, with even a few moments bouncing with a grooving energy! The keyboard-heavy title track `Repetita Iuvant' is another darker-tinged instrumental full of mystery, airy flute dancing around heavier guitars and rich symphonic synths another reminder of the RPI classics of old with a touch of vintage-era Genesis. There's feint echoes of Pink Floyd again to the hazy electric guitar wailing and gentle electronic trickles throughout `Etereo', Paolo powerfully offering a dignified vocal to perfectly convey the hopeful balance of fantastical and realistic words, but sadly the piece simply stops when it feels like it's building to a grand finale - a bit of a missed opportunity! But final instrumental piece `Never Mind' closes the disc with extended slow-burn bluesy soloing, Enzo Giardina's lively drumming and cheeky electric piano trills, and there's a playful upbeat quality that will leave the listener in a great mood!

So the band like to offer many different styles as opposed to a clear focused direction, but, along with the use of both English and Italian vocals, perhaps these all mean that Ad Maiora make for an ideal gateway band for new listeners wanting to explore Italian prog for the first time? There's no denying this is their strongest work to date, where not only the musicians display a fire and determination to impress in the constant instrumental flourishes, but the songwriting itself is stronger than ever, and Paolo's charismatic vocals are heavier and more passionate, bringing the group that step closer to the proper RPI sound of old. Also, discounting a bonus Procol Harum cover track at the very end of the disk, the vinyl-length running time of about fifty minutes works to the benefit of the album here, so there's rarely much chance for filler to slip in.

Ad Maiora should be absolutely proud of this addictive disc that hints at so much potential for further albums, with their instrumental and melodic skills firmly on display, and it makes `Repetita Iuvant' one of the most welcome and surprising releases in Italian prog for 2016!

Four stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ad Maiora is back with a sophomore album, nicely following up their rather spectacular self-titled debut back in 2013. Italian prog has been in a revival mode lately, featuring a slew of new and innovative bands that span the spectrum from young talents like Unreal City, Il Paradiso degli Orchi and Ingranaggi delle Valle, to older seasoned pros like Sezione Frenante and of which Ad Maiora are probably the ideal candidates to point to. All the instrumentalists are obviously first rate technicians, from sleek bass man Moreno Piva, keyboard maestro Sergio Caleca, drum phenom Enzo Giardina, axeman Flavio Carnovali and lastly, the energetic vocalist Paolo Callioni, all unchanged from the previous line-up. These Milanese signori have raised the bar with this thunderous effort, artistically enhanced by terrific cover art that perfectly captures their innate sense of contrast and fire. Wilder, brasher and evidently confident, the tracks reveal a zest for adventure, theatrics, technique, passion and a tad of insanity, after all they are Italians! The clean production is a glorious affair of pristine power and delicacy, shedding powerful light on every note and creating an insightful sense of both density and luxury.

A bouncy, compact and exalted opener in "Molokheya", steered by a stinging synth loop, tectonic drums, bruising bass lineage and a complex main riff, only provides the platform for lead lung Callioni to exalt with the best of them, utilizing English as his 'plat du jour', sounding very much like a typical concert opening statement. "Life" keeps the pedal to the floor, pushing the 'macchina' like some turbo-charged Lancia rally racer, spitting out a deluge of notes wrapped in a variety of moods, the irate Callioni howling as he steers the mike through all kinds of sonic chicanes and Caleca flipping a whistling synth solo that scours the heavens. Guitarist Carnovali is no slouch either, chugging, churning and challenging the arrangement with daredevil twists and turns. Needless to state, the rhythm tandem is rock-solid and lethal in its precision.

Switching to Italian on "Fermati" should be no problem as this initially heavy outburst contains some explosive contours, volcanic drum blasts and on-a-dime contortions that will leave the fan shell-shocked at the flawless ability displayed. Callioni gently calms the mood, warbling in his native tongue, floating on charm and elegance, while the athletic Piva rams his bass through some oblique maneuvers that will please the bass guitar fan to no end. The electric guitar does take a hard-jazz approach this time around, a hint of the great Jan Akkerman in the air but unafraid to propel some nasty riffs just in case it may be too mellow.

Mighty mellotron cascades in pure vintage Genesis mode introduce the lavish instrumental "Torba", a swirling symphonic behemoth that takes its merry time to disperse, a lovely piano eventually taking over, aided by a linear guitar phrasing. This is very RPI styled prog, in the Goblin, PFM, Banco tradition, uninhibited grandiosity and pomp, allied with meticulous choices as far as soloing is concerned, giving the virtuosos a stage to perform musical ping- pong, as they sway back and forth. Yes, old school! Fabulous piece of music.

Up next, "Invisible" (perhaps but surely not deaf, I assure you) is another bass fueled masterpiece, offering up a delectable upfront clavinet foundation, and smeared with sublime oboe synth patches, classic mellotron surges and divine rhythmic sustenance. Buzzing guitars, exigent Italian singing and confident delivery all combine for another satisfying track. The guitar wails, sobs, cries and implores like some hysterical mamma who has temporarily misplaced her bambina. Morena Piva really shines in a funkier vein here, an inflexible and grisly furrow that just slaps you across the face each time.

The lugubrious title track "Repetita Iuvant" again hearkens back to the glory years of RPI, a mystery-laden symphonic dirge owned by colossal mellotron winds, medieval-tinged organ flurries paralleled by electric guitars, threatening bass patterns and bold drums. Moody, atmospheric, dense and intense, this is a pure prog of the finest vintage, exuding cinematographic tendencies that inspire the mind. Echoes, trembling, sizzle. "Etereo" encapsulates those sentiments quite perfectly, a glittering prize where Carnovali gets to reign supreme, a prodigious talent who glides over the fret board with impunity, a hard/softness that is difficult to describe. A pastoral Italian vocal mid- section, accompanied by a nostalgic acoustic guitar expanse, with laid-back percussives and ultimately slayed by a killer electric solo, pushed along by more mellotron and that wicked bass.

Bluesy little ditty to finish off? Sure, no problem, we can do that! "Never Mind" is a modern twist to this venerable musical style, led by a fluid guitarist who has studied both his Carlos Santana and his Gary Moore lessons, a jazzy organ solo section that is convincingly relaxed, a springy bass throughout and slick stick work from Giardina. Thoroughly tasty piece of blueberry 'panettone'!

Add a brilliant bonus, one of their very first projects when uniting as band back in 2009, "Whaling Stories" is a track developed for the Mellow Records tribute album to Procol Harum and exudes the theatrical drama associated with that legendary British band, except here the Italians add some deliberate thunder and lightning, doom-laden exuberance and a raspier arrangement, with Paolo Callioni howling into the savage gale. Obviously, Caleca emulates successfully the Brooker/Fisher organ splurges to great effect. The debut was outright terrific, this is a quite definite step up. Ad Maiora is a proud player on the prog scene and needs your immediate attention.

5 repetitive depletions

Review by andrea
4 stars Repetita Iuvant is the second album by Ad Maiora, a band from Milan influenced by the likes of Genesis, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes, Pink Floyd, Premiata Forneria Marconi or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. It was self-released in 2016 with a consolidated line up featuring Enzo Giardina (drums), Flavio Carnovali (electric guitar), Moreno Piva (bass, classical guitar), Paolo Callioni (vocals) and Sergio Caleca (keyboards) and follows the very promising debut work, Ad Maiora!, from 2014, confirming all the good qualities of the band in mixing vintage and modern sounds with brio and gusto. The art cover by Marcella Arganese in some way seems to portray this attitude: one glance towards the future and another one towards the past...

The opener 'Molokheya' is a dark, melancholic track with Middle Eastern flavours. The title refers to a typical dish of the Egyptian cuisine that here evokes a strange sense of nostalgia. It's sung in English and the music and lyrics tell about one of the many recent tragic stories of illegal migration in the Mediterranean sea depicting men and hopes that sink in a dark and stormy night along with an old, battered ship overloaded with desperate people trying to escape from their bitter present made of misery and war...

'Life' in another committed track sung in English. It's against racism and religious hate, against the murders and slaughters committed in the name of God, against lust and greed. The music is tense, the rhythm is nervous, the music and words express indignation, rage and a desperate need for mercy...

The surreal 'Fermati' (Stop) is a kind of tribute to Premiata Forneria Marconi with smells of geraniums and sounds of strange carriages in the background. The sense of the naive lyrics is that you can't change the world and burn down everything if your lighter is empty and you have no matches but, to be honest, to find a meaning for this piece would be like promenade a puzzle...

The long, complex 'Torba' (Turf) is a beautiful instrumental piece where dark organ waves and soaring electric guitar solos are blended and shaped with maestria and painted with crimson touches of brush' Then it's the turn of the ironic 'Invisibile' (Invisible), a track that stigmatizes the subtle means used by the media to push you into the vortex of consumerism creating artificial needs to sell useless items. The music and lyrics depict the invisible threads that influence your behaviour, you can almost see cool advertising flyers vibrating in the air like confetti to promote status- symbols objects without consistency but essentials for your ego...

Next comes the excellent instrumental title track, 'Repetita Iuvant', with its mysterious atmosphere underlined by pulsing bass lines and haunting organ waves. The title refers to a Latin maxim meaning repeating things helps and usually said to defend the speaker's choice to repeat some important piece of information to ensure reception by the audience...

The following 'Etereo' (Ethereal) begins by a nervous electric guitar solo, then the atmosphere gets more relaxed. The music and lyrics tell about the transition from this world to the unknown in the eternal cycle of life, a passage full of doubts about what is going to happen. Imagine to walk the last steps of your life in a state of disquieting serenity and calm anxiety, under an ethereal, starred sky, pure and intangible. Your sweet memories and all your regrets are starting to melt...

The lively, swinging instrumental 'Never Mind' could be a good finale for this interesting work, but there's still room for a bonus track, a cover of 'Whaling Stories' by Procol Harum previously released on a compilation by Mellow Records entitled Shine On Magic Hotel.

On the whole, a very good album and an excellent addition to any prog collection!

You can listen to the complete album on bandcamp.

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