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Roz Vitalis - Psalm 6 CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis



3.41 | 24 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars As with almost all releases by the St Petersburg, Russian act ROZ VITALIS, their newest release (in the form of an EP that is both an appetizer as well as a teaser for their upcoming album), this too is a concept album and deals with the human condition and how spiritual growth emerges from periods of extreme stress and upheaval. I say a sneak peak because both the title track and "Passing Over" will be re-released with new arrangements and additional layers of sound, so this EP can't be viewed in the light of an official full length release but basically serves as what EPs traditionally have been in the past.

The first and most apparent aspect of this release unlike any other release of their discography is that this immediately begins the title track with a bombastic guitar staccato assault that gradually weaves in additional instrumentation such as trumpets and additional guitars. My other first impression is that it's a tad more accessible, even commercial sounding compared to their previous angular rhythmic escapades down prog alley. This one sounds like it's well on its way to jumping into full prog metal but then after a couple of minutes it takes a 180 and transmogrifies into a super mellow almost folky approach that seems utterly divorced from the initial turbulence thus evolving into a folky space rock sort of melody that is highly accessible which is quite the change from previous offerings that always excelled in super progified doses of Rock In Opposition meets avant-prog.

"Trattamento 1" follows suit and becomes a very melodic space rock type of tune that continues the accessibility factor. It's almost as if the band has created an advertising campaign that is intended to entice new followers into the club. The magic in this one isn't in it's proggier-than-thou approach but rather in the tones and timbres that alternate along with some nice keyboard workouts within the context of the melody. As "The Prophet" slowly chimes in with its mellow keyboard parts, it's obvious that ROZ VITALIS is going for a much more subdued and easily listening (by prog standards) approach. After a career of frenetic prog workouts, PSALM 6 delivers a relaxed parade of melodies that are easily digested yet quite complex in how the instrumentation weaves in and out of timbres and musical textures tin their creation. It sounds a little too tame upon first listen but becomes more interesting as the listener focuses on the intricacies.

"Denial Of Access" delivers more of an expected melodic vs. complex approach that reminds me of past endeavors with different key parts sliding up, over and across each other like a pit of writhing snakes never knowing which slender serpentine torso is which. An amazing leapfrogging of key parts where one passes the torch to the next without fading out of the picture. "Passing Over" only continues all of these aspects but with some unexpected time sig changes but generally keeps it mild and mellow and never ruffles any feathers. This one might be a little long for what it offers but at least it's a pleasant ride. "Trattmento 2" ends the album with a predominantly keyboard only type of trade off of sounds.

This is definitely the most accessible release by ROZ VITALIS and if anyone needs to be coaxed into the club then this one will surely create an easy passageway into their more complex releases but personally i prefer the more sophisticated and daring releases. Despite that fact, i have to admit that these are extremely pleasant and melodious concoctions that take the same approach as Pink Floyd or Porcupine Tree in that there is a very definite approachability to the music but the complexity comes in through the subtleties of the production and arrangements and on those grounds this delivers quite well. I do indeed hope that PSALM 6 becomes the gateway drug for some into the deeper ROZ VITALIS universe because this is a band of extraordinary talent and originality that never simply repeats the same exact ideas on any particular release. This may be less prog oriented and more crossover but still quite the spectacular little EP of music but it is not quite the best the band has to offer. It's a nice little interlude between albums and all but i'm finding it a bit too tame and subdued for my tastes. Prog light is fine and dandy but i'd rather listen to pop if it's not prog with a little gusto :)

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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