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ROZ VITALIS

RIO/Avant-Prog • Russia


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Roz Vitalis picture
Roz Vitalis biography
Founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 2001

ROZ VITALIS was created by composer and keyboardist Ivan Rozmainsky in 2001. Primarily it was one-man band. In 2003 ROZ VITALIS had become trio and included also Nadezhda Regentova (keyboards, voices) and Vladimir Polyakov (keyboards). In 2005 line-up experiences expansion. Now the band includes also Klara Metelkova (flutes, harmonica, vocals) and Yuri Verba (clarinet). Style of ROZ VITALIS is RIO/Avant-Prog/Symphonic Prog/Psychedelic/Space Rock. The main influences are LE ORME, GENTLE GIANT, KING CRIMSON, YES, ELP, SUPERSISTER, JETHRO TULL, DEPECHE MODE, AFTER CRYING. Music of the band was compared by prog-reviewers with GENTLE GIANT, UNIVERS ZERO, BRIAN HIRSCH, KING CRIMSON, TRIUMVIRAT, KRAFTWERK etc. In short, music of ROZ VITALIS can remind KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT, but is keyboard-based, with rare female voices and electronic drums. It is "chamber electronic prog" rather than "rockish music".

The best recordings are the following. "Lazarus" (2003) - RIO with ethno and electronic elements. see reviews at www.progressiveears.com & www.proglands.com ; "Das Licht Der Menschen" (2004) - concept album including three 20-28-minute epics devoted to the "theological idea of Trinity". It is very polyphonic album, difficult for listening. "Enigmarden" (2005) - almost instrumental prog-music with flutes and clarinet solos. EP-albums "Painsadist" (2003) and "The Threesunny Light Power" (2004) also can be recommended. More early albums are characterized by low quality of recording. All albums are self-released ones.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The band makes original and interesting prog-music, which has a lot of progradios' rotations and good reviews at prog sites.

ROZ VITALIS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Hidden Man Of The EarthHidden Man Of The Earth
Lizard 2018
$20.25
$19.97 (used)
Lavoro D'amoreLavoro D'amore
Lizard 2015
$37.68
Patience Of HopePatience Of Hope
Mals Limited
$17.99
CompassionizerCompassionizer
Self-Produced
$26.32
RevelatorRevelator
Mals Limited
$17.99
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ROZ VITALIS discography


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ROZ VITALIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.10 | 17 ratings
L'Ascensione
2002
2.96 | 14 ratings
Lazarus
2003
3.90 | 12 ratings
Das Licht Der Menschen
2004
2.73 | 17 ratings
Enigmarden
2005
3.55 | 22 ratings
Compassionizer
2007
3.72 | 32 ratings
Revelator
2011
3.91 | 40 ratings
Patience Of Hope
2012
3.55 | 18 ratings
Overcoming-Up
2014
3.87 | 78 ratings
Lavoro D'Amore
2015
4.12 | 100 ratings
The Hidden Man Of The Heart
2018

ROZ VITALIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 6 ratings
Live Autumn '05 In The Ad Lucem Studio
2005
4.12 | 6 ratings
Live At Mezzo Forte, Moscow, September'09
2009
3.18 | 3 ratings
Live 2013-08-31 + Bonus
2014
4.00 | 5 ratings
Live in Kirishi
2016
4.04 | 11 ratings
At Last. Live
2017
4.08 | 5 ratings
Elephant Live
2018

ROZ VITALIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ROZ VITALIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 7 ratings
Lazarus Abridged
2009
2.08 | 5 ratings
The Selected Of Enigmarden
2015

ROZ VITALIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Excerpts from Early Demo Recordings 2001
2001
3.18 | 2 ratings
Painsadist
2003
3.09 | 2 ratings
The Threesunny Light Power
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live At ESG-21, February 13th 2010
2010
5.00 | 2 ratings
Beyond the Limits of Spring. Live at Kitayskiy Letchik Jao Da, May 10th 2011
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live Summer 2012
2012
4.09 | 3 ratings
Live At Saint Peter Prog Fest #5
2013
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live 14-11-14
2015
3.40 | 21 ratings
Psalm 6
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Amaryllis / What Are You Thinking About? (with Vespero)
2018

ROZ VITALIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Elephant Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2018
4.08 | 5 ratings

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Elephant Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Roz Vitalis is a Russian avant prog and jazz fusion band that has been around since 2002 and has released 12 studio albums. This album is a Live recording entitled "Elephant Live". I don't have any information as to when it was recorded or where, but I do know it contains a lot of live versions of tracks from their latest studio album released earlier this year entitled "The Hidden Man of the Heart". There are 7 tracks with a total run time of 45 minutes.

Ivan Rozmainsky founded the band and was the sole performer in the beginning, but has since expanded the line up to a full band. There are currently 6 members to the line up now, and 5 of the tracks feature a full-time alto saxophonist. The remaining 2 tracks in the sax's place, a clarinet/bass clarinet. Ivan plays the keyboards, and the music here is keyboard/organ heavy.

The music is all instrumental on this album, and has a jazz fusion feel for the most part, but the band also utilizes some avant- prog techniques to create dissonance, especially through the brass/reed instruments, which many times carry the band into the avant-prog territory. But the music always seems to find its way back to a traditional fusion sound.

All of the individual musicians create an impressive sound on an solo basis, but in the first 2 tracks, there seems to be a slightly amateurish and insecre feel when they are playing together. Not sure where that comes from as it gives not just an unpolished feel, but adds to the live, improvisational feel too. At times it can be a little unnerving, but at other times it works well.

I find the ensemble sounds like they are gelling better from "Bait of Success" onward. This is a nice energetic track which is more guitar driven, where the two tracks before were driven more by the keys and the sax.

I really find "Premonition" to be a highlight and it has a more experimental feel to it and is closer to an avant-prog feel throughout the track. I seem to find that the band's style of playing actually fits better with this style than it does with the more straightforward fusion sound, which tends to be a little starchy. There is some excellent guitar work on this track too. During the 2nd half of the track, the music becomes more melodic and goes into a slower rhythm and features a nice piano led section followed by a bluesy guitar, with the sax providing a countermelody as a support. Very nice.

I really like the progressive turn in "Psalm 6" which has a pounding rhythm set up by the drums and bass with the other instruments accenting the beat. It suddenly becomes much slower and ballad-like with an organ and keyboard led section, then things become a little more intense when drums and bass return. As in the prior track, everything evens out on the 2nd half as things move into a more blues oriented jam, but with a heavy rock edge. As it winds up toward the finish, things really begin to drive hard.

"Jungle Waltz" is an interesting name for a track that follows a 5/4 meter. Again, this one leans closer to the progressive fusion style, but it is definitely an original sound with a nice driving bass. While it definitely is not a standard waltz, it is a favorite of mine from this album as it shows a lot of ingenuity. The clarinet is a very nice touch here too. I love this one.

The album ends on "The Hidden Man of the Heart". This is a more mellow sounding track, and it tends to bring back the feeling of insecurity from the first two tracks. I'm not so much a fan of this one, but at least it is a shorter track.

So, even though I find the first 2 tracks and the last one a little shaky, I find the middle 4 tracks to be much better, as if the band began to gel a lot better. If the entire album was as good as the best tracks, I could have even considered this an excellent album, but as it is, the weaker performances are not so weak as to completely ruin the enjoyment received from the best tracks which are "Bait of Success", "Premonition", "Psalm 6" and "Jungle Waltz". These tracks, which are strong 5 star tracks, are definitely worth the listen, they can stand on their own collective selves above the weaker tracks 3 star tracks, so much so that they earn the album 4 stars.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 100 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Igor Lu

5 stars "The Hidden Man of the Heart" can apparently be considered the most broad-scale "Roz Vitalis" project at present. Apart from seven main participants, eight new musicians have joined the team, including string quartet headed by Georgiy Fedorov. At the moment "The Hidden Man of the Heart" is the best "Roz Vitalis" album. The band has always been unlike their colleagues with regard to music subculture, but now they managed to reveal their own individual style in exact and adequate way. All compositions sound clearly, the melodies, like sound rays, seem to highlight secret places in listener's mind. Versions became even more laconic; it is not typical of prog-rock, but appears to be absolutely natural for present-day "Roz Vitalis", who seem to have already crossed the line on this genre.
 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 100 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by IceAngel

5 stars These sounds seem to be very familiar to you. But if you try to find something unusual in music, something, that will take your brain away, the 'Roz Vitalis' new album 'The Hidden Man of the Heart' (2018) is the particular thing that you need. Elegant oriental motives will charm your ears during the process of listening 'The Hidden Man of the Heart', the leading composition of the album. Melancholy and anxiety will steal your heart in the melodies 'Wounded by the Lion and Adder' and 'Amaryllis'. Sometimes tracks sound alike you are playing computer game or travel in a very exotic country, for example 'Rhapsody of Refugees'. There are some religious allusions in the 'Psalm 6'. And it seems to me, that the whole album is dedicated to some path to the higher power. How the man moves, fears, changes, finds out something important about life and death. The album at all has something similar with 'Apocaliptica', but it brings more light in the heart of the listener. And is contains more complicated musical structures. I recommend this album for all who is longing for really talented, intriguing and special music.
 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 100 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another Roz Vitalis release, another rollercoaster ride. The eclectic and diverse choice of songs to represent this band's recent work is, as usual, surprising. There are gorgeously performed and recorded neo-classical pieces (of varying degrees of compositional complexity) set next to songs that sound as if they were intended for or belong in a local bar. This is a trend that I've seen from Roz Vitalis from the start--though I have to admit that this album is the best recorded and engineered album I've heard from this band. My complaint of Roz Vitalis material remains the same: inconsistent quality, inconsistent complexity (some songs feel like they're classical compositions while others feel as simple as child's play), and inconsistent audience targeting (exactly who is the audience that they see their music attracting?).

1. "Someone Passed Over" (2:18) a somber, not-quite-sad cello theme which is then augmented and developed by each of a string quartet to form a weave of high quality and maturity. (8.5/10)

2. "Passing Over" (LP Version) (6:43) a piano, bass, and electrified acoustic guitar version of the previous song upon which layers are added to include drums and flute, heavy electric guitars and synths. At the midpoint the song breaks down into "drunken brass and woodwinds" while drums and bass support, but then steady drum beat, rolling bass line, and picked acoustic guitar establish a variation over which piano, electric guitar, and horns join in. Nice play on that album-opening theme. (9/10)

3. "Rhapsody Of Refugees" (5:43) What the heck! Where are we? At the circus? Nice sound and performances of a rather child-like song but so shockingly out of character with the previous two songs that I just can't go there. (7/10)

4. "Blurred" (2:58) fast strumming acoustic guitar with keys, bass, and drums while flute, electric jazz guitar, trumpet take turns deploying the melody. Turns more Spanish in sound and feel as the song develops. Just a little to straightforward and lacking variety in the development. (8.5/10)

5. "Trampled By The Lion And Adder" (1:35) classical composition for chamber strings. Gorgeous. Definitely the band's strength. (5/5)

6. "Thou Shalt Tread Upon The Lion And Adder" (6:44) a weave of percussive drum parts, muted guitars and harpsichord open this one before 1/4 spaced strums from a heavily distorted electric guitar join in. The guitar then starts to riff and solo before the band steps up into a full rock "march." In the third minute everything slows down and spreads out into a more spacious, folk jazz weave. Nice. This is followed by an eerie carnival-esque section which flows and works very well with the previous sections. Now this is progressive rock music! A slow build and amplification sees the addition of horns and more guitar work. (9/10)

7. "Passing On The Line" (2:02) seems a piano version or variation on previous two songs' themes. Quite oversimplified. (3.5/5)

8. "Disturbed By Jungle" (1:56) continued Satie-esque piano experimentations or 'tudes. (4/5)

9. "Jungle Waltz" (5:02) a simple foundational weave within which electrified acoustic guitar, bass, drums, piano, and, later, organ and trumpet play. Competent but nothing very innovative or special here. (8/10)

10. "Wounded By The Lion And Adder" (3:55) violin solo with chamber strings supporting. Again, gorgeous and, again, the band's true strength. (9/10)

11. "Fret Not Thyself Because Of Evildoers" (6:58) opens with avery eerie xylophone riff over which some very heavy, scary electric guitar, bass and cymbols play. Then, suddenly, we're lifted out of the scary scenario and brought into a comic-pop Halloween party. Not up to speed for top notch progressive rock compositionally or performance-wise. (7.5/10)

12. "The Hidden Man Of The Heart" (5:13) band with acoustic guitars over which flute, electric guitar and trumpet take turns soloing or enhancing the musical themes. Though based on some pretty simple constructs, this one works due to the melodic expressions of the soloists. (8.5/10)

13. "Some Refugee Passed Over" (3:44) another composition for strings that opens with solo cello before viola joins in for the second pass through of the main theme. Third time through violin is added. The harmonic weave is quite nice. Fourth time adds a second viola with accenting notes gradually taking over the lead. At the two minute mark things break down and more staccato play comes from two of the quartet with more echoing and merging of themes. Nice piece. Why don't Roz Vitalis just stick to neo-classical chamber music? They're so good at it! (9/10)

14. "Psalm 6 (LP Version) (8:32) the attempt at a "heavy metal" (' la IRON BUTTERFLY or early BLACK SABBATH) version of the opening song's themes. Horns take up a theme in the second minute--over the simple "metal" foundation--giving the song a new Spanish flavor. Then, at 2:05, everybody drops out and a churchy organ enters performing some of the same themes in a softer, gentler fashion. Solo trumpet joins in with a plaintive voice. Drums and electrified acoustic guitar give it a 1970s MIKE OLDFIELD sound and feel to it. Nice (though hardly original). Bass, drums, and strumming acoustic guitars and mandolin give it a ALAN PARSONS PROJECT "Fall of the House of Usher" feel. Okay, they got me. Nice work. (9/10)

3.5 stars; a nice addition to modern instrumental progressive rock music. I'd love to see a Roz Vitalis album with all neo-classical chamber music.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 100 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Almost three years after the previous studio album "Lavoro D'Amore" which found the St. Petersburg, Russia based ROZ VITALIS, led by the accomplished and talented leader Ivan Rozmainsky, the band the band finally unleash their new studio album THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART. Beginning with the EP "Psalm 9" which appeared in 2016, ROZ VITALIS started to take on a new, more focused approach to their compositional style. With Rozmainsky's keyboard melodies still taking center stage, "Psalm 9" emerged from a steady career of a heavily abstract style fortified with an infinite variety of complexities which gave the music a darkened underground feel, but somehow just missed from connecting to wider audiences.

THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART continues the more streamlined approach of "Psalm 9" with more straight-forward melodic developments and although still firmly existing in the avant-prog side of the spectrum, actually slides on closer to a veritable symphonic prog presentation bringing such bands as Camel to mind. While classical music has always been the primary scaffolding of musical support, it's even more so on the ROZ VITALIS 3.0 sound which incorporates more bouncy grooves and easier to follow patterns of sound that somehow didn't quite coalesce correctly on "Psalm 9," but on THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, Rozmainsky and friends manage to tie it altogether creating a successful new chapter in the ROZ VITALIS canon. Two tracks from "Psalm 9," namely the title track and "Passing Over" have been reworked and are included on this one.

Once again ROZ VITALIS dishes out an ambitious slice of progressive rock with 14 tracks that last slightly over an hour with the expected keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, flute and an even greater role for the trumpet with sprinklings of other exotica such as mandolin, clarinet and a string quartet but on this one, the composiitons are much tighter and engage in well established songwriting techniques rather than meander into infinity and beyond. Such focus is most apparent on strong tracks like "Rhapsody Of Refugees" with it's ska meets rock driven groove and melodic keyboard runs augmented by a cavalcade of trumpet sounds. Each track is well written and the album flows quite well with a nice diverse palette of styles and techniques utilized.

ROZ VITALIS is one of those bands that always creates a concept about which they compose their music around and THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART is no exception to this tradition. Usually based in the spiritual realm, this one delves into the psychological world of the spiritual and creative constituents of what makes up a human being whether it be tragic, ecstatic or just mundane. As always, the music is instrumental and takes the listener on the intended journey through the tones, timbres, tempos and dynamics alone with no vocalizations whatsoever. The music has much more poignant levels of emotional delivery. Whereas the older albums were riddled in esoterica and abstract journeys into the halls of sound, this one goes straight to the heart with the emotional tugs of violins, heavy distorted guitar chords or melodic melancholy in the form of beautifully developed classical piano runs.

On "Psalm 9," i had my doubts as to whether ROZ VITALIS could successfully make the transition from an abstract RIO/avant-prog band to the more accessible symphonic based progressive rock that is experienced on THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, but all my doubts have been put to rest as Ivan Rozmainsky along with his cast of six other permanent members alongside nine session musicians churn out some of the best music of the band's career. Don't get me wrong, i love the older more "out there" albums but i'm quite appreciative of this more streamlined and focused approach as well. The music is still quite complex, it's just that it revolves around more direct developments which allows a whole new level of listenership to join the party. Another substantial release from these astute Russians who show no signs of burning out any time soon.

 Lavoro D'Amore by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Lavoro D'Amore
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This was the ninth studio album from Roz Vitalis, released in 2015, and until I played it this was the only album of theirs that I hadn't heard from the previous ten years. Although the line-up has been through some changes here and there, by now it was relatively stable, being the same as it had been in 2012 with just the addition of trumpeter Alexey Gorshkov. Vladislav Korotkikh (flute) is also here in the band, and although there are no additional strings on this release, the use of woodwind and brass as key players gives the music additional dynamics and strength. The album follows the normal Roz Vitalis mix of modern classical with RIO and elements of krautrock, often (although not always) led and dominated by the keyboards of Ivan Rozmainsky. The music maintains the melodic continuity that one has come to expect, yet can also be challenging, but never in the way that feels oppressive or over the top as can often be the case with Art Zoyd or Can.

I found this yet another really interesting and fascinating work, with the use of trumpet often incredibly key to the feel of the whole piece, and there is certainly an impression of the guys playing in a circle, all looking at each other for the musical cues as to where to next take the music. The use of two guitars allows for more layering, certainly in a live environment, but there are complete passages where both guitarists seem to have laid down their instruments and have gone for a break, allowing piano, trumpet and xylophone to take over. The complexity of the arrangements, combined with the way the instruments have been set (the bass has a tone Chris Squire or Geezer Butler would have been proud of, at the right volume it can knock down buildings), would make one think that this is a hard album to listen to, but the experimental nature of the music is combined with melody so that it is instantly accessible and totally engaging. There is no doubt that Roz Vitalis are one of the most exciting and innovative bands coming out of Russia at present.

 Live 2013-08-31 + Bonus by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2014
3.18 | 3 ratings

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Live 2013-08-31 + Bonus
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Well, it may not be the most snappily named live album I have ever come across, but no-one can dispute the accuracy of the title. What we have here are nine songs recorded as a quintet on 31st August 2013, along with another four songs from the previous year when Vladislav Korotkikh (woodwind) was still with the band. The line-up was the same as for 'Revelator', except that Semenov-Tyan-Shansky had moved from bass to guitar to give them twin guitarists, and Ruslan Kirillov had joined on bass. Only a few of the songs from the most recent album were played, which I wonder was due to the lack of guests who played such an important part on 'Revelator'.

There is the feeling here of a band who are settled in the live environment, and enjoy bouncing ideas off each other and extended and moving around ideas. There is certainly far more focus on the guitars than I would have expected, as Rozmainsky allows himself to take a back seat. What really lets this down is the quality of the recording, which sounds incredibly raw, almost as if what we are hearing are raw tracks from the sound desk with little or no attempt to actually produce them. With music sometimes fading in and out, and some leads not being loud enough behind the rest of the music, it does make for a listening experience that may be authentic but doesn't necessarily leave the listener wanting to play it repeatedly. If it had been produced effectively this would have been indispensable, but as it is, it is just interesting.

 Revelator by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.72 | 32 ratings

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Revelator
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars There was a gap of four years between their fifth and sixth studio albums, with 'Revelator' coming out in 2011. By this time there had been a total change in the band, with only keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky left of the musicians who were involved in the previous work. It was at this point that the band really started to spread their wings, as they moved away from the trio to a quintet of Vladimir Efimov (guitars), Vladislav Korotkikh (flutes, whistle), Philip Semenov (drums, percussion) Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (bass) and Rozmainsky, along with additional musicians providing cello, flute, shakuhachi, viola, bassoon, trumpet and flugelhorn. While still playing music inspired by both classical and RIO, based around the keyboards, there were now more complex dynamics and layering of sounds.

Using a real drummer also added to a difference in the overall sound, although it must be said that I am not a great fan of the production of that, as there are times when it sounds as if Semenov is hitting a box as opposed to a drum, but he is definitely adding a more driving force to the sound. The strong use of woodwind, especially when combined with electronica, such as on "Underfrog", is inspired and quite different to anything else I have come across. I can only describe the introduction as if I were listening to bubbles of sound that kept popping in my ears. Early Kraftwerk has been an inspiration on this album, as has of course Art Zoyd with whom Ros Vitalis have quite an affinity, while Can have also had their part to play. There is a real depth here, with the unusual choice of instruments and arrangements combining to make something that is incredibly compelling, melodic and enjoyable.

 Compassionizer by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.55 | 22 ratings

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Compassionizer
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I have long been a fan of the RIO/avant-garde music from Russian band Roz Vitalis, but I came across them quite a long way through their career, so have been looking back to some of their earlier albums to see what they were like back then. 'Compassionizer' is from 2007 and is their fifth full-length album. Originally self-released, it has now also been made available through Bandcamp. Back then the band were just a trio, with Ivan Rozmainsky (keyboards, recorders, percussion, samples, virtual synth), Sydius (guitars) and Yuri Verba (clarinets). Musically, this album is absolutely fascinating in the way that it combines classical motifs and Western approaches with other styles that contain more dissonance, yet somehow maintain the melodic adventure. That this album has a lot in common with the mighty Art Zoyd isn't even up for debate, and with less instruments being deployed there is a sense of fragile strength holding it all together.

As with their later works, it is the strong use of melody that keeps them separate from many others within this musical style, and to my ears it is incredibly accessible on first hearing (although I concur that not everyone will feel the same way). The use of woodwind within what can otherwise be quite a sterile sounding environment not only adds a small bit of warmth, but also lifts the overall emotion of their music. there are some sections where Rozmainsky's use of synths combining with his piano makes one thing that one is listening to a modern classical music concerto as opposed to a progressive rock album, while at others there is no doubt at all that here is a rock band pushing the boundaries of music. It may have taken me far too many years to start listening to Roz Vitalis, but that is something I am definitely going to make up for by discovering more of their music.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 100 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars So, composer and keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky is back with the same line-up as last time, except here he has extended his musical travelling even further. The album consists of 14 tracks and lasts 63 minutes. Various keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, flute and trumpet are supplemented by exotic kinds of percussion, mandolin, bass clarinet and even a string quartet! Musically Roz Vitalis are often viewed as being part of the RIO and Avant prog movement, but given that I listen to an incredible amount of RIO these days this now seems quite mainstream to me! At the very heart of the music, as always, is Ivan either providing keyboards or adding the complex simplicity of his piano. With the use of strings and brass on this album, there is an additional depth that may have been missing in the past, but given that I have enjoyed every album of theirs that I have heard I am possibly not really fit to judge too much!

That they are one of the finest progressive bands around at the moment is never in doubt, and each time I play this album I find myself getting totally lost inside its majesty. This album, even more so than their others, takes Ivan much more into the realms of being a modern orchestral composer who knows just want to get from each of the instruments at his disposable,. Creating a seamless piece of music that moves from one movement to the next. I love the way that the violins at the commencement of "Wounded By The Lion and Adder" start in perfect harmony and then lose that togetherness as the song progresses, quite deliberately, before moving into a full string quartet. The unusual combination of memorable/hooking melodies and sophisticated compositional structures with complex system of leitmotivs makes for a very impressive album indeed.

Thanks to felonafan for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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