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Roz Vitalis - Lavoro D'Amore CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis



3.82 | 90 ratings

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3 stars This album is the first I have heard from this mostly instrumental band. They come from Russia and play an interesting style of music that seems to fall somewhere between stoner rock, fusion and sometimes avant-garde. Upon reading the description of the music on this album, I was interested in hearing what this music was all about seeing that it seemed to defy categorization.

What I hear is some very well composed music. The songs all seem to be written by people who know how to write great compositions and the musicians seem to be able to perform well enough. The place that seems to be sadly lacking here is in the production. There are places that sound really impressive from time to time, but the production for the most part sounds a bit amateurish and makes the flow of the music quite rough and uneven. This ruins the overall sound of music that would otherwise be quite amazing. I can hear a lot of inspiring sounds and there are times when the music starts to draw you in. But then you hear some unevenness in the sound or some rough transitions that take away from what would otherwise be amazing music.

I have to say there are times when I am reminded of some early Mike Oldfield when he was experimenting with actual instruments and not electronics, and that is a good thing. But the sound of the production almost sounds like it came from that era too at times. Specifically, I'm talking about the tracks "Unanticipated" and "Ascension Dream" with the combination of electric guitar, brass and keyboards, this reminds me of Oldfield's "Hergest Ridge". Then, in the track "There Are Workers of Iniquity Fallen" (which proves to me that the music was well written, just badly produced) where there are very strong leanings towards avant-garde dissonance and minimalism which builds to a very nice climax that brings the song to a close. "What Are You Thinking About" actually reminds me of early Porcupine Tree, and I mean really early, I'm talking about their self- produced material from "Tanquin's Seaweed Farm" or "The Nostalgia Factory", but then the track builds away from this with a nice plucked guitar and excellent bass line. After a while though, you get some cheesy sounding keyboards that make the music sound dated. Another instrument would have produced better results here. This track is a good example of the inconsistency of the production because at first it sounds very amateur but later sounds professional as it continues to the final theme. But there is still the overall hints of roughness, and not in a good way. There are occasions throughout the album also where a different instrument would have produced a more updated sound, but this is really not the main problem. The big issue has to do with the choppy production which really takes away from what is very well written music. This is really a shame because I think this would have been 5 star material if the production wasn't so bad, if mixing had been done better and if some of the instrumental sounds were updated.

As it is, I can only rate this as 3 stars and the reason why it is that high is because of the high quality of the composition. I'm very sorry to say that the production and the mixing really make this album suffer because I can hear genius in the structure of the music, if only it was presented in a better way.

TCat | 3/5 |


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