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    Posted: October 13 2007 at 18:17
UBI MAIOR are a rather recent band from Italy and in their Nostos album from 2005 they play a compelling and beautiful symphonic-rock.
 
Here is Raffaella's bio here in PA:
 
UBI MAIOR were formed in 1999, when Lorenzo Marotta (vocals) and Stefano Mancarella (guitar) joined forces together with keyboard player Gabriele Manzini. Bass player Walter Gorreri came in a few weeks later, and at the same time Gabriele brought in his friend and old bandmate Alessandro Di Caprio to play drums. After some months spent rehearsing compositions by UN BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, Le ORME, PFM, BALLETTO DI BRONZO and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, some new original tracks were written. “Messia”, “Vendetta” and “Terra Madre” are a perfect combination of symphonic prog and hard rock, and they remain a cornerstone in the evolution of the band.

In 2001 they recorded their first demo, Frontiere. In the same year Gabriele Manzini joined GENESIS-inspired band The WATCH as keyboard player, and played and recorded with them until the end of 2004. In 2002 Lorenzo Marotta left the band to study bel canto. His place was taken by Mario Moi. During 2004 UBI MAIOR played at numerous festivals organised by UN BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO in order to promote their 30th years boxed-set. The performances were very strong and UBI MAIOR received the praise of both public and press. In the same year they recorded a cover of “Prince Rupert Awakes” for the KING CRIMSON tribute album The Letters, released by Mellow Records. After some spring gigs, just before summer they recorded a new demo called Atto Primo – Atto Secondo, featuring new versions of old tracks, and a new, longer composition which paved the way for their debut CD.

In January 2005, at the Prog Day Festival in Lecco, northern Italy, UBI MAIOR played a tribute to UN BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, sharing the stage with famous Italian artists as Rodolfo Maltese (BANCO), Patrizio Fariselli (AREA), Tony Pagliuca (Le ORME) and Mauro Gnecchi (UN BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO). By the beginning of 2005 the track “Veteran Cosmic Rocker” was recorded for the new Mellow Records tribute album “Higher and Higher – A Tribute to The Moody Blues” which will be available by the end of 2005. Finally the debut CD Nostos was released in October 2005. It also features a cover of BALLETTO DI BRONZO’s “La tua casa comoda”, which has received the appreciation of BALLETTO leader Gianni Leone.

: : : Ghost Rider, ITALY : : :
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here are the reviews posted here in PA, so you get more of an idea about their music:
 

Collaborators Reviews

UBI MAIOR — Nostos

Review by erik neuteboom (erik neuteboom)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Expert

4%20stars To me this new Italian five-piece band sounded as the most convincing one on the BIGLIETTO PER L’INFERNO-tribute DVD (also featuring members from LE ORME, BANCO and AREA). So I was very pleased to discover this debut-CD from Ubi Maior, it will be one of my Top 3 albums in 2005!

Vendetta (9.21): After an intro with twanging guitars and sensitive piano, a fluent rhythm follows delivering a Procol Harum-like Hammond organ sound and an adventurous rhythm-section. Then the music turns into the best progrock of new Italian bands I have heard since many years: heavy guitar-riffs, majestic choir-Mellotron, powerful and moving Italian vocals (a bit theatrical), howling electric guitars, SPLENDID!

Terra Madre (6.38): This track sounds as the Italian version of ELP their single success Lucky Man: the same dreamy, a bit melancholical climate, acoustic guitar and those sensational Moog flights.

Livia (3.12): Another dreamy piece with halfway a bombastic eruption. The piano play is wonderful.

Messia (9.36): A very strong composition with tasteful arrangements and subtle musical ideas. Lots of compelling parts featuring sumptuous Hammond organ, inspired vocals and fiery electric guitar. The flashy synthesizer runs bring early Marillion to my mind. This is a very dynamic song, especiallly in the final part delivering heavy guitar-riffs.

Oltre Il Vetro (3.45) : A mellow song featuring warm vocals, sensitive acoustic guitar (including a short solo) and soaring violin-Mellotron

Nostos (23.06) : The titletrack is the 'magnum opus' on this CD, it starts with twanging guitars, soaring keyboards and warm vocals, followed by a fragile Hammond solo, very tasteful. Then lots of flowing shifting moods, from dreamy to bombastic. Halfway a great build-up with a huge tension featuring propulsive guitar-riffs, powerful, a bit theatrical vocals, howling electric guitar runs, impressive choir-Mellotron and a grand finale delivering swirling organ and fat guitar licks, GREAT!

La Tua Casa Comoda (5.22) : The final song is a compelling and captivating one with pleasant work on the keyboards: sparkling piano, fine Mellotron and mellow organ. The final part contains a biting, wah-wah drenched electric guitar solo and floods of Hammond organ.

THIS CD DESERVES WORLDWIDE RECOGNITION, WHAT A WARM, INSPIRED AND STRONG PROGROCK SOUND!!

Posted Friday, December 30, 2005, 17:14 EST | Permanent link

UBI MAIOR — Nostos

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog and Art Rock Specialist

5%20stars 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)

Posted Monday, September 04, 2006, 09:17 EST | Permanent link

UBI MAIOR — Nostos

Review by Andrea Cortese (Andrea Cortese)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist

4%20stars 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...

Posted Monday, January 22, 2007, 16:53 EST | Permanent link

Guests Reviews

UBI MAIOR — Nostos

Review by divinewind1971

4%20stars Very good an album. Old italian progressive style with strong hammond, piano and guitar oriented tracks. Good vocals. With italian singin, Nostos brings back the memory to the old italian school but it also bring some news. "Livia" is a strong isntrumental which reminds of terror movie like Balletto di bronzo, Terra Madre has a strong middle eight in 7/8 which is a mix between IQ and Genesis' Cinema Show. The keyboard player Gabriele Manzini played in The Watch, Genesis-like band from 2001 till 2004, so the influence is clear. Not bad at all! Get it! Nostos is a long suite based on Odissey. Strong lirycs, very filological. Also the cover of LA tua casa comoda of Balletto di bronzo is worth the price. One of the best italian prog albums of the last year. You can find it on www.btf.it

Posted Wednesday, November 09, 2005, 12:00 EST | Permanent link

 
 
 
 
 
Recommended band!!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2007 at 18:21
Awesome band,and one of my favorites out of the new wave of Italian prog besides La Maschera di Cera and La Torre Dell'Alchemista.
 
I highly recommend Nostros.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2007 at 19:15
Originally posted by TheProgtologist TheProgtologist wrote:

Awesome band,and one of my favorites out of the new wave of Italian prog besides La Maschera di Cera and La Torre Dell'Alchemista.
 
I highly recommend Nostros.


couldn't have said it better myself

nice thread Assaf Clap
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 01:30
Nostos is an outstanding album, thanks for suggesting Ubi Maior!!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 03:59
As I think I'll see at least some of the band members on Oct 23 at the Rush gig in Milan (they all live there), I'll be sure to tell them of this thread, as well as ask Gabriele Manzini about his solo project, which should be out by the end of this year. As far as I know, their next album is due in 2008, and I'll try to get them to send me a promo copy.
Proudly driving people off prog forums since 2005
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 10:10
Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:

As I think I'll see at least some of the band members on Oct 23 at the Rush gig in Milan (they all live there), I'll be sure to tell them of this thread, as well as ask Gabriele Manzini about his solo project, which should be out by the end of this year. As far as I know, their next album is due in 2008, and I'll try to get them to send me a promo copy.
 
It be great to have on them board this forum board, tell them they're most welcome.
 
And I'm looking forward to their next album eagerly (as I'm sure all the other folks who posted here are).
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 10:23
exactly... really looking forward to it
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 10:39
 
Another good thread about a lesser known new progrock band, Assaf, a big hand for you Thumbs%20Up But I am astonished that my review is still the only one about this DVD featuring Ubi Maior:
 

TRIBUTES — Un Biglietto Per L'inferno-Concerto Tributo

Review by erik neuteboom (erik neuteboom)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Expert

4%20stars This DVD is a 'tribute concert' to the legendary Italian progrock band BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, this sold out concert was given in Lecco (Italy), early 2005. It was a memorable day for the Italian progrock fans that day because some line-ups featured musicians from other legendary Italian progrock bands like Rodolfo Maltese from BANCO, Tony Pagliuca from LE ORME and Patrizio Faresseli and Paolo Tofani from AREA.

The first band on this concert was Ubi Maior, they played tight and dynamic with a humorous and very energetic singer. Their keyboard sound sounded modern, only the Hammond organ took us back to the typical progrock sound of the Seventies.

Next the band Greenwall, they presented a female singer with a very distinctive voice, not always my cup of tea. Greenwall played mainly acoustic but on "Abbiamo ragione" the band members took a key-tar and a twin-neck, always nice to see those instruments!

The next two musicains (both from AREA) performed solo: first Paolo Tofani on a sitar-like acoustic guitar and then Patrizio Fariselli on the acoustic piano, both delivered a great performance.

The band Fonderia started to play "Dubbio II", when this song was finished guitar/trumpet-player Rodolfo Maltese from BANCO entered the stage, he surprised the audience with the BANCO songs like "RIP" and "Non mi rompete", GREAT!

Between the band Destabanda and musicians from Claudio Rocchi, keyboard player Tony Pagliuca from LE ORME joined the band Gas for two Le Orme songs entitled "Era inverno" and "Uno sguardo verso il cielo". In both songs a violin player has been added, he gives the music an even more classical touch, along the powerful Hammond organ sound.

Don't excpect on this DVD a perfect dive into the Italian progrock sound from the Seventies, just enjoy the pleasant and inspired appearances from some members from that era, they delivered a good performance so we could taste a few moments from that wonderful era! If you are an Italian Seventies aficionado, this DVD is essential. Otherwise this DVD deserves 3 stars. But it's my review so 4 stars!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 13:09
Thanks Erik.
 
I am not a fan of live shows and dvd's, but I know many others here like them, so that's very nice of you to have included that.
 
 
 
For those interested, here's their album for sale at BTF in Italy, Greg Walker and Laser's Edge both in the US.
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 14:08
 
                       Don't forget www.progwalhalla.com Assaf Wink !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 14:12
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

For those interested, here's their album for sale at BTF in Italy, Greg Walker and Laser's Edge both in the US.
 
 
Originally posted by erik neuteboom erik neuteboom wrote:

 
                       Don't forget www.progwalhalla.com Assaf Wink !
 
 
Oh yeah, right... Embarrassed 
 
 
Seriously folks, get this!
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 13 2007 at 12:33

Just listened to it again, what a great album, really!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 13 2007 at 12:58
Not very much Ubi Maior at this moment, they seemed to have turned into Ubi Minor LOL
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