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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!

Andrea Parentin

Ad Maiora – Repetita Iuvant (2016)
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Progressive Rock / Symphonic Prog
Notes: From Italy, Ad Maiora appeared on the scene back in 2014 with the release of a fairly impressive self-titled album. So in 2016, when the band released its sophomore effort, Repetita Iuvant, I looked forward to hearing what the musicians had created the second time around. Like the debut, Repetita Iuvant features a collection of tracks mostly in the Symphonic Progressive Rock genre, with even a few Jazz-Rock and Avant-Prog touches added for auditory tinsel. And once again, the level of musicianship shown during the typically intricate song arrangements rates high in my book, with guitarist Flavio Carovali delivering tasty riffs and occasionally rampaging solos, bassist Moreno Piva performing ultra-melodic runs and rhythmic counterpunches, and drummer Ezio Giardina adding splendid fills amidst his rock-solid tempos and smooth time-shift transitions. Moreover, I especially savor the wide variety of keyboards and synth tones Sergio Caleca employed throughout the album, including Clavinet and the generous use of the mighty Mellotron...the latter being always a welcome addition for Prog-Rock fans like myself to appreciate. Although several compositions ("Torba," "Repetita Iuvant," and "Never Mind") are dynamic instrumentals with varied styles, when lead vocalist Paolo Callioni makes his appearance on songs such as "Life," "Invisible," "Molokheya," and "Etereo"—some of which he croons in his native language—his tone and style occasionally remind me of Saga's Michael Sadler, only with a wider range and a slight accent (when he sings in English, of course) Also of special note for Procol Harum fans, one of the album's highlights (for me, at least) is the "bonus" track "Whaling Stories," which Ad Maiora originally recorded for a Procol Harum tribute album—Shine on Magic Hotel—issued by Mellow Records in 2014. Thankfully, the musicians elected to include their rendition of the tune here also, since it's simply terrific! Anyway, to me, Ad Maiora is one of the more promising Italian Prog-Rock groups to have emerged in the recent past. Now I'm hoping the band sticks around for a good long while to concoct even more appetizing material for lovers of the genre like me who can never get enough.

Zap Niles

Ad Maiora is an Italian band, consisting of Enzo Giardina (drums), Flavio Carnovali (electric guitar), Moreno Piva (electric bass/backing vocals), Paolo Callioni (vocals/tambourine) and Sergio Caleca (keyboards/electric guitar). They formed the group in 2009 and released their self-titled debut record Ad Maiora in 2014. Their second album Repetita Iuvant was released in 2016, and presents eight progressive rock tracks that are a mixture of neo-prog and symphonic prog (maybe due to their Italian heritage?).

Molokheya reminds me of some neo-progressive rock bands. Actually all the tracks sung in English have this feeling. The production is a bit weak. It lacks some power. It lacks some depth. This sounds probably different when played live. The overall focus of the music is either on the guitar or the keys. It is all very melodic. There are occasional weird and heavy parts, like in Fermati, but even this is overall laid back and brings out some Italian influences. This can be heard on all the 'Italian' songs.

One of the musical highlights is the instrumental title track, and a real surprise comes at the end. As a bonus track, Ad Maiora has covered Procol Harum's Whaling Stories, and they do so very well! Unfortunately in some passages the instruments do not really seem to fit together, as if they play out of their rhythms. This is probably also due to the production.

Overall a nice, little record, which would have shown the band's full talent, if the production was a bit better. Still good!

Philipp Röttgers

El rock progresivo italiano siempre se mantiene en impresionantes niveles de prolijidad con discos que nunca dejan de gestarse y publicarse: en esta reseña nos centraremos en el nuevo disco de AD MAIORA, “Repetita Iuvant”, el segundo de su discografía. Este quinteto milanés está conformado por el vocalista Paolo Callioni, el guitarrista Flavio Carovali, el teclista Sergio Caleca (aportando también algo de guitarra eléctrica ocasionalmente), el bajista y corista Moreno Piva, y el baterista Ezio Giardina. “Repetita Iuvant” fue publicado a fines de junio último, dos años después de su homónimo disco debut. La propuesta musical que plantean AD MAIORA se engarza tanto con la tradición neo-progresiva como con las del sinfonismo italiano al modo de IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, H20 y CONSORZIO ACQUA POTABILE; hasta cierto punto, también establece aires de familia con otras bandas compatriotas como NOT A GOOD SIGN y LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO. Apoyado en un sinfonismo sistemático centrado en ideas y enfoques melódicos rectamente definidos, y con algunos espacios abiertos potencialmente para elaborar momentos de especial vigor, el grupo culmina una propuesta agradable y llevadera con una razonable dosis de sofisticación. Sí, agradable es una palabra idónea para describir el mérito esencial de este disco, uno de los más refinados que nos brindó la escena progresiva italiana en el pasado año 2017.

Durando casi 5 ¼ minutos, ‘Molokheya’ abre el álbum con una gracilidad llamativa. Con una mezcla de moderada pujanza y estilización melódica, la banda nos transporta a un cautivador híbrido de los GENESIS de fines de los 70s con la onda neo-progresiva que con tanto ímpetu encarnó la generación británica del rock sinfónico (IQ, MARILLION, TWELFTH NIGHT). ‘Life’ sigue a continuación para seguir por esta misma vertiente mientras aumenta el nivel de punche rockero tanto en lo que se refiere al rol decisivo de los riffs de guitarra como a la armazón tan sólidamente dinámica que establece la dupla rítmica: el grupo está instaurando una declaración de principios bien definida con esta dupla inicial de canciones. Cuando emerge ‘Fermati’, el grupo se centra en preservar la solidez rockera de la pieza precedente y llevarla hasta otro nivel de emergencia en sus secciones más filudas; ya para los momentos más reposados, el grupo trabaja un aura romántica que también resulta bien lograda. Aunque dura menos de 5 minutos, exhibe una vitalidad épica bastante ostentosa bajo la guía de la guitarra. La cuarta pieza del álbum es también la más extensa del mismo: dura casi 8 minutos y se titula ‘Torba’. Íntegramente instrumental, esta pieza está diseñada para instaurar una contraparte al clímax rockero elaborado por ‘Fermati’ con otro clímax más programáticamente centrado en el ideal del sinfonismo. ‘Invisibile’ tiene la misión de suceder a ‘Torba’ con una retoma decidida de las auras de extroversión y vigor que ya habíamos apreciado en los temas #2 y #3. Pero además, como si el vitalismo estilizado y exquisito de ‘Torba’ hubiese marcado una especie de pauta, ‘Invisibile’ sigue por el mismo camino mientras se toma más tiempo para los desarrollos instrumentales; las partes cantadas también portan una emotividad atrapante. Sin duda, la ilación que va desde ‘Fermati’ hasta ‘Invisibile’ encarna la cima determinante de “Repetita Iuvant”.

El sexto tema es el que titula al disco y se trata del segundo instrumental del mismo. Nos vamos acercando al final del repertorio oficial de “Repetita Iuvant” cuando llega el turno de ‘Etereo’: esta canción explora la faceta reflexiva de la banda, siendo así que el prólogo está marcado simultáneamente por el modo en que el punche de la guitarra se pone al servicio del entramado melódico en curso y la labor de los teclados centrada en capas y texturas. La sección cantada es el motif central, una semi-balada sinfónica que nos remite tanto a CAMEL como a IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE. El instrumental ‘Never Mind’ clausura el repertorio con la elegante exaltación de un groove jazzero con elementos blueseros en las intervenciones de la guitarra. Si podemos imaginar una remodelación del estándar de CARAVAN bajo patrones sinfónicos con enclaves neo-progresivos, entonces aquí está la concreción de dicha idea; con todo esto tenemos, además, que las orquestaciones de teclado le dan al conjunto sonoro un aire al estilo más épico del paradigma de THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. Nada mal pinta esto, ¿verdad? Tras la conclusión del repertorio oficial del disco todavía hay más, una versión de una de las canciones más bellas que hayan hecho los PROCOL HARUM jamás: ‘Whaling Stories’. Original del álbum de “Home”, esta composición de Gary Brooker y Keith Reid en manos de la gente de AD MAIORA se moderniza de una manera ágil, sin perder la lealtad a la estructura y la espiritualidad esencial de la versión original. Hay algunos ribetes Wakemanianos en el renovado solo de órgano que gesta Caleca para la ocasión. Y así llegamos al final de “Repetita Iuvant”, un disco que principalmente merece ser calificado como mágico y agradable. AD MAIORA no están en el escenario progresivo actual para inventar o motivar algo nuevo sino para poner su creatividad melódica al servicio de la supervivencia sostenida del ideal del rock sinfónico, y ellos lo hacen muy bien.  Entonces, si la música de este grupo es equivalente a un delicado buffet de una tarde de primavera, pues en la repetición que nos brinda este segundo álbum suyo está el gusto.

César Inca Mendoza Loyola

“These Grand” (Ad Maiora) musicians from Milan are together since January 2009 and are presenting us their second album, after "Ad Maiora!" released in 2014. Italian Prog, but with a slight tangent towards Jazz-Rock, 'Standard' Prog-Rock and Electro. The 'physical' album of “Repeated Impoverishment" (Repetita Iuvant) comes with a bonus song (Whaling Stories) extracted from a tribute album to the band PROCOL HARUM (Shine On Magic Hotel) released on December 30, 2014. "Molokheya" begins the album: an electronic intro with the voice of Paolo CALLIONI singing in perfect English before changing to a Prog with a much more Italian style. Good song. “Life” tends towards a mixture of Jazz-Rock and a little dark Prog-Rock with a rapid beat. Good song too! "Fermati" begins with Heavy Rock, almost Metal, before changing to a much softer Prog and finishing as it began. Not bad. "Torba" has a style which is very much '70s Prog. One of the best songs of the album! “Invisibile” is very Jazz-Rock with a hectic beat during ±1:30 and then changing for a more Prog-Rock style. One of my favorites. "Repetita Iuvant" is an instrumental Prog-Rock in which some parts of it remind me of the Quebec band MORSE CODE: as a matter of fact, there is this similarity throughout parts of the whole album. It is the best song of the album in my opinion. The song "Etereo" has the electric guitar pretty well up front. Pretty nice! "Never Mind" is another instrumental piece that tends towards Jazz-Rock. Good beat. The bonus song "Whaling Stories" is a remake of the PROCOL HARUM original which was on the album "Home" released in 1970. Even if it is good to listen to, it clashes with the rest of the album. There is a 30-second 'song' 'hidden' at the end of the album. Nothing to say about it. This isn't an album which will upset the world of Prog music, but it's still a good album for lovers of Italian Prog or Prog of the '70s.

Richard Hawey

In 2014 I was very pleasantly surprised by the debut album of Italian act Ad Maiora. The band recorded some very strong pieces of music on their eponymous debut album. Most of the songs were instrumentals and in my review I advised them to find a good singer and write more songs that include vocals. Well, of course I was curious if they had noticed what I wrote at the time. Their new album Repetita Iuvant could give me the right answer.

The lineup is still the same, so we have Paolo Callioni (lead vocals), Flavio Carovali (guitars), Sergio Caleca (keyboards, additional guitar), Moreno Piva (bass, backing vocals) and Ezio Giardina (drums) in the band. Musically the band didn't chance much either. This is of course a good thing, because I didn't want them to move towards other musical territories. Maybe they did incorporate more influences from jazz and blues next to the main progressive rock influences. What did chance are the songs with vocal lines. This time around only three tracks are instrumental. Strangely enough the band has difficulties in choosing to sing in English or in their native language. Some of the tracks on Repetita Iuvant are sung in English as well. One of them, mentioned as a bonus track, has originally English lyrics and is a well done Italian cover of a composition written by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid. They wrote Whaling Stories for Procol Harum and released it on Home in 1970. It has to be said that the songs sung in Italian have more passion compared to the English vocal lines. But don't get me wrong, Callioni does a great job singing in English.

As for the nine compositions on this album I can only be positive. Many times I had to think about bands such as IQ, Camel, Focus or Pendragon, but also the seventies line up of Genesis came to mind. Most of all the use of the Mellotron was to blame for this. Just listen to the opening of Torba and you will find yourself back in the seventies listening to the intro of Watcher Of The Skies taken from their 1972 album Foxtrot. The same composition also has a great musical duel between the electric guitar and synthesizer. Here you will hear the influences of the earlier mentioned IQ and Camel. The strong instrumental guitar and keyboard parts can be found throughout the album, something I like a lot. And therefore I really love to play this album over and over again.

So I can honestly say that Repetita Iuvant is a very good album with no weak tracks at all. Anybody who likes strong instrumental parts and the bands mentioned earlier is advised to check out Ad Maiora. They certainly have something to offer musically, most of all their latest is a not to miss progressive rock release! Therefore Repetita Iuvant is for me, without doubt, one of the best progressive rock albums released in 2016.

Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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.

Thomas Tszirmay

Dieses italienische Quintett stammt aus dem Raum Mailand und wurde 2009 ins Leben gerufen. 2014 erschien sein Debütalbum “Ad Maiora!“, dem nun das zweite Album folgt. Die Band zeigt sich sehr gut eingespielt, was auch nicht weiter verwundert, da sich an der Besetzung im Vergleich zum Erstling nichts verändert hat. Und so liest sich das Line-Up wie folgt:

Enzo Giardina – drums
Flavio Carnovali – electric guitar
Moreno Piva – electric bass / backing vocals
Paolo Callioni – vocals / tambourine
Sergio Caleca – keyboards / electric guitar

Ad Maiora bieten mit acht Eigenkompositionen abwechslungsreichen Progressive Rock. Dabei verknüpft der Fünfer auf recht geschickte Weise Neo-Prog, typischen Italo-Symphonic Prog und ein paar Blues-Elemente miteinander.

Bei manchen Songs klingen sie wie eine britische NeoProg-Band, denn auf diesen Titeln wird der Gesang auf Englisch präsentiert. Andere, in Muttersprache gesungene Titel bieten wiederum typischen Italo-Prog. Dabei spielen mal die Keyboards und mal die Gitarren eine prägende Rolle, wobei aber immer der Faktor Melodie im Vordergrund steht. Auch in Instrumentalnummern zeigen sie ihre Stärken, so zum Beispiel im abwechslungsreichen Titelsong.

Eckig und kantig mit schrägen Frickelparts, das ist nicht unbedingt ihre Sache. Am Ende überrascht die Band mit einem Bonus-Titel, den man auf diesem Album nicht unbedingt erwartet hätte: Sie spielt ‚Whaling Stories‘ von Procol Harum, und das in einer durchaus gelungenen Interpretation.

Mit “Repetita Iuvant“ ist Ad Maiora ein interessantes, kurzweiliges Album gelungen.
Bewertung: 10/15 Punkten

Juergen Meurer

Un arpeggiatore che procede inarrestabile e grandi tappeti di tastiere che lo avvolgono ci introducono per mano nel mondo degli Ad Maiora, in questo nuovo album intitolato "Repetita Iuvant”. L'impatto iniziale ricorda immediatamente
le atmosfere del filone new-prog britannico, in particolare gli IQ, proprio per le sequenze armoniche e le sonorità dei sintetizzatori. Anche il cantato, epico, teatrale, drammatico, ben si inserisce in quel filone che parte da Peter Gabriel
e passa per Fish. Ma quando entra la chitarra, con le sue melodie mediterranee e persino un pò orientaleggianti, tutto ci riporta nella più nobile tradizione del progressivo italiano. Questi sono gli Ad Maiora, un meraviglioso, delizioso "ponte" tra due culture, tra due mondi e due modi diversi di intendere e suonare il progressive rock. Una proposta che non ha nulla da invidiare a tanti nomi di caratura internazionale ma, al tempo stesso, solidamente ancorata a un certo tipo di magia tutta tipicamente italiana. "Life", uno degli episodi più riusciti del disco, può ricordare molto la solida e variegata scena che si era venuta a creare in Italia tra la fine degli anni ‘8O e i primi anni ‘9o: band che riscoprivano la
tradizione progressiva, ne inseguivano i costrutti e le tematiche ma, al tempo stesso, flirtavano con le nuove sonorità e tecnologie che iniziavano a prendere forma. Ebbene si, tra le tante "battaglie" che spesso dividono il già ristretto pubblico di nicchia del prog-rock, uno dei temi ricorrenti è proprio la dicotomia tra chi si dichiara fieramente
“esterofilo” e chi invece conserva una profonda nostalgia della musica che, fin dagli albori di questo movimento artistico/culturalmusicale, si suonava nella nostra nazione. Quindi gli Ad Maiora hanno perfettamente le carte in regola
per accontentare gli uni e gli altri. E lo dimostra perfettamente un brano come "Fermati", cantato in italiano, con una melodia, una interpretazione e una linea strumentale, tra poderosi riff, stacchi e cambi di tempo, che fa venire in mente un paragone con uno dei nomi più grandi: il Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. E ancora più "onnicomprensiva", da questo
punto di vista, e “Torba”, uno strumentale dove il tessuto costituito da basso e string-machines sembra a tratti quello di "Outer Limits" degli IQ, ma i ghiotti ricami di Minimoog e chitarre, che qua e là si fanno molto jazzati, ci riportano ancora alle sonorità di Banco, Pfm, Orme e Locanda delle Fate. A "confondere le acque" in modo ulteriore, trova
spazio come "bonus track" del disco anche la cover che, a questo punto, non ci si aspetterebbe: una sentita e struggente "Whaling Stories" dei Procol Harum, estremamente rispettosa nel cogliere e riportare le atmosfere originali. Insomma: con un disco così capace davvero di che accontentare tutti i palati. Vi sentite neo-progsters o inguaribili conservatori? Dal vostro genere preferito cercate riffs indiavolati e cambi di tempo o siete persone dall'animo romantico? In ogni caso ascoltatelo, e non resterete delusi.

Alberto Sgarlato

Scegliendo ancora una volta la strada dell’autoproduzione gli Ad Maiora giungono al traguardo del secondo lavoro discografico, dal titolo “Repetita iuvant”, dopo le buone impressioni lasciate con il debutto omonimo del 2014. L’album è composto da 8 tracce (a cui va ad aggiungersi una cover dei Procol Harum) alcune cantate in italiano, altre in inglese mentre tre sono i brani strumentali. Il prog-rock del gruppo milanese presenta qualche aggancio alla tradizione italiana seventies ( Banco in primis…), ma non rifugge, tutt’altro, i suoni più “moderni” in cui le tastiere di Sergio Caleca (autore della maggior parte delle musiche) hanno quasi sempre un ruolo predominante. Non sempre convincono le liriche ( in particolar modo “Fermati”) e, a mio avviso, anche la scelta di alternare testi in inglese a quelli in italiano. Forse una decisa preferenza verso una o l’altra darebbe maggiore omogeneità al prodotto . Ma de gustibus… ovviamente .. Sono comunque maggiori gli aspetti positivi di questo “Repetita iuvant”, che si apre con “Molokheya” (cantata in inglese), dal suono fresco e brillante delle tastiere di Caleca. Bello il testo di “denuncia sociale” di “Life” in cui inizialmente predomina la chitarra di Carnovali e una ritmica decisa ad accompagnare il canto di Callioni. Il punto esclamativo lo pone il solito Caleca, il cui “solo” conduce il brano su un solido binario new prog, che affiora frequentemente anche nei brani successivi. Penalizzata da un testo non proprio convincente “Fermati” ha comunque un bel “punch”, mentre “Torba (il primo strumentale), oltre ad essere il brano più lungo (sfiora gli 8 minuti) è anche uno dei più suggestivi. Un arioso sussulto sinfonico in cui Caleca si sbizzarrisce con le sue numerose tastiere (solo apparentemente vintage…) senza dimenticare gli ottimi interventi della chitarra elettrica di Carnovali. La title track è uno dei pezzi meglio congegnati con hammond,mellotron e flauto (campionato) che dipingono delicatamente i contorni essenziali. Anche l’ultimo brano strumentale, “Never mind”, è senza dubbio riuscito e si avvicina, con i suoi toni delicati, ad una certa “fusion”, mentre il finale vira verso il blues . Sentori floydiani echeggiano nell’introduzione di “Etereo” (con un bel guitar-solo di Carnovali) che meritava, forse, uno sviluppo ulteriore e più dilatato ed invece si chiude un po’ troppo rapidamente. Nel complesso “Repetita iuvant” è un bell’album, dal buon feeling e con delle buone idee e che ci lascia decisamente soddisfatti. Con qualche “aggiustamento” qua e là crediamo che il gruppo possa anche fare meglio. Nel frattempo speriamo che riesca a farsi ulteriormente conoscere dal sempre esigente pubblico prog. Sarebbe già un successo. Meritato.

Valentino Butti

Les musiciens de Ad Maiora ne sont plus tout jeunes mais le progressive band qu’ils ont constitué à Milan ne date que de 2009. Depuis, un premier album repéré sur les radars de la scène prog et en 2016, un second CD permettant d’exprimer les éclectiques intentions esthétiques de cette formation pourvue d’une line-up très conventionnelle. Ad Maiora est composé d’un chanteur et de quatre musiciens avec l’incontournable claviériste officiant avec des instruments vintages et bien sûr, l’improbable mellotron qui donne une teinte si particulière avec la signature seventies aux compositions qui savent le doser subtilement. Ce qui est le plus souvent le cas pour des musiciens trempés depuis des années dans la musique progressive.

Les compositions signées par les musiciens de Ad Maiora ne s’inscrivent pas un style homogène et c’est ce qui fait l’intérêt de ce CD qui permet d’écouter huit morceaux façonnés avec des styles différents. Le premier morceau donne le ton, avec un début résolument néo-prog, dans le style Pallas ou Pendragon, mais cela ne dure pas, et la musique s’emballe avec des facéties orientalisantes, contrastant avec le début très conventionnel. Puis le motif mélodique et sobre du début réapparaît avant que ne débute à nouveau une séquence endiablée. Ce premier morceau est caractéristique du style très hétéroclite proposé par ces musiciens de Milan. Le second morceau est très différent, avec un style légèrement jazzy, presque funky mais avec la signature progressive reconnaissable aux parties de clavier et des incantations mélodiques légèrement torturées. C’est du reste le claviériste qui signe la plupart des compositions dont la durée moyenne est de six minutes. La troisième composition sonne dans un style résolument art rock et quelque peu free, avec un début fait pour perdre l’auditeur mais après, la ligne mélodique se met en place et cette fois, c’est un peu du groovy prog qui est proposé. Bref, les séquences se succèdent là où on ne les attend pas et c’est vraiment l’esprit du progressif qui plane sur ces huit compositions.

Un mot sur le quatrième morceau qui contraste avec les précédents en adoptant un style plus symphonique. Et toujours cette texture dans la composition qui déroute l’auditeur et le perd dans les méandres de la complexité entre les mélodies successives et les courtes séquences aux styles alambiqués. Ce qui permet de dire qu’on ne s’ennuie pas car la musique est en permanence en renouveau, telle un De natura rerum de Lucrèce décliné en fleuve harmonique. La musique semble renaître à chaque instant. Ce second album de Ad Maiora, Repetita luvant, est une autoproduction qui rivalise avec les CD édités par les maisons de disque conventionnelles. A noter le sixième morceau éponyme qui avec son mellotron intense rappelle les premiers disques de Anekdoten alors que le septième nous plonge dans une ambiance à la Dream Theater sans les excès d’une démonstration technique. En bonus, le groupe nous offre une reprise du Whailing stories de Procol Harum.

Bernard Dugué

Dopo l’interessante debut del 2014 tornano i milanesi Ad Maiora, con un disco che rimanda ancora una volta alla grande stagione del progressive rock, confermando e probabilmente migliorando il risultato ottenuto due anni fa. Ottime melodie al servizio di strutture complesse ma mai ermetiche denotano una crescita anche compositiva e di affiatamento globale che si avvertiva meno nella loro prima opera. Repetita Iuvant risulta fresco e dinamico, con momenti strumentali notevoli e capacità di scrittura affinate da due anni di lavoro che hanno portato i milanesi (Enzo Giardina alla batteria, Flavio Carnovali alla chitarra, Moreno Piva al basso, Paolo Callioni alla voce e Sergio Caleca alle tastiere) a pubblicare un disco assolutamente gradevole e di buon impatto. Si inizia subito molto bene con Molokheya, complice la prova di Carnovali e la voce di Callioni, interprete sicuro e preciso. Vibrante la seguente Life, con un bel gioco ritmico della coppia Piva-Giardina e le escursioni dell’estroso Caleca ai synth, pregevoli intarsi su cui si erge di nuovo Callioni. I Pink Floyd e il rock progressivo come matrice di un sound che si conferma settantiano anche in Fermati, primo brano cantato in italiano e meno tirato dei precedenti. Torba è un ottimo strumentale, con una spruzzata di Gentle Giant e passaggi Yes style, un sinfonismo che vede Caleca protagonista prima di Invisibile, altra song cantata in italiano ma pregna di belle parti strumentali in cui è ancora Caleca l’asso nella manica. La title track si muove sulla stessa falsariga di Torba ma accentua la vena oscura, un alone cupo che aleggia su buona parte della traccia e che mostra un lato interessante dei milanesi. Più psichedelica Etereo, ancora di buon livello e con la band attenta al minuscolo e significativo dettaglio, mentre il finale è affidato al blues progressivo di Never Mind, che mi ha ricordato qualcosa di Bare wires del grande John Mayall. C’è anche una bonus track, Whaling stories dei Procol Harum che non aggiunge nulla al discorso ma chiude in maniera gradevole un grande ritorno che ha confermato gli Ad Maiora come una delle piccole garanzie del fitto panorama prog italiano.

Luigi Cattaneo


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.


This band from Milano begun activities in 2009 in a typical keyboards/guitars/bass/drums fashion and their eponymous debut was released some five years later, offering an elaborate Symphonic-Fusion sound with rich arrangements and influences from the both the past and present Prog scene.The electric guitars provide the jazzy spark and the omnipresent keyboards are responsible for the more progressive backdrop.Although the band features a lead singer, the material is mostly instrumental with technical competiveness and some very good interplays throughout.I can't say I became actually excited after listening to this album, but this comes easily recommended to all fans of Classic Prog with a light modern aura.


Estupendo rock progresivo italiano.
Los italianos Ad Maiora son otra de nuestras recomendaciones en La Ruleta Rusa. Buenísimo rock progresivo clásico a la manera de Camel o Genesis.
Vamos con otra recomendación rockera desde La Ruleta Rusa Radio Rock. En este caso se trata de uno de nuestros últimos descubrimientos, los milaneses Ad Maiora. Todos sabemos de la sólida y brillante tradición del rock progresivo en Italia y por eso no es sorprendente que sigan apareciendo bandas de muchísima calidad dentro de ese subgénero rockero.
Por ahí es donde encontramos a los Ad Maiora, una banda de Milán que cuenta con dos largos publicados, los dos excelentes, Ad Maiora! de 2014 y Repetita Iuvant de este 2016 que es el disco con el que hemos descubierto a los milaneses.
Fundada en el año 2009 por músicos de sólida prestigio dentro del progresivo italiano, su sonido se asemeja a bandas de rock progresivo clásico como Camel o Genesis. Suenan de maravilla, con producciones muy curradas y con un sonido muy compacto. Muy recomendables.
Os dejamos este último trabajo de la banda a través de su player en Bandcamp. Muy pronto los escucharemos en La Ruleta Rusa Radio Rock. Un placer descubrir y recomendaros a los Ad Maiora.



3,5 stars !!! In terms of Italian Progressive Rock , this is a slightly unusual album, because the music is different in relation of the main stream style of the genre and I can't perceive a great influence of the masters of the style, such as P F M , Le Orme, etc... Another singular characteristic is the outstanding repetition in large scale of musical parts inside the majority of tracks ( sometimes in melodies and others in rhythm or still in both cases) which creates a certain type of riffs as a main theme, so that creates an approach to hard-rock style, however the proposition continue essentially prog ! My favorite tracks as : Track 1 "Diatriba", Track 7 "Menate", Track 9 " Corolla" amd their medieval atmosphere. In a general way, although isn't a masterpiece is good work ! My Rate is 3 stars !However, I want emphasize which the album deserve a place in my collection !



Ad Maiora (expressão latina cuja tradução literal é “Rumo a coisas maiores”, também utilizado como uma forma de saudação e de desejar sucesso no trabalho, na escola, carreira ou amor) é um grupo formado em Milão, Itália, em janeiro de 2009 como um projeto de Rock Progressivo. No dia 30 de Abril de  2010 o grupo formado por Enzo Giardina (bateria), Flavio Carnovali (guitarra), Moreno Piva (baixo e violão clássico) e Sergio Caleca (teclados) se apresenta em Olgiate Olona em seu primeiro Concerto. Em Dezembro de 2011 Paolo Callioni junta-se a eles nos vocais o que dá nova energia ao grupo. Os primeiros cinco anos serviram para a contribuição na faixa “Whaling Stories" em um álbum tributo ao Procol Harum da Mellow Records chamado "Shine on Magic Hotel" que foi lançado no final de 2014, bem como apoio a outros eventos progressivos junto com as bandas italianas Ubi Maior e Shylock. Com diferentes experiências musicais pode-se dizer que nunca deixaram de acreditar no poder de comunicação extraordinário do gênero progressivo. Passaram o período de 2009 a novembro 2013  escrevendo as suas próprias composições que fazem parte de seu álbum de estréia 'Ad Maiora!' lançado no dia 14 de Janeiro de 2014. A banda descreve sua música como “original - em todos os sentidos", e quando se ouve o seu álbum de estreia certamente dá para se perceber isso. Predominantemente instrumental, com uma forte presença do pulsante baixo, teclados deslumbrantes, percussão confiante, belas execuções da guitarra acústica e elétrica e emocionantes e ocasionais vocais em um belo inglês, a quantidade e a  variedade de estilos e influencias sem perda da originalidade é imediatamente perceptível. Ad Maiora não está simplesmente amarrado a características tradicionais  (apesar de que uma série de faixas na segunda metade do disco apresenta a  grandiosidade clássica e  teclados selvagens),  incorporando uma ampla gama de  influências  de bandas como o CAMEL, KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, YES, PINK FLOYD, PREMIATA OU BANCO somente para citar alguns, com pequenos traços de ELP e GENESIS, bem como bandas italianas como PHOENIX AGAIN e LOST TALES que tocam em vários estilos.


A faixa de abertura “Diatriba” é uma peça instrumental repleta de energia escura que remete a Goblin, uma introdução furiosa e confiante apresentando teclados vintage, um baixo poderoso e onipresente, uma guitarra excelente e no seu minuto final particularmente lembra muito os melhores tempos do ELP.Na sequencia vêm uma outra faixa instrumental “Sugo Dance” com um sabor do Mediterrâneo e um ritmo contagiante. A mais dark “Dream” é o terceiro instrumental que se segue com riffs agressivos de guitarra e um baixo implacável e hipnótico com  toques exóticos que te carregam para um ambiente das 1001 noites  o que leva em sequencia até “Eclissi Orientale” onde a musica e as letras retratam a atmosfera e as cores do bazar na cidade de Agaba e ao nascer do Sol junto ao Mar Vermelho finalizando com o por do Sol no deserto. A influencia de Goblin pode ser notada também na faixa seguinte “Nulla Intenso”, uma construção sinfônica grandiosa graças a sintetizadores pulsantes e emocionais e solos de guitarra muito bem colocados, em síntese:um instrumental fascinante com atmosferas de pesadelo. Depois disso temos a calma aparente de “Strange” uma balada melancólica com uma linda introdução de piano, a voz de Paolo evocando Andy Latimer e um clímax com um solo de guitarra de cortar o coração apoiado por um belo Hammond, onde um tema sobre um homem assombrado por loucos sonhos com os fantasmas de seu passado nos faz refletir como é doloroso para ele mudar o seu estilo de vida. Em seguida temos um complexo e longo instrumental “Menate”, uma mistura agradabilíssima de diferentes atmosferas, com diferenças de humor e mudanças de tempo, tudo perfeitamente entrelaçado apresentando uma nítida influencia de Banco e talvez um pouco de PFM  que nos levam a uma das maiores surpresas desse disco e o único tema que não é uma composição original deles, “Summertime” de George e Ira Gershwin com belos vocais, um lindo solo de guitarra elétrica, um baixo agressivo e um piano jazzístico com quebras de ritmo em um belo arranjo que a transforma em um jazz progressivo por excelência. “Corolla” é uma outra excelente peça com influencias clássicas que parece evocar uma alegre e colorida celebração de primavera. Para concluir este excepcional disco temos “No More War” em que uma guitarra chorosa intermediando os vocais aliada aos sintetizadores sinfônicos temperamentais em uma plataforma musical perfeita para o brilho do baixista Piva fazem com  que retornem as atmosferas do Oriente Médio onde a musica e as letras retratam uma manhã de inverno ensolarado e uma tarde de sol no lago (uma paisagem iraquiana) sem esquecer também da futlidade de conflitos provocados pelo homem; um belo mellotron em sua conclusão mostra que ao final de tudo pode-se colocar as crianças para dormir e esquecer por alguns momentos as sombras ameaçadoras da guerra que ainda assola as encantadoras paisagens desse local. Ao final onde tudo parece ter terminado e após quase um minuto de silencio ouve-se “Exit” uma surpreendente conclusão a esse maravilhoso álbum.
Penso que o Ad Maiora, esta madura e talentosa banda que apresenta uma musica progressiva suprema e refinada ainda nos presenteará com belos álbuns no futuro. Este seu primeiro álbum é deslumbrante, feito como se fosse por um mestre artesão, com criatividade temática, melodias memoráveis e riqueza rítmica. Um dos melhores grupos que apareceram recentemente no cenário italiano.

Vinicio Meirinho

The phrase Ad Maiora means “to greater things” in Latin and that’s where, in my opinion,  the Italian Prog Rock band,  who chose that expression for their name, is headed.  Yes, based on their self-titled debut album. I think that Ad Maiora will be moving on to greater things!

The band was formed in 2009 in Milan, as a progressive rock project. During the period between 2009 and 2013 Ad Maiora was writing their own compositions, all of which appear on their debut album Ad Maiora! which was released in January of 2014. It was also in  this time period that the band contributed the track “Whaling Stories” to a Procol Harum tribute album, and played in support of  Italian bands like Ubi Maior and Shylock.

AD Maiora BandAd Maiora is composed of :Enzo Giardina / drums, Flavio Carnovali / electric guitar, Moreno Piva / bass, classical guitar, Paolo Callioni / vocals and Sergio Caleca / keyboards. The majority of the tracks on Ad Maiora! are instrumentals featuring outstanding keyboards, guitars, drums,  and bass, too! The vocals are in English as well as Italian. As I listened, I could certainly hear the influences of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Camel and Genesis. Their biography at ProgArchives says….

    The band describe their music as `originals – in every sense’,… ….Predominantly instrumental, with thick upfront bass, dazzling keyboard displays, confident drumming, thrilling acoustic/electric guitar performances and occasional superior English vocals, the amount of variety on display is instantly noticeable. Ad Maiora are not simply tied down to traditional R.P.I characteristics (despite a run of tracks in the second half of the disc such as `Menate’ and `Corolla’ showcasing that classical grandiosity and wild keyboard bombast), they incorporate a wide range of worldwide vintage prog influences such as CAMEL, TRION, little traces of E.L.P and GENESIS, as well as Italian bands like PHOENIX AGAIN and LOST TALES that play in numerous styles. Anyone who enjoys varied instrumental displays will adore this album, and it gets the band off to a great start. Highly recommended!

Now while I don’t know all the subtle aspects of Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI), the sub-genre that Ad Maiora is included in, I do know that I enjoyed the symphonic overtones of “Corolla” and Sergio Caleca’s great keyboard work throughout Ad Maiora!

Bottom Line: Ad Maiora! is a really, really good album.  At ProgArchives, the album has received  a 3.83 rating, and is labeled as “An excellent addition to any prog rock music collection” and I wholeheartedly agree!! You can read reviews here at ProgArchives.So Check Out – Ad Maiora! from Ad Maiora.



Ad Maiora began life in Milan in 2009 on the initiative of a bunch of experienced musicians with a different background but with the common goal of playing their own original compositions influenced by bands such as Genesis, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes, Pink Floyd, Premiata Forneria Marconi or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, just to name but a few. After some line up changes and some live experiences on the local scene, in 2014 they self-released an interesting debut album, Ad Maiora!, with a line up featuring Enzo Giardina (drums), Flavio Carnovali (electric guitar), Moreno Piva (bass, classical guitar), Paolo Callioni (vocals) and Sergio Caleca (keyboards). The name of the band comes from a Latin expression that means to greater things and in some way describes the band's attitude and their wish to find a new way by combining vintage and modern sounds. The result of their efforts is very good and their first album is absolutely worth listening to.

The opener "Diatriba" (Argument) is a tantalizing instrumental piece filled with dark energy. Every now and again I'm reminded of Goblin and in my opinion this track might be a perfect score for a thriller movie. Then comes another charming instrumental, "Sugo Dance", a lively track with a strong Mediterranean flavour and a joyful pace.

The darker "Dream" is the third instrumental in a row and features some aggressive electric guitar riffs and sparse exotic touches that take you on a musical journey under the stars for one thousand and one Arabian Nights, along the Silk Road. It leads to "Eclissi Orientale" (Oriental Eclipse) where the music and lyrics depict the atmosphere and the colours of the bazaar in the city of Aqaba, a sunrise by the Red Sea and a sunset in the desert. Then you get lost in your dreams when the moon meets the sun and lies like a bride on him... By the way, despite the Italian title the track is sung in English and it's a real pity that the band didn't exploit more their native language.

Goblin's influence looms large also over the following "Nulla intenso" (Intense naught), another thrilling instrumental track that evokes nightmarish atmospheres and restless nights. It leads to the apparent calm of "Strange", a reflective, melancholic ballad where the music and lyrics depict a man haunted by crazy dreams and ghosts from his past that make difficult, even painful to him decide to change his way of life.

Next comes the long, complex instrumental "Menate" (the title could be approximately translated as little, silly problems), a nice mix of different moods and atmospheres that leads to the jazzy "Summertime", inspired by George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and featuring heartfelt vocals and a good electric guitar solo.

"Corolla" is another excellent instrumental track blending rock and classical influences. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla... Well, in my opinion this piece evokes a joyful, colourful Celebration of springtime and makes me think of light birds with red feathers dancing a playful tarantella in the sky.

The conclusive "No More War" brings back Middle-Eastern atmospheres. Here the music and lyrics depict a sunny winter morning on the Cheekha Dar and a hot sunny afternoon by the Lake Hammar with children playing and nice green parrots flying. Then comes a quiet, starry night on the desert and you can see the children sleeping and forget for a moment the threatening shadows of the never ending war that still ravages the enchanted Iraqi landscapes...

On the whole, I think that this is a very interesting work. Anyway, have a try and judge by yourselves: you can listen to the complete album.

Andrea Parentin

Italian band Ad Maiora were formed in January 2009 in Milan, although their current line-up - Enzo Giardina (drums), Flavio Carnovali (guitar), Moreno Piva (bass, classical guitar), Paolo Callioni (vocals) and Sergio Caleca (keyboards) - did not come together until December 2011. I am sure the band will forgive me for mentioning that they are not in the first flushes of youth, particularly as demonstrated on this, their first album, their music, like their good selves, is remarkably mature. They cite classic English and Italian prog bands such as Genesis, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes, Pink Floyd, PFM and Banco as their influence but genuinely don't sound anything like any of those bands deciding instead to forge ahead with their own sound instead of wearing their influences on their sleeves. No doubt the fact that six of the tracks on the album were originally composed in early 2010, with the remaining four tracks dating to mid 2011 or early 2012, has allowed the music to be refined and perfected over time. The main composer is keyboardist Caleca who had a hand in writing all but one of the songs and is solely responsible for the music of seven of them. However, the results are not dominated by keyboards as the music is delivered as a band and not as a means for any of the members to hog the limelight.

The album is dominated by instrumentals, with only four of the pieces having vocals, with the music rooted in the classic prog style, which is understandable given it is the style of music they grew up listening to. As it is also what I grew up listening to, being of a similar (and probably older) vintage to the band the album has struck a chord with this reviewer. All this is of no real consequence because what Ad Maiora deliver is very good with some of the music being of the standard achieved by much more established and seasoned bands. They reach their peak on Menate, a fine slice of prog indeed with the lovely classical guitar interlude being of particular note. In Carnovali the group has a versatile and interesting guitarist whose playing is somewhat understated but when he delivers a solo he does it with panache - his contributions to Dream and Summertime being good examples. Elsewhere he provides solid support, with tasty rhythm work or chunky power cords as required. Caleca makes good use of a plethora of different keyboard sounds covering everything from harpsichords and piano through some fondly remembered analogue synths right up to the modern digital effects.

Vocalist Callioni has a smooth voice and handles the English lyrics well and given that two of the tracks he sings on, Eclissi Orientale and No More War, were well established instrumentals before he joined the band he has managed to fit the lyrics into the pieces very well. The two songs written since he joined the band shows how well he has integrated into the group as neither Strange nor Summertime displays a dramatic shift in the sound of the band, although as the former is the album's sole ballad and the latter draws heavily on Gershwin's Porgy and Bess perhaps it is too early to judge the impact of adding a vocalist to the established Ad Maiora instrumental unit will have, which can be dramatic as anyone who followed Twelfth Night's career can attest to.

Ad Maiora will find favour with classic prog fans and although they may never be hip and may be accused of sounding somewhat dated what they do they do very well without repeating what has gone before. It is quite ironic that if this album had been recorded in the '70s and been subsequently forgotten about, its "rediscovery" may have had some people claiming it as being a lost classic of Italian prog. However, as it is a contemporary elease it will no doubt be viewed in a totally different light. Whatever, I continue to discover aspects to the album that I hadn't previously heard which will assure that it continues to be played in this household. I am positive that it is not just me to whom this would apply. Check out the YouTube video and if it appeals visit the band's website to hear more and get your own copy of the album!
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Conclusion: 6.5 out of 10

Mark Hughes

Very nice first album from yet another impressive Italian band. The music is derivative of other groups, only in that it is a culmination of years of listening, observing and absorbing the progressive rock genre. Some slight ELP/Genesis influences for sure, but only in that the main stream of Italian prog comes from those fountains. And this is very romantically progressive Italian music at its best.

The overall recording is quite good, again especially for a freshman offering. The vocals (if I recall correctly) are sung in English, and although not very much vocals, quite good. In fact, if I had a complaint, I wish there was more singing. But, I fall into the minority, as I really like vocals in progland.

The keyboards are the highlight here, and they are (at least to my ears) all original, analogue keys. There might be a touch of Yamaha DX7, but for the most part, the Hammond, synth stuff seems quite "golden era" keyboards.

Possibly the only slight let down, is the song "Summertime" as it's the jazz standard, but even here we are offered a quite unique, totally proggy rendition of the classic piece. The rest of the music is all original, and all very well executed with real emotion.

The Italian prog scene continues to pour out quite impressive, original works of art, and this first gift from Ad Maiora is a wonderful example of the wonderful, continual expansion on the traditional progressive rock from such a rich landscape of art.

Thomas May

Und wieder einmal eine durchaus lohnenswerte neuentdeckung aus Italien. Der Name: Ad Maiora.
Die Klientel, die sich angesprochen fühlen dürfte: der Retroprog-Fan. Auf knapp 70 Minuten verteilen sich zehn Songs mit Spielzeiten meist im 6-7 Minuten Bereich. Ad Maiora ist ein Quintett in klassischer Besetzung Sänger, Keyboarder,
Gitarrist, Bassist und Schlagzeuger. Sie versuchen gar nicht erst, große Vorbilder möglichst originalgetreu zu kopieren, sondern sie sind dabei, ihren eigenen Stil zu entwickeln. Dies ist im wesentlichen eine Art Symphonic Prog, der auch
mal leichte Jazz-Rock Ausflüge enthalten darf. Tasten und Gitarre stehen sich gleichwertig gegenüber. Einige Titel sind rein instrumental gehalten, in anderen agiert Sänger Paolo Callioni in englischer sprache, wobei er seine Sache ordentlich macht. Dass es sich um eine italienische Band handelt, ist nicht unbedingt herauszuhören. Etwas aus dem Rahmen fällt Titel Nummer 8, denn hier präsentieren sie ihre eigene, gesungene Version des Gershwin Klassikers 'Summertime'. Die ersten titel sind schon recht ordentlich, ich meine aber ab Albummitte noch mal einen kleinen Qualitätsanstieg wahrzunehmen. Gutes Debüt.

Jürgen Meurer

The debut album from this Italian band.

The Italian progressive rock scene has probably never been stronger as it is now. Much stronger and better than in the 1970s. There is a lot of new blood in the scene. This band is one of the new blood bands. Although the average age of the band member seems to be in the 50s. Which also seems to be the trend in Italy. Don't buy a motorcycle. Get a prog rock band together instead. I agree with that sentiment !

Ad Maiora is a bit untraditional album as most of the music here is instrumental. Take a chunk of Trion and ELP and you get this album. You can also add some Genesis to the mix too. The keyboards and guitars is leading the attack followed by bass and drums.

Then we have a couple of vocals songs too. That include a version of the Gershwin evergreen Summertime. I am not sure what their not exactly sparkling version of that classic is doing here. But it fits reasonable into the rest of the album. The other songs is better though.

The music is both laid back and hard at the same time. This is a very special album. A very original album where the band has shown the middle finger to all conventions. When you are fifty years old, you are perfectly entitled to show us the middle finger. I think this is a great attitude !

Unfortunate, I don't think there is much greatness here though. The seventy minutes is ticking along nicely on this good album. The band is a very welcome addition to the scene though and I hope they will continue what they are doing.

3 points

Torodd Fuglesteg

AD MAIORA o los asuntos más nobles del sinfonismo italiano contemporáneo

Hoy es el turno de presentar al grupo italiano AD MAIORA, el cual nos sorprende gratamente con su homónimo disco debut. Fundado en Milán a inicios del año 2009, AD MAIORA está conformado por el baterista Enzo Giardina, el guitarrista Flavio Carnovali, el bajista Moreno Piva (quien también aporta tocadas de guitarra clásica), el vocalista Paolo Callioni y el teclista Sergio Caleca, siendo así que este último es quien se encarga de crear la mayor parte del material de la banda. El grupo comenzó como cuarteto en base a las experiencias previas en otras bandas de rock progresivo de los instrumentistas; la misión del grupo fue la de reforzar el inmortal sueño del rock sinfónico con un nuevo vigor y un colorido musical sistemáticamente ambicioso, absorbiendo influencias de los viejos paradigmas de GENESIS, ELP, YES, PINK FLOYD y PFM, mientras exhibe afinidades con las propuestas de IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE y el FINISTERRE de los dos primeros discos. Recién a fines de 2011 ingresó Callioni a las filas de AD MAIORA una vez que el grupo decidió trabajar también con partes cantadas en varias de sus composiciones. Ha sido un largo camino hasta que el grupo pudo editar por iniciativa independiente esta joya sónica que es “Ad Maiora!”, a inicios del pasado mes de marzo. El nombre del grupo es un extracto de la frase latina “ad maiora nati sumus”, que quiere decir “hemos nacido para asuntos más nobles”: veamos cómo cumple el grupo con el significado de este solemne enunciado a lo largo del repertorio de este disco. ‘Diatriba’ da inicio al álbum con una exhibición de belleza y pomposidad que se acomoda perfectamente a los afanes preciosistas de la tradición prog-sinfónica. La pulcra labor de ingeniería que instaura el cuerpo central e inserta los debidos interludios se asegura firmemente de que no decaiga ni por una milésima de segundo el nivel de fuerza expresiva del desarrollo instrumental. La dupla de ‘Sugo Dance’ y ‘Dream’ se encarga de reforzar el impacto inicial del disco y lo hace con eficacia y carácter: la primera de estas piezas muestra una agilidad alegre que nos remite a grandes leyendas del prog italiano (PFM, ACQUA FRAGILE), especialmente por las cadencias folclóricas que signan algunas de las pautas rítmicas utilizadas; la segunda enfoca sonoridades de rock duro y blues-rock dentro de un encuadre suficientemente estilizado como para traducirse en una virguería jazz-progresiva. El cuarto tema, titulado ‘Eclissi Orientali’, es el primero con letra: ¡por fin nos enteramos de a qué suena el canto de! Bueno, suena un poco a Lanzetti (ACQUA FRAGILE) y a (IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE). Asumiendo primordialmente un talante ceremonioso sobre un medio tiempo AD MAIORA sigue explorando sus inquietudes de limpieza melódica y calidez rockera con la dupla de ‘Nulla Intenso’ y ‘Strange’: el primero desarrolla una emotiva vibración espiritual al más puro estilo sinfónico bajo la pauta de la guitarra (luciéndose al modo de un HOWE con BECK); el segundo tiene estructura de balada, motivado por recursos muy en la onda del CAMEL post-1980. Siendo la pieza más larga del disco con sus casi 11 minutos de duración, ‘Menate’ establece el cénit decisivo del repertorio con el halo mágico que destilan sus motivos envolventes y atmósferas serenas. La mayor parte de estos motivos se ubica en la orilla cándidamente reflexiva del estándar sinfónico, pero sin duda también hace gala el grupo de su garra rockera en varios pasajes estratégicos. El título del octavo tema es muy curioso. ‘Summertime’, exactamente igual esa aria de Gershwin que se convirtió en una de las baladas más famosas de la historia del rock. Bueno, pues en el caso de esta oda estival particular de AD MAIORA tenemos un ejercicio de musicalidad jazz-progresiva alimentada de una sensualidad sutil: algo así como una cruza entre el CAMEL de “Breathless” y el PFM de “Jet Lag”. Los últimos 15 ½ minutos del álbum están ocupados por la secuencia de ‘Corolla’ y ‘No More War’: el primero es un instrumental que recoge, en buena medida, el colorido plácido y ágil de ‘Sugo Dance’, mientras que el segundo establece un vigor rockero contenido de una forma muy semejante a como ocurrió en el cuerpo central de ‘Eclissi Orientali’. Se trata de un muy buen tema en tanto que tiene una armazón melódica coherente, pero tal vez resulta un poco anticlimático que se posicione al final del álbum después de que temazos como ‘Menate’ o ‘Corolla’ desplegaron sendas muestras de electrizante extroversión sonora. Pero bueno, así está hecho el repertorio y es lo que hay. Vitalidad e ingenio melódico son ingredientes faltantes para una buena propuesta prog-sinfónica, y sin duda estos tipos de AD MAIORA cumplen cabalmente con los requisitos para plasmar ambos en una música interesante y constructiva para la escena progresiva de nuestros días. “Ad Maiora!” es un disco ampliamente recomendado.
César Inca Mendoza Loyola


Arrivano finalmente al debut i milanesi Ad Maiora, band in carreggiata dal 2009 ma che non aveva ancora avuto modo di fissare su supporto le tante idee che si sono andate a formare nel corso della loro carriera, sviluppatasi soprattutto in sede live. Questo primo e buon lavoro, dagli ampi spazi strumentali, risalta il lato sinfonico, british e vintage del quintetto formato da Enzo Giardina alla batteria, Flavio Carnovali alla chitarra, Moreno Piva al basso e alla chitarra classica, Paolo Calloni alla voce e Sergio Caleca alle tastiere (nonché principale compositore del gruppo). Ad Maiora è un disco derivativo ma con una propria personalità, ricco di soluzioni articolate e tempi dispari che faranno la felicità dei tanti appassionati ascoltatori del progressive settantiano. L’iniziale e strumentale Diatriba scorre rapida sulle note sinfoniche delle tastiere di Caleca, bravissimo nel donare il giusto mood emotivo al pezzo. La lunga Sugo Dance mostra il lato più complesso dell’ensemble, così come Dream ha vagiti hard prog che mettono in luce anche un altro lato degli Ad Maiora, con Carnovali ottimo interprete e grande protagonista. Arriva così il primo brano cantato, Eclissi Orientale, che a dispetto del titolo ha un testo in inglese e si pone a cavallo tra psichedelia e Canterbury sound. Buona la prestazione di Callioni, convincente in tutti e quattro i pezzi in cui appare la sua voce, ossia Strange, una delicata ballata, Summertime, un jazz rock progressivo ispirato dalla suite di George Gershwin Porgy & Bess e No More War, forse l’unica traccia davvero in odore di new prog. Ottime anche le restanti composizioni, tra cui spicca soprattutto Menate, quasi 11 minuti in cui il gruppo si mostra compatto e con tanta verve, con splendidi ricami solistici e spunti molto interessanti. È evidente che tutto è molto gradevole, dalla prima all’ultima nota non ci sono cali di tensione e gli omaggi al progressive che fu non infastidiscono, probabilmente perché suonato con grazia, comunicatività e passione. Gli Ad Maiora appaiono come dei classici ma hanno le capacità per durare nel tempo e arricchire la discografia di chi ha nel cuore il rock progressivo di Premiata Forneria Marconi, King Crimson e Yes.

Luigi Cattaneo


Formed back in 2009, Ad Maiora, a five piece band from Milan, have delivered a knockout debut self-titled album - just with an added `!' on the end! A bunch of seasoned gentlemen, these musicians play with a precision and skill that shows the years they've all spent honing their craft, and they've delivered one of the most varied and unpredictable progressive albums to emerge from Italy in quite some time. In some ways, they can be compared to another Italian band, Phoenix Again, who choose to play in a number of various progressive styles to keep the listener guessing! Ad Maiora work in everything from symphonic prog, jazz, heavy rock, blues, the romantic prog styling of Camel, and even some of the classical sophistication of the proper RPI/Italian prog bands. All are revealed through a mix of tasteful instrumentals, with a few superior English vocal pieces as well.

`Diatriba' is a furious and confident opener, all spiraling vintage keyboards, Moreno Piva's thick upfront plucking bass and Flavio Carnovali's driving electric guitar soloing worked into an E.L.P- styled grand urgency, especially during the particularly frantic final minute. Enzo Giardina's stomping drums push the skipping Genesis-like Moog runs of the jaunty `Sugo Dance' along nicely, quite a joyous repeated instrumental melody before dueling warping synths and fiery lead guitars race through to an unexpected heavy finish. The aggressive `Dream' is overloaded with burning Bolero rhythms powered by hypnotic relentless bass. Slow-burner `Ecclissi Orientale' is the first vocal piece on the album, singer Paolo Callioni's stirring voice weaves around droning eastern mysticism and scorching hot extended electric guitar runs. After an introduction of sedate electric piano and laid-back guitars complimenting each-other perfectly, instrumental `Nulla Intenso' kicks up in tempo with a grandly symphonic build thanks to emotional pulsing synths and electric guitar solos filled with purpose. `Strange' is a sadly romantic piano driven ballad that wouldn't sound out of place on any of the modern Steve Hackett solo discs, or perhaps the late 80's onwards Camel albums, with Paolo's voice almost echoing Andy Latimar in a few spots as well. It climaxes in a heart-wrenching electric guitar solo over the warmest of humming Hammond organ courtesy of Sergio Caleca.

Then we finally reach some proper vintage Italian prog with the almost 11-minute instrumental `Menate'. Here the band deliver a manic extended piece in the manner of a band like Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, even little traces that remind of P.F.M and very briefly Triade. Searing Mellotron, classical piano drama, twisting guitars and deranged synths tear through a range of tempo changes and surprising moods, everything perfectly intertwining. Next is a surprise reworking of George Gershwin's `Summertime' that sees the band offering some tasty rapid-fire guitar licks, aggressive bass and jazzy piano. `Corolla' offers even more classical RPI beauty, the flute dancing majestically throughout a romantic piece that wouldn't have sounded out of place on the classic Locanda Della Fate debut. There's unease bubbling under on album closer, the vocal track `No More War', which mixes intimidating bluesy guitar wailing and biting vocals with moody symphonic synths, plus a soaring mellotron build to end on.

(PS - Dont forget to check out the hidden 1 minute Moog-tastic `bonus' track `Postscript' at the very end of the CD!)

Before being added to the site, there was already a buzz around the band from different Prog Archives members, keen to be able to post positive reviews and give these talented musicians and their wonderful debut album some high praise. Upon learning of the addition of the band to the site, Paolo even said "I can't believe we're on the Prog Archives, our hobby has actually been worth it!" This is the sort of excitement and passion for the progressive rock genre that should be praised, and it's our pleasure to have this great band on the site now. I'm pretty sure the complimentary reviews will keep coming, and `Ad Maiora!' gets the band off to a great start, already setting the bar very high for their future works. Ad Maiora - a mature, talented band who showcase supreme and refined progressive musical taste.

Bravo, gentlemen, four stars!


Italian prog scene never stoping to amaze me for long long time, each year bursting new and new bands each one better then other. One of the most intresting new acts from this field is Ad Maiora , formed in Milan in 2009 with the debut released this year 2014 self titled.

Well I must confess I was hooked from first spin, this is the type of prog I can listen every day, complicated arrangements, flowing keyboards, intresting guitar chops and an awesome warm pleasent vocal parts makes from Ad Maiora e definetly worth checking out band. Primerly the album is instrumetal but has aswell 3 pieces as far as I remeber with vocals, the most great one is for sure Eclissi Orientale where Paolo Callioni simply shines, strong as can get instrumental parts aswell. The instrumental tunes display a very solid musicianship, all musicians are playing with a clear pleasure and dynamism, lots of breaks and up tempo parts, but aswell melted very well with more calmer ones. Pieces like opening Diatriba or Menante showing big potential in this band, the music is generous with a lot to offer, no boring moments here, the listner is conected full time to the music. All in all a fairly great debut that worth checking out, fans of Trion, even Goblin or ELP, Camel, etc must give a try. For me for sure one of the better albums of this year and a good candidate for top 5 at the end of 2014. 4 stars easy and recommended.

Bogdan Olariu

Ad Maiora proves that the ever progressing Italian scene keeps on giving, perhaps even going through a boom stage as recent releases have undoubtedly proven, acts like Il Giardino Onirico, Aurora Lunare, Laviantica, Progenesi, Unreal City, Nodo Gordiano, Fabio Zuffanti, Mad Fellaz and many others. The Italian scene always seems to produce copious amounts in spurts that are then followed by quiet spells where nothing much happens until the next eruption! Hey between Etna and Vesuvius, the ragazzi know their volcanoes! These older Milanese gentlemen like to lather up a thick mousse of delectable sounds , showcasing genre bending styles , going from Neo, to Symphonic and then RPI with little hesitation , making the PA pigeonholing experience another game of pinging the pong from one group of collabs to another and then back! The players are all exceptional craftsmen, guitarist Flavio Carnovali carves a mean trail, as well as providing wicked solos, while keyboardist Sergio Caleca unleashes an arsenal of classic keyboards including some delightful clavinet and electric piano, amid the slippery synth work and the occasional brilliant piano and organ. The tight rhythm section bruises nicely, keeping the beat propulsive and purposeful, as both Moreno Piva and drummer Enzo Giardina show off some stellar chops.

"Diatriba" is a 5 minute+ rocking appetizer, a curtain rising instrumental antipasto full of perky sounds and rousing melodies, yet really has that 'opening statement 'feel to it, a perfect overture. Booming bass, roaming organ messaging and swirling synths permit the raging guitar to stamp its brooding grace over the main theme.

But "Sugo Dance" really shines brightly, a romping slab of shimmering masculine prog, no hint of vocals anywhere, only blasting notes, hard and well, thank you! Little Beethoven influence is elevated with some solid propulsion, as well a playful predilection for mood and atmosphere. Caleca spreads a wide variety of layers, hint of glittering harpsichord one moment, a fluttering of e-piano and explosive synth warbling the next. The fret board also provides serious input, shrieking nicely along, toying with his synth partner when needed. A wholly satisfying and highlight track.

The moody "Dream" envisions a slightly more experimental elegance, lots of technical paralleling notes between the organ, the axe and the bass, as the drums slams hard, inviting a clean guitar solo from the guitar man. Five minutes of adventure and technical prowess that will inspire the musicians out there, looking for a stormy fix.

Things veer into a more symphonic realm, with little dabs of electronica (the bubbling synth syndrome) a voracious bass and the introduction of vocalist Paolo Callioni, who has an accent that is entirely palatable. Thus, "Eclissi Orientale" has a Saharan feel, with axe man Carnevali giving a splendid account for himself on the extended solo spot, a mirage of sinuous themes reflect from the gleaming sunny arrangement.

The intense "Nulla Intenso" has some jazz-rock leanings, seasoned with some devilish piano motifs and some slight dissonance in the guitar playing, very cool and highly addictive stylings that do not hesitate to explore beyond the mundane and strive to create new adventures in progland. A double tracked guitar solo hints at a Wishbone Ash-styled dual attack that elicits immediate mental applause.

Mellower fields of interest appear on the bluesier "Strange", which has a delectable classic groove, as if a combination of Traffic, Wishbone Ash and Trion decided to invite Callioni to sing as an invited guest. Upon repeated spins, this song really took on a life of its own, a successful modern blues tune that has charm and a superb guitar solo that searches out and screams for attention. Nothing overtly technical, just very, very well done.

The nearly 11 minute RPI epic "Menate" again seeks to torture the formulaic mind into submission by constructing a mesmerizing epic that is both dark and technically aggressive a la Goblin, the snarly bass front, center, obsessive and deranged as the other instruments jump on board and hammer away at the opportunity, a glittering organ rampage escorts weird synth screeches, while the wide guitar crashes into darkness and the most somber reflections. This is the creative zenith of this debut album, a colossal slice of well-performed prog, with stratospheric imagery and volatile, risk-taking interplay. The final 3 minutes in particular have this 'wow' stamp all over it, powerful, intrepid and chivalrous.

A reworking of the classic George Gershwin "Summertime" throws the listener for a loop, such a well-known lullaby , redone with Italian bravado and a race car mentality, as Carnovali scours that fretboard with tremendous appeal , Piva bopping like some mad jazz bassist and Callioni adding the voice to the famed lyrics.

The 8 minute "Corolla" seeks out more traditional RPI design, a possessed bass searing the road ahead, synths bubbling like some volcanic lava, playful soloing from the entire crew, dabs of violin and flute (all from the keys) simply adds to the fascination.

The exhilarating finale is no shabby filler, "No More War" proposes a rebelling rhythm, scathing lyrics about the futility of man-made conflict, a musical platform for bassist Piva to really sparkle here, hints of Tony Reeves in keeping it darn simple and texturally fluid, thus giving the free reins for Caleca and Carnovali to let their hair down (err.. they are balding 50 year olds, Thomas!). This is not technical math prog, just damn effective prog of the highest caliber, devastating and notable. I can't help of thinking of Manfred Mann's "Father of Day, Father of Night", sharing a common intense bass theme that pummels the mind. Spectacular !

This is a dazzling debut album, full of master craftsmanship, thematic creativity, totally memorable melodies and backing rhythms that once again prove vividly that Italian prog is fine and healthy, unlike their plodding economy, piss-poor politics and neurotic soccer team. The art work is so-so, could have been a tad more appropriately design conscious but hey, the music reigns supreme!

Thomas Szirmay


Ad Maiora
is a new progressive rock band hailing from Milan (Italy). They started in January 2009 and right from the start they tried to write and perform their own compositions, instead of copying that of their heroes. Whether they managed to write strong material, you can hear for yourself on their debut album Ad Maiora, which they released in 2014.

On their eponymous debut album you'll find almost seventy minutes of music. You might expect this could be an album far too long to listen to. However, this is certainly not the case., The ten strong compositions are all of a very high level and have enough variety to entertain you all the way. Most of the songs are instrumental pieces which sound rather laidback most of the time. The leading roles on these tracks are given to guitarist Flavio Carnovali and keyboard player Sergio Caleca. They have a good ear for playing tasteful and strong solos on their instruments. Thanks to those solos, the music of Ad Maiora most of the time moves in the direction of bands such as Camel, Focus and Pink Floyd. The rhythm section of the band consists of Enzo Giardina on drums and Moreno Piva on bass. They do their job rather good and most of all Moreno gets a chance to display his talents from time to time, not only by playing nice bass parts, but also performing on the classical guitar. A good example of this is the track Menate on which he duels with the other solo artists in the band. As I already told you, the band doesn't play instrumental songs exclusively. In Paolo Callioni they found a wonderful vocalist, who sounds a lot like Riverside's Mariusz Duda. This you can hear most of all on the tracks Eclissi Orientale, Strange and No More War. Because of those distinctive vocals, it's obvious those songs sound a lot like a Riverside composition. However, when you hear the band's cover of Summertime - an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy And Bess - the comparison with this Polish band is almost completely gone. In this version, the band mixed blues with progressive rock very strongly.

The band not only sounds like Camel, Riverside, Focus and Pink Floyd from time to time, but also manages to include several influences taken from traditional Italian music into theirs. For example, listen to their music in Eclissi Orientale, Menate and Corolla and you'll know what I'm referring to. Whilst listening to the last title, I couldn't help but to compare them with the French band Minimum Vital. The same kind of folk influences can be heard that they often used. At the end of the album the band has a nice surprise in store: a hidden track can be heard. It's a short instrumental, up tempo piece with some spoken vocals at the end, presumably recorded secretly during a rehearsal.

Ad Maiora succeeded very well in writing strong pieces of music on their first musical effort. Although most of them are instrumental, I never got the feeling of boredom while listening to them. Also, the vocal songs sounded very good so it maybe good advice to compose more vocal songs. All in all, I can only say'bravo!' to the musicians involved in creating such a wonderful, professional sounding debut.

Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)

La dicitura “Progressive rock” campeggia in bella mostra nel retro di copertina del cd di esordio degli Ad Maiora, che evidentemente ci tengono a far capire immediatamente la loro “identità”. Non sorprende, quindi, l’ascolto di un album contenente dieci tracce per un totale di sessantotto minuti e mezzo di musica che ricalca i più classici stilemi del prog sinfonico. Il quintetto composto da Enzo Giardina (batteria), Flavio Carnovali (chitarra elettrica), Moreno Piva (basso, chitarra classica), Paolo Calloni (voce) e Sergio Caleca (tastiere) debutta con un lavoro convincente, nel quale non si cerca certo l’originalità, ma che ha tutte le carte in regola per colpire chi ancora non si stanca nell’ascoltare lunghe cavalcate in cui il rock e la musica classica si avvicinano e dove ci sono variazioni di tempo in continuazione.
Con l’incipit “Diatriba”, interamente strumentale, il gruppo si fa conoscere attraverso un rock sinfonico tastieristico che rimanda ai fasti dei Goblin, con un tema iniziale reiterato e caricando di tensione l’atmosfera sonora. Con “Sugo dance”, invece, gli Ad Maiora sembrano voler unire il new-prog e gli insegnamenti dei Gentle Giant, mentre una graffiante chitarra conferisce toni hard-rock a “Dream”. “Eclissi orientale” è il primo brano cantato (in inglese) ed offre stravaganti melodie unite a suggestioni romantiche legate a nomi inglesi come Camel, Yes e Pink Floyd. Si prosegue con altre composizioni interamente strumentali e ricche di evoluzioni (“Nulla intenso, “Menate” e “Corolla”), tra nuovi riferimenti che coinvolgono sia i classici d’Oltremanica, sia i nostri Banco, Orme e PFM. Tra le tracce cantate spicca, in particolare, un curioso e riuscito omaggio a Gershwin, con “Summertime”, ispirato alla suite “Porgy & Bess”, che parte con la celebre melodia del brano del compositore statunitense, per poi indirizzarsi e spaziare tra jazz-rock e vena classicheggiante, quasi à la ELP. Buona anche la conclusiva “No more war”, ancora vicina al new-prog, mentre l’unico brano che lascia qualche perplessità è “Strange”, con i timbri di tastiere un po’ troppo freddi ed un andamento generale alquanto zuccheroso.
Non convincono del tutto la registrazione con i suoni che a volte appaiono un po’ lontani e non bilanciati al meglio, nonché la scelta di timbri che non sempre trasmettono il giusto calore; ma si tratta giusto di piccoli appunti e di suggerimenti che potrebbero permettere un’ulteriore crescita futura, visto che l’ascolto dei vari brani resta comunque godibilissimo.
Nati nel 2009, dopo cinque anni gli Ad Maiora arrivano al traguardo del primo disco attraverso un processo di crescita e di amalgama durato quattro anni e che li ha portati a realizzare questo disco in cui si avverte un progetto amatoriale (anche nella grafica spartana), ma che riesce ad essere omogeneo e deliziosamente passatista, rievocando i fasti dei tempi d’oro sia britannici che italiani. Nella loro proposta mi ricordano un po’ quanto fatto dai Divae negli anni ’90 (ricordate la loro splendida “Il ritorno del Gigante Gentile”?), con un rock sinfonico ben strutturato, molto classico, diretto al punto giusto, che, pur non raggiungendo i livelli della citata band romana, mostra dei musicisti in grado di destreggiarsi benissimo e di poter dire la loro, con buona qualità, nel filone più inflazionato del progressive.

Peppe di Spirito

Por si a alguien le quedaban dudas, los italianos Ad Maiora, subtitulan su álbum de debut como ‘Rock Progresivo’. Si después de su escucha aún te quedan dudas, es posible que no sepas nada del género, y mucho menos de aquel monumental movimiento progresivo, sin desperdicio, que se dio en la Italia de los setenta.Los de Milán se despachan a gusto con uno de los discos que cualquier enamorado del género, me da igual si son concretos acérrimos seguidores del italiano que aquellos que lo son del mundial, estaba esperando desde hace tiempos. Y es que, sin ningún tipo de duda, asistimos a un monumento musical de una categoría impresionante. Y no hablo de la música ni de la instrumentación, sino de un Grupo, así con mayúsculas, cuya mayor virtud es sonar como sonaban las bandas de los setenta: convincentes, frescas, inteligentes y seguras de lo que hacían. Con un espíritu retro, y una serie de inteligentes composiciones, el grupo de Sergio Caleca, un teclista que ha tocado todos los géneros posibles y del que ya dimos cuenta en su álbum con su proyecto Habeland2, Qwerty, en estas mismas páginas, nos ofrece un clásico del futuro que rescata todo el artificio del progresivo clásico, con un profundo sabor mediterráeo, al modo que en su día hicieron unos Nuova Era y su Il Passo del Soldato.Composiciones extensas, llenas de ritmos quebrados, inteligentes pasajes instrumentales, dominantes en todo el disco, tanto a los teclados, inconmensurables, como a la guitarra.A diferencia del último trabajo en el que Caleca nos mostraba un esfuerzo de experimentación fuertemente basado en la música clásica, estos Ad Maiora nos regalan un disco de rock progresivo clásico, en la mejor de las tradiciones italianas, lleno de sabor, emoción, técnica e imaginación. Sonidos analógicos que fluyen con fuerza en el transcurso de una música de grandísima calidad, que unas veces nos recuerdan al rock más sinfónico italiano (Banco, PFM), otras al británico (Yes, Genesis, ELP), con ciertas influencias, en alguno de los temas, al folclore del país de la bota, y que incluso se explayan con una versión del clásico de George Gerswin, “Summertime”, en clave Caleca. Incluso podemos escuchar sonidos arábigo-andaluces en la composición "Corolla".
Una maravilla de trabajo, aún a pesar de ser el primero, lo que augura un futuro más que prometedor a esta banda que sabe, como nadie, recrear imágenes con su música, su virtuosismo y su grandísimo espíritu compositivo. Estamos ante uno de los grupos que nunca serán olvidados. Un grupo que, como pocos, sabe lo que se hace: rock progresivo intenso, melódico, bombástico, complejo y exquisitamente emocional. Con Ad Maiora el legado progresivo está en buenas manos y su labor será recordada, no sólo por este trabajo, sino seguramente por los que han de venir, que serán, me atrevo a vaticinar a raíz de esta grabación, uno de los puntales sobre los que el género progresivo se apuntalará en las próximas décadas.
Palabras mayores. Muy, muy recomendado.