MAGNI ANIMI VIRI – Heroes Temporis

MAGNI ANIMI VIRI - Heroes Temporis
  • 8/10
    MAGNI ANIMI VIRI - Heroes Temporis - 8/10


Release date: December 13, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Most people would agree that music is its own form of artistic expression. That being the case, then the latest CD release by the project dubbed “Magni Animi Viri” has loads of expression along with quite an impressive story to tell. Heroes Temporis is the name of the release and is perhaps the most unique musical project ever unveiled here at Metal Express Radio! Be forewarned, it’s best to read this entire review before making any impetuous judgments. Complying with this instruction might result in the opening of your eyes, and mind, to a new musical experience that is well worth the journey.

Magni Animi Viri is a project conceived by two “Maestros” … literally! The men responsible are Giancarlo Trotta, a former Classical musician, and Luca Contegiacomo, a Progressive Rock musician. Both of these artists have come together to create a true, pure “Rock Opera” that includes a 100-piece orchestra and choir, some well-renowned Rock musicians, Classical and Pop vocals and Rock rhythms. The music could also be referred to as “Symphonic Rock,” but that would perhaps cajole references to bands like Nightwish, etc. who aren’t as “symphonic” as Heroes Temporis. The best way to put Heroes Temporis into musical perspective would be to describe it as a cross between a Hard Rock version of early Cirque du Soleil, think Saltimbanco, and the Classical/Rock (and less Metal) virtues of Trans-Siberian Orchestra!

The story is told through the sequence of its tracks to describe the journey of a man that encounters male and female characters, which cause him to reflect on the events of his life. A song represents every “stop,” eighteen in all, along his journey with each “stop” symbolizing a step towards a decision to change his life. In reality, he is asleep, and at the end of his journey he awakens and realizes that he has been a “victim” of his own dream.

At times, the music is heavy string-based Classical and even includes a male vocalist (Luca Napoletano) who does an outstanding job as he sings tenor, earning himself the title of being the “Luciano Pavarotti of Rock.” Napoletano’s ability is demonstrated at the end of the track entitled “Desertanima” where he “holds” (i.e., “tenor” which derives from the Latin word tenere, which means “to hold”) his last note for nearly eleven full seconds! Not to be slighted, female vocalist Ivana Giugliano also puts in a performance worthy of a standing ovation. Ivana is more Operatic, masterful, and commanding in style compared to an Amy Lee (Evanescence), per se. All lyrics are in Italian and Latin, but that shouldn’t pose a deterrent, particularly due to the international “flair” and Operatic appeal of the music, which draws in the listener.

One of the many reasons to buy the release is due to the inclusion of Rock’s “dynamic duo” of the rhythm section in Macaluso and Coven, who both put in memorable performances, especially Macaluso who seems to hit the skins with fervor. Another noteworthy item is the occasional “Metal-edged” guitar by a young Italian guitar hero in Marco Sfogli. Sfogli has worked with Dream Theater’s James La Brie and Macaluso in the past. There are frequent moments throughout when the Rock portion of the band lays down some energetic, almost Progressive-like music assisted with the sharp, edgy sound of Sfogli’s guitar. As good as the musicianship is, in the end it’s the Operatic vocal performances that steal the show.

Bottom line, this release earns high marks for what it is, for what was undertaken, and for what was accomplished. If you can keep an open mind and think you might enjoy Classical-based music with a Rock flair, then certainly give this one a try. At a minimum, visit the Magni Animi Viri site for a preview (where it can also be purchased via digital download). This release would certainly serve as worthy dinner music at a Metal fan’s formal dinner party. To Maestro’s Trotta and Contegiacomo … you deserve a standing ovation! Bravo!


Luca Contegiacomo – Piano, Keyboards, Moog, FX, Programming
Giancarlo Trotta – Piano, Keyboards, Moog, FX, Programming
Francesco Napoletano – Vocals
Ivana Giugliano – Vocals
Marco Sfogli – Guitars
John Macaluso – Drums
Randy Coven – Bass
Roberto D’Aquino – Bass, Stick
Simone Gianlorenzi – Acoustic Guitar
Matteo Salsano – Narrator
Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra Sif. 309 directed by M. Giancomo Simonelli


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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