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Roz Vitalis - Peace Live CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis


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4 stars The first vibe that I receive when the opening track of this new live album by ROZ VITALIS begins to unfold combines the antique feel of a medieval march with the modern arrangement and execution more likely associated with contemporary avant-prog, conforming a fusion not dissimilar (in concept, not in style) to certain instrumental passages by Gentle Giant, and the ominous reverberance of the whole affair sounds pretty convincing as a premonition of something terrible on the verge to happen.

Track 2, Annihilator of Moral Hazard, seems to bring a lighter humor to the proceedings, but that illusion is rapidly wiped out by more menacing instrumental improvisation with the keyboards occupying the central spot. And they keep going in track 3, Longsuffering, including great mellow passages of harpsichord.

Tracks 4 and 5 are, finally, some more breezy pieces, with melodic (Kayak-like, perhaps) electric piano mounting the main riff and motiv in the first one, and enchanting transverse flute bringing a pastoral air in the second. In track 6, Sorrow and Hope, a church-like organ brings a solemn (yet positive) mood to fruition, continued by piano and good electric guitar licks on a slightly jazzy rhythm section.

The closing track is the occasion for the electric guitarist to boast his style in a couple of great solos, all that wrapped up in nice renditions of Peace, the King Crimson brief theme.

There are plenty of excellent reasons to enjoy here, me thinks.

Report this review (#2905338)
Posted Friday, April 7, 2023 | Review Permalink
4 stars As it turns out... ROZ VITALIS "Peace" is not a peaceful album at all! This live record is the very definition of musical catharsis; waves of emotion, layers of sound with the only constant being change. The magic here is the ambience, the ominous sounds, the use of flute, smooth keyboards and other contrasting elements laying on top of the growlind sound generated by the rythm section, lots of toms and deep basses in this record. Very heavy moments here and there too, distorted guitar all over the place, sometimes very dissonant and ugly (the best kind of ugly, of course) and sometimes surprisingly bluesy and chill. A real ying-yang-ish record, darkness in light and light in darkness can always be found. These guys do have their own sound and the chemistry live is there, it really is. I strongly recommend this one. Reminds me of Discipline with twists of fusion and the upsetting feeling of inminent danger. As the church organ solo of this record states: "Sorrow and Hope", no other words can describe it better.
Report this review (#2928031)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2023 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Here we have another live album from Roz Vitalis, recorded on 9th April last year in St. Petersburg, taken from the final show of the line-up of Vladislav Korotkikh (flute, low whistle), Ivan Rozmainsky (electric piano, synths), Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (guitar), Evgeny Trefilov (drums), and Ruslan Kirillov (bass). Not surprisingly it is the same line- up who recorded the 20th anniversary concert just 6 months earlier, and although a few of the songs have been repeated they have been considerably reworked while this set also contains many new songs. The title of the album is taken from the final song, and it is impossible for anyone not living in Russia or Ukraine to understand what the world is like for normal people. I have various friends and contacts in those countries, and all are worried about the future in a way that those of us not involved can simply not imagine, yet Roz Vitalis are one of those who continue to perform and create new art.

Roz Vitalis have long been a band who continue to push boundaries, changing personnel here and there, mixing modern classical music with RIO tendencies and Russian inspiration to create progressive rock which is influenced by many at the bleeding edge yet never sounding like anyone else around. This line-up featured three lead musicians, all prepared to take on the main role, provide support when required, and in many ways, they work with the freedom of expression one normally associates with the Seventies as opposed to the modern day. Ivan uses "classic" prog sounds in his samples, Vladimir provides a much harder neo-prog approach to guitar, Vladislav is more direct than one might expect while Evgeny and Ruslan comes at the music from an ELP/Yes area, yet somehow the quintet combines to make perfect musical sense.

Ivan has been the only constant throughout their career, which has seen numerous studio and live albums, and I look forward to hearing the next chapter in this band. If one has not previously come across Roz Vitalis then this deliberately raw and passionate performance is a wonderful place to start.

Report this review (#2947381)
Posted Friday, August 25, 2023 | Review Permalink

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