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Roz Vitalis - The Selected Of Enigmarden CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis


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2 stars Like the title says, this release is a selection from the album Enigmarden (2005). That one has got relatively reserved criticism here, and for a good reason, I can tell you, especially if this 7-track selection -- made for what purpose exactly? -- from the original 14 is supposed to be any better. I haven't listened to that album, nor any other-than-new music of this band from St. Petersburg (but I just received five discs in mail). It's evident that Roz Vitalis has matured a lot in the last ten years.

What we have here is instrumental and rather experimental music firmly centered around the keyboards of the frontman Ivan Rozmainsky. The keyboard sound is sharp and intense, backed by programmed drums plus some wind Instruments here and there -- and I'm sad to say, that's about all. Most of the time tempo is rather fast, and together with this hollowness of soundscape it is only underlining the unpleasant sense of music made out of mere will of experimenting with instruments. On the other hand, there's hilarious energy and a touch of humour, and despite the melodic / rhythmic complexity the tracks do maintain some intelligence and coherence instead of being plain silly.

The extra ingredients on top of organ-oriented keys and programming increase the surprise factor. These include the female voice (can't tell if she's singing some lyrics with a meaning, or is the voice only used as another instrument) on 'Stress of Tenderness' and a decent variety of wind instruments during the album: recorder, clarinet, harmonica and even a Peruvian native flute (on 'Be Aware of Strangers'). But in the end, the musical style remains rather pointless, lacking deeper emotions, and the soundscape too hollow to avoid headache on the long run. This definitely isn't music I'd like to listen to again and again; my low rating is more subjective than objective. Of course I may also point out that RIO/Avant-Prog has never been among my favourites. If you enjoy the genre and can stand both the crazy side of Keith Emerson and the lack of a real rhythm section, you may find some unique pleasure from this music.

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Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | Review Permalink

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