Sunday, 8 April 2018

REPEATING THINGS HELPS

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

You can listen to the complete album HERE

Ad Maiora: Repetita Iuvant (2016). Other opinions:
Michael "Aussie-Byrd-Brother": 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! (read the complete review HERE)
Tomas Szirmay: 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…  (read the complete review HERE)

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