[Review] Ubi Maior – Bestie, Uomini E Dèi

Ubi Maior is an Italian Progressive Rock band born in Milan in 1999, initially playing covers of historic Italian bands, then they began to write original tracks. After some demo tapes and participation in some tribute albums with covers of bands like King Crimson and Moody Blues, they dedicated themselves to recording original songs, releasing the first album. Since 2005 they have released 4 Full-Lengths, the last of which “Bestie, Uomini E Dèi,” released on May 8, 2020 for AMS Records, containing 6 long-running tracks available on CD and Digital. The sound proposed by the band is Rock Progressivo Italiano, inspired by the groups of the ’70s such as Biglietto Per L’inferno, Balletto Di Bronzo, Le Orme and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso above all. The mix between Symphonic Prog and Hard Rock is successful, showing good ideas and a good compositional and executive technique, qualities well highlighted even during high-level live performances. The “Nero Notte” opener features a theme driven by guitar melodies with layers of keyboards that intertwine perfectly. The rhythmic session is solid, with good tempo changes, with accelerations that make it sometimes tight and a deep and load-bearing bass. The vocal and the story it narrates are well interpreted, melodic and harmonious, while in the finale there is room for a good keyboard insert before closing. “Misteri Di Tessaglia” which begins with a sweet keyboard arpeggio and a soft and expressive vocal, to which are added violin and guitar inserts. The initially more linear rhythmic session is constantly evolving and in the central instrumental section increases the intensity and with it the power of the piece. The atmospheres are transformed from symphonic to darker, with the synth that draws an excellent solo that then leaves room for the violin, bringing the sound to high levels. The vocal returns with the last stanzas, and the piece closes with both a musical and vocal crescendo, with pompous melodies. “Wendigo” is characterized by a percussive intro of drum and intertwining of keyboards and electric guitar that with the entry of the vocal are transformed into an intricate structure, full of tempo changes with a very expressive vocal reminiscent of ‘Lupo’ Galifi of Museo Rosenbach. In continuous evolution and with powerful openings with Heavy Prog veins, which in terms of structure and development best summarizes the sound ideas of the band, making it also one of the best songs on the album. A massive intertwining of keyboards, violin and a massive guitar kicks off “Nessie,” where even the rhythm session adds power to the sound. The central part is very complex, with interweaving between the instruments which in turn are transformed into soloists, enhancing the individual technique of the musicians involved. A song that also gives the excellent qualities expressed on stage, it will be interesting to listen to live, a well arranged and performed instrumental, without virtuosity for their own sake, but a valuable sound combination. In “Fabula Sirenis” the singing returns, with female and male voices intertwined, while the atmospheres are softer but always very elaborate. In the first section the keyboards are the protagonists, then leaving room for a pleasant guitar insert in the central part, between time changes of thickness, synonymous with the many ideas that the band has, always managing to create original tracks. Concludes the album “Bestie, Uomini E Dèi” title-track and longer song, where the sound interlacing is of fine workmanship, full of tempo changes and symphonic openings that alternate with accelerated and heavier moments. The keyboards and the guitar dialogue perfectly, transporting us for ten minutes back in time to the golden years of Italian Progressive Rock. The vocal at times melodic in others stronger, offers another good test, while the rhythmic session is solid as always, a song that in terms of structure and development concludes this good album perfectly. Ubi Maior have proven themselves over the years as a technically very good band, offering a Progressive Rock inspired by the Italian bands of the 70s, with the addition of that personal touch. The pieces, often of long duration, enhance the personal technique of the artists involved, creating a good sound malgamation, full of positive ideas. The references to the Italian Prog of the 70s are evident, without however falling into the copy, but simply taking inspiration and mixing in addition modern sounds and more Heavy Prog veins. An album recommended to all lovers of Progressive sounds, skilfully managing to mix the sounds of the golden age of the genre with the more modern ones with a personal style that is increasingly consolidated with each release. Also given their skill in live performances, it will be interesting to be able to listen to this good album even in concert.

Tracklist

1. Nero Notte (6:12)
2. Misteri Di Tessaglia (7:33)
3. Wendigo (7:54)
4. Nessie (8:50)
5. Fabula Sirenis (5:22)
6. Bestie, Uomini E Dèi (9:42)

Lineup

Mario Moi / Vocals, Violin, Trumpet
Gabriele Manzini / Keyboards, Flute
Marcella Arganese / Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Gianmaria Giardino / Bass
Alessandro di Caprio / Drums

Ubi Maior |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

AMS Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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