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Vita Nova - Vita Nova CD (album) cover


Vita Nova


Eclectic Prog

3.89 | 31 ratings

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4 stars This is a wonderful eclectic album by musicians with a funded education and stylistically representing a wide spectrum. VITA NOVA was a short-lived band - better to say project - only producing this album and never giving live performances. They made their living as professional musicians but also wanted to develope something new and far away of what was expected when jobbing for their regular bands.

So they made use of their short free time to produce this recordings - often in the night or morning hours when they normally had to sleep. The result is quite exciting considering the circumstances. The eponymous album is very experimental and blending jazz rock/fusion, symphonic, psychedelic and classical elements showing high professional abilities. Sylvester Levay's varied keyboard work with a classical and symphonic background is dominating. Originally only produced as a limited edition of 500 copies it happened to be sold out quickly, could be re-released based on a vinyl as the master because the original tapes got lost and was finally reissued on compact disc in 1995 by a forerunner of the Garden Of Delights label with two bonus tracks.

Quomodo Manet surprises with latin vocals first. Not many german bands ventured this courageous experiment. For me it's very unusual and for some songs it works and for others not. But VITA NOVA luckily avoided to exaggerate - this album is mainly instrumental. The opener however comes like a mini-symphony - very promising - and this will be confirmed soon by the instrumental Vita Nova Inventions - very inventive indeed and a masterpiece of a psychedelic/fusion blend. It all starts with acoustic guitar later getting high-speed jamming in the vein of EMBRYO with duelling organ and guitar plus staccato drums - superb!

The following songs are very short in the majority and showing multiple facets of the band. Who came first? VITA NOVA or BO HANSSON? Whirl Wind remembers me much at this swedish keyboarder whereas Istanbul provides a strong middle-eastern flair with Saz as the title promises. Wildmanis dedicated to drummer Christian von Hoffmann. The mandatory drum solo is technically perfect but not very impressing. Heya-Cleya is provided with a tribal native percussion rhythm later changing to church organ with latin vocals similiar to a christian mass.

I could continue to list my impressions processing track by track but I hope it's clear enough now how rich the sound of VITA NOVA is. The following songs are additionally blending hammond drenched moments with church bells, weird sound samples with latin spoken words, heavy rocking parts and classical clavinet moments. Even the bonus tracks are making no difference from the high standard.

Unique and essential - I recommend to purchase this album - a worthwile investment - 4.5 stars!

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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