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Andrea Cortese View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ubi Maior for Micky
    Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:15
This is another veeery excellent review on a veeeery interesting contemporary italian band.
 
I do only own three of the tracks on Nostos and i have to say they're excellent.
 
After reading your great review, Micky (along with that first of Erik) and the warm recommendations of Raffaella (who's a friend of the band) it'll be impossible for me to resist!Wink
 
 

UBI MAIOR — Nostos

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars Ubi Maior is a new group formed last year in Milan Italy with the warm regards of many masters of the classic Italian prog that we all love. In listening to this, Ubi Maior's debut, it serves notice they were not just masters of making great music, but possessing a keen eye in recognizing a budding talent. Nostos is the debut album recorded over a period of three months over the spring and summer of 2005. The album was released in October 2005 and was immediately hailed as a great debut album and a group worthy of watching.

The album itself is a wonderful listen full of great keyboard work by Gabriele Manzini, Mario Moi's strong and somewhat theatrical vocals, varied and most important to me.. tasteful guitar work by Stefano Mancarella, the rhythm section of Gualtiero Gorreri on bass and Alessnadro Di Caprio never fail to provide a solid foundation on which the music was built. Being a bit of a bassist myself I found myself listening quite closely to Gorreri and found his bass was tastefully played and enjoyed his tone.

As to the album itself: The album kicks off with Vendetta. The song spotlights the wonderful keyboard palate of Manzini and the nice contasting guitar tones of Mancarella who makes good use of dreamy reverb drenched, and the crunchy guitars so commen in todays rock. Moi's vocals in this one remind me strongly of Christian DeCamp of Ange in it's rather theatrical style and would add that Moi does have a more pleasant voice to boot. Very nice album opener.

The second track Terra Madre is not much of a challenging listen almost popish in sound in feel but oh is it worth a listen for the confirmed prog-head, especially those Moog fans. Wonderful Moog like synth tones remind me of another 'popish' song, ELP's Lucky Man, that some great Moog playing can take to a place that even the most die-hard of prog firebrands can enjoy.

The third track: Livia is where I really started to fall for the album. A very nice piano-synth-Hammond ascending intro which once the drums and guitars fall in builds into a nice bombastic section. After it's crest the track calms a soft repeated guitar and key section,which then appears to seque into the fourth track Messia.

Messia starts with some spacey sound effects that start just at the end of Livia under the sound effects is some rather nice electric piano. A very nice aggressive rhythm driven by Mancarella's guitar. Here again he alternated between lovely reverb guitar during Moi's vocal turns to fiery guitar runs. Great playing my favorite by him on the album. Great contrasts between light and heavy in this track.

The fifth track Oltre il Vetro has a wonderful percussion intro by guest Mauro Gnecchi. Love the bass on this.. could be wrong but sounds like a fretless and sounds wonderfully placed in the song. The song has a wonderful vocal melody. The song has a vibe that exudes warmth and invitation. Another song that I really enjoy putting on the just kicking back. Well played and Moi's vocals match the musical tone here.. very warm and invitiing.

The next track up is Nostros. The epic of the album clocking in at over 23 minutes. It begins with atmospheric keyboards over reverb guitar. The vocals fall in under this musical canopy before long and continue for several verses. I like the soft Hammond solo break, very tasteful. The second vocal turn by Moi is driven by an interesting bass and drum rhythm for several verses before a bombastic key. This pattern of vocal sections with bombastic breaks, with a couple fiery guitars solos serving a breaks as well, continues for a bit. The rhythm and tempo slightly different each time culminating between halfway betwen the 8 and 9 minute more with a frenetic rhythm layed down by Gorreri and Di Caprio. A pretty guitar and vocal section allows you a moment to catch your breath. The rest of the track is punctuated by great guitar and keyboard playing and great threatrical singing by Moi. Love this song.

The last track is a nice homage to Gianni Leone of Il Balletto di Bronzo. A cover of La Tua Casa Comoda. The song recorded by Il Balletto di Bronzo after their landmark YS album. Very well done and a nice way to end the album.

I'd like to thank a very special friend of mine for turning me on to this album. You have not only opened my eyes to some great wonderful music, but to a great deal more in life. For that I will always... forever be your debt. I could say a lot more.. but this isn't the place for it.

The album itself. 5 stars across the board. For personal enjoyment I found little to nothing that I didn't enjoy in it. For the site... I will go as far as to say this album along with Maldoror's L' Arbre-Cimietre are the best new symphonic releases I've heard recently. Highly recommended as proof that not only symphonic prog but Italian prog is alive and well.

Michael (aka Micky)



Edited by Andrea Cortese - September 04 2006 at 10:18
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:17
oh jesus Andrea....


thanks....Embarrassed  I was pleased with it.... I have never thought highly of my reviewing.. then again I compare them to the best reviewers the site has so they will fall short hahahha.  Thanks  and glad you like it.  I did as well and thought it was a fabulous album. 
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:21
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

oh jesus Andrea....


thanks....Embarrassed  I was pleased with it.... I have never thought highly of my reviewing.. then again I compare them to the best reviewers the site has so they will fall short hahahha.  Thanks  and glad you like it.  I did as well and thought it was a fabulous album. 
 
The pleasure was mine, Micky!
 
Now I'm waiting for other review 'bout our beloved italian prog.
 
Did you listen to Randone's Hybla Act? Another wonderful record from the recent years (2005).Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:24
Originally posted by Andrea Cortese Andrea Cortese wrote:

Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

oh jesus Andrea....


thanks....Embarrassed  I was pleased with it.... I have never thought highly of my reviewing.. then again I compare them to the best reviewers the site has so they will fall short hahahha.  Thanks  and glad you like it.  I did as well and thought it was a fabulous album. 
 
The pleasure was mine, Micky!
 
Now I'm waiting for other review 'bout our beloved italian prog.
 
Did you listen to Randone's Hybla Act? Another wonderful record from the recent years (2005).Wink


no I haven't but I have an order pending Greg Walker's return from ProgDay.  Have you reviewed it yet... I could still add it.  I'm still coming up to speed on modern symphonic ...much less the Italian stuff.. there was SO much to catch from the 'classic' period. 
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:29
ah just found your review.... and will put it on the order
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:33
With this warm support Ubi Maior will enter the Prog Archives Album Top 100 Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:39
Let's hope so, ErikSmile
 
Let's hope also my humble opinion be of some help!EmbarrassedWink
 
The top 100 also for:
 
 
The best italian symphonic album since 1995's Il Passo del Soldato (by Nuova Era). Of those I've heard, by the way!Embarrassed


Edited by Andrea Cortese - September 04 2006 at 10:40
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 13:00
OK, I'll post the review to Gabriella, Ubi Maior's PR and Gabriele Manzini's future wife (they're getting married next weekend, BTW...). She's sure to be very happy about that, and so are the band members. Hope to get to see them live in the near future, and write a review for PA. Last year I didn't manage to catch them, but I hope to have better luck next time. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 16:49
great review indeed micky!
 
sadly i haven´t heard them yet... but since this review and this thread, i will for sure...

Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 16:53
Ubi Maior are great!!!
I love Nostos
 
Clap
 
 
 
 
 
Excuse me for this spontaneous putburst of excitement... I was taliking about them a few months ago and did not receive meuch replies and now I see this thread, so I got excited like a 12 year-old...
 
 
But Nostos is a very good album and those who love the synphonic genre should get this one... (as well as Gargamel - Watch For The Umbles    .... sorry, had to let that out as well....)
 
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 16:59
Assaf, I've spoken about you to Gabriele, and he was very excited about having fans in the US. I sent Gabriella (the PR) the link to Micky's review, and told her I hope to be able to catch the band live in order to write a review for PA (and of course I boasted of my new status...Wink).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 17:01
I think Gargamel are on my MySpace friends list, so I guess I better check them out!

Too many Gabby's, Raffaella!


Edited by Geck0 - September 04 2006 at 17:01
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 17:03
^^^^
LOL
You always make me smile with your posts Raffaella.
 
At first I thought you were talking about Micky about fans in the USA and them I remembered I am now in the US too.... LOL I need to get used to it, now (for at least 5 years).
 
I hope you'll get to see them live as well. It has to be a great show, if it is half as good as the album.
 
You have now a very intimidating position as a reviewer and moderator of PA. A lot of power - phenominal cosmic power.... LOL
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 17:10
FANS in the US means the two of you, of course... As to the cosmic power, I beg you not to make fun of me, or I'll be forced to moderate you as well!TongueWinkLOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 17:15
Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:

FANS in the US means the two of you, of course... As to the cosmic power, I beg you not to make fun of me, or I'll be forced to moderate you as well!TongueWinkLOL
 
Mama mia, now I am actually afraid. Seriuosly. You are not ffrom Sicily originally, are you? Shocked
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 17:23
Well if you see Bern's poll, Raffaella is actually a Ranger!

Be careful with that Bow, Raffaella!

Oh and Assaf, nice review. Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 17:59
Originally posted by memowakeman memowakeman wrote:

great review indeed micky!
 
sadly i haven´t heard them yet... but since this review and this thread, i will for sure...


thank's and I hope you enjoy as much I as did... Clap
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 18:02
Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:

OK, I'll post the review to Gabriella, Ubi Maior's PR and Gabriele Manzini's future wife (they're getting married next weekend, BTW...). She's sure to be very happy about that, and so are the band members. Hope to get to see them live in the near future, and write a review for PA. Last year I didn't manage to catch them, but I hope to have better luck next time. 



well that's excellent...  be sure to wish them the best of luck hahhahaha 

[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 18:03
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

Ubi Maior are great!!!
I love Nostos
 
Clap
 
 
 
 
 
Excuse me for this spontaneous putburst of excitement... I was taliking about them a few months ago and did not receive meuch replies and now I see this thread, so I got excited like a 12 year-old...
 
 
But Nostos is a very good album and those who love the synphonic genre should get this one... (as well as Gargamel - Watch For The Umbles    .... sorry, had to let that out as well....)
 
 
 
 


oh yes.... ordered that one as well from your previous recommend.. (even though it might not have been for me ahhaha)
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 20:16
Make that 3 fans of Ubi Maior in the US as I totally dig this band too.  Nostos is an excellent release along with La Maschera Di Cera's LuxAde.  If only I could be so lucky as to see either of these bands here in America or better yet in my grandparents country of birth, Italy.  I hope they make it to one of the prog festivals that happen here.  Bravo!

Edited by Paulieg - September 04 2006 at 20:21
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