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Roz Vitalis - The Hidden Man of the Heart CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis



4.18 | 171 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I love the sound of cello. It's accompanied by violins in the intro of this ROZ VITALIS album. A very good piece of chamber music which lasts only two minutes, but the main theme is reprised by the piano in the second track. The mixture of rock and classical instruments is not new in the prog world, especially the flute, but "Passing Over" alternates several sections and in the middle of the track it has a CAMEL flavor. An excellent beginning. In less than 10 minutes there's a bit of everything, including a short section which justifies why this band is in the RIO/Avant section of Progarchives. Anyway it's very melodic and not challenging at all. In the final part of the song the sound of trumpet, familiar to who follows this band arrives and it's a pity in my opinion, that the song ends fading out.

"Rhapsody of Refugees" is between Wakemanian keyboards and a trumpet reminding of the Goran BREGOVIC style (not so much Goran Bregovic, don't worry). It's another high-level track in which the ethnic element is mainly grotesque.

A short strings chamber interlude of few more than one minute follows. Like the intro, it's excellent and leads to the next track. Those strings interludes make me think to Colin BASS and his "An Outcast Of The Islands". "Thou Shalt..." features a great guitar and behind it a classical mood can be heard. Piano, bass, flute and what apparently is a harp make a break in the middle.

A two minutes piano solo, again with a classical flavor, but with the sembiance of a studio for beginners is followed by anoter 1 minute piano interlude, then we enter the "Jungle Waltz". On this track, the flute is played in a Ian ANDERSON style in order to enhance the "wild" and dark atmosphere. If the intention was to give the listener the idea of a dark jungle, Roz Vitalis succeeded. Then pauses, trumpet and an unusual sequence of chords, vaguely dissonant are perfect in keeping it dark. The final crescendo would have been great if not faded out.

Strings again. "Wounded by the Lion..." occupies three gorgeous minutes. I'm not very expert in classical music, but I think the reference may be Gustav MAHLER with a touch of J.S. BACH. I'm not sure, but I suspect that the Lion is representing St. Mark, as it's the christian symbol representing that evangelist.

"Fret Not Thyself..." has a Crimsonian feeling and reaches its heights when the music becomes compulsive and the trumpet takes the lead. Anyway every single part of this complex track is at an excellent level.

It's time for the title track: Flute and acoustic guitar first. It's a very melodic track. Very enjoable in which there's room for all the instruments without being a "box for solos". I'm not sure if it's really the best track of the album, but it's surely a candidate.

"Some Refugees passed over" is another string quartet which reprises the main theme which is recurrent throughout the album, then "Psalm 9" which has previously been released in an EP. It's a true progressive rock track, more on the rock side of the thing. It's also the longest album track, featuring more than 8 minutes.

It's a pity for the fadeouts which make me round down the 4.5 stars that in m opinion it deserves. It's a great album.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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