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Roz Vitalis - Daybreaking Live CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis



3.97 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Another non descript period of time, another request to review a Russian instrumental prog album, which is something I'm almost always glad to do, given the relatively consistent high quality I've found between them, this one especially. There's often a fairly common thread between these albums such as the Rozmainsky and Mikhalov Project, which I guess is only to be expected given the fact that many of these acts seem to be somewhat related in terms of common members between them. Out of all of these however, Daybreaking Live is almost certainly the album I find to be the most well realised of the bunch I've heard, with tight interplay combined with memorable melodies with a prominent worship of electric pianos and synths, keeping this core identity found throughout many of these Russian prog bands, while thorougly refining it and honing in on its strengths.

Once again, I find an extremely commendable aspect of the band to be just how well produced and mixed these albums are, given the fact that they're live performances, everything sounding crisp and distinct while having the appropriate amount of power that each instrument should have. Wides demonstrates the atmosphere this can create very effectively, the electric guitar providing some edge to the music, which works especially well when combined with the fairly intense drumming that's definitely one of the main focuses on this section, all before many elements of the track fade away, leaving a somewhat eerie bassline to perpetuate the tone of the track. The multifaceted nature of the band is then shown in full force as a graceful flute melody weaves its way into the fray seamlessly, eventually being backed up by the electric piano to create a steady, fun groove that becomes gradually more defined as each instrument comes back in, one by one. Daybreaking tones the intensity down through having far more focus on more subtle elements, interplay between the flute and guitar forming the basis for the majority of the track in order to create an extremely lush sound, further demonstrating the versatility of the band, with some moments sounding quite similar to some of the more eventful post rock bands such as Magyar Posse. Talking about Magyar Posse, Nepsis starts off in an incredible way, the frenetic electric piano and electric guitar creating a real intensity that sounds like you've been dropped right into the middle of a massive crescendo, where even after things have died down somewhat, there's still a certain chaotic nature to everything, none of the rhythmic components feeling quite right, leaving the listener slightly on edge. I love the switch up this song has near the end where it begins to centre around a singular rising riff while everything surrounding it gradually becomes more and more insane, and is overall one of my favourite moments on the album as a whole.

Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers is without a doubt what I consider to be the best song on this album, almost exclusively for the superb melodies featured throughout, and the structure of it, constantly returning to the same motifs but sounding more warped with each repetition, more distortion and off key aspects of the music appearing as the prominence of electric guitar continuously rises, once again demonstrating how Roz Vitalis con confidently make intense music, while also being able to have more beautiful, melodic cuts like Mother of All Rain. Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth contains melodies that definitely have baroque influence, but also highlight one complaint I do have with the album, that being that the electric piano can often sound a bit out of place in moments like this, almost having a chiptune aethetic to it, which starkly contrasts with the rest of the music, and not in a way I find particularly good either. That said, I find this an overall minor complaint given how it makes up a relatively small part of the album overall, especially of this track, although this comes with some other complaints regardless, that being that while the brisk pace is very welcome, giving everything some lovely energy, I still feel like there's some retreading that's done here, and it overall sounds a bit too similar to other tracks here. Psalm 6 fortunately brings the album to a close in a strong way, the heavy guitar work making way for the prettiest moments on the album, as the sound of an organ comes in and helps to create a moment of absolute serenity that gradually evolves over the course of the song into an amazingly evocative guitar solo that brings the album to a close in an excellent way.

As previously mentioned, I find this to be one of my favourite of the live Russian prog albums that I've listened to and reviewed, taking the melodic sensibilities that form the core of this sort of music and then having everything feel much less like a jam and more like tightly structured, multifaceted compositions. I love how this album is able to comfortably convey so many tones as it progresses while rarely feeling as if it's missed the mark, ranging from pastoral symphonic prog pieces, to eerie atmospheric experiments to even incorporating vague elements of post rock into the mix during a couple of songs, making for a largely engaging album. While occasionally forgettable, I cannot deny that this is a high quality album with a lot of depth to it.

Best tracks: Wides, Nepsis, Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers

Weakest tracks: Loro Con Dolcezza E Cortesia, Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth

Verdict: A very worthwhile album overall in my opinion, covering a wide array of tone and atmosphere as the album progresses, leading the listener through a collection of wonderful tracks that almost never fail to entertain. Definitely an album I recommend to those who enjoy some good, complex instrumental prog.

Kempokid | 4/5 |


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