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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.

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ROZ VITALIS discography


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

3.32 | 22 ratings
L'Ascensione
2002
3.03 | 22 ratings
Lazarus
2003
3.89 | 19 ratings
Das Licht Der Menschen
2004
2.76 | 22 ratings
Enigmarden
2005
3.62 | 33 ratings
Compassionizer
2007
3.71 | 41 ratings
Revelator
2011
3.86 | 51 ratings
Patience Of Hope
2012
3.70 | 26 ratings
Overcoming-Up
2014
3.82 | 90 ratings
Lavoro D'Amore
2015
4.14 | 162 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
3.26 | 4 ratings
Live 2013-08-31 + Bonus
2014
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live in Kirishi
2016
4.07 | 14 ratings
At Last. Live
2017
4.16 | 12 ratings
Elephant Live
2018
4.16 | 12 ratings
Great Expectations Live
2019
4.06 | 19 ratings
Daybreaking Live
2020
4.11 | 8 ratings
Confortate gli Abbattuti Live
2021

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

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

4.00 | 8 ratings
Lazarus Abridged
2009
2.31 | 7 ratings
The Selected Of Enigmarden
2015

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Excerpts from Early Demo Recordings 2001
2001
3.33 | 3 ratings
Painsadist
2003
3.09 | 4 ratings
The Threesunny Light Power
2004
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live At ESG-21, February 13th 2010
2010
5.00 | 3 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
4.25 | 4 ratings
Live 14-11-14
2015
3.41 | 24 ratings
Psalm 6
2016
5.00 | 2 ratings
Amaryllis / What Are You Thinking About? (with Vespero)
2018
4.00 | 3 ratings
Mille Te Ne Cadranno Al Fianco
2019
4.60 | 5 ratings
Cadence and Cascade
2019
4.94 | 7 ratings
The Man Whose Wings Were Cut Off
2020
4.93 | 6 ratings
Crown
2020

ROZ VITALIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Confortate gli Abbattuti Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2021
4.11 | 8 ratings

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Confortate gli Abbattuti Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Roz Vitalis is one of those bands in quite a strange position for me, one where I rarely feel as if I outright love any of their work, yet they're able to do enough interesting stuff that I feel as if they're almost always worth checking out when they drop something new. Furthermore, I'm quite a fan of the way they don't just release live albums reasonably often, but ensure that they're extremely well produced and mixed to the point where I'm sure you could almost mistake it for a studio project. Confortate Gli Abbattuti Live continues this trend rather nicely, with lots of your standard hallmarks of a live album by the band, with some wonderfully varied instrumentation and a strong sense of unity within, which is reflected effectively through the tight interplay between all elements.

Being a live album by Roz Vitalis, you can simultaneously expect there to be a lack of purely new material here, yet also be confident in the fact that the music will all sound sufficiently different. This compositions here rings true to their studio and past live counterparts for the most part, but are all shifted and put under a different lens, with the improvisational material being guided by the chosen approach. This provides a much stronger opportunity for each track to sound interesting and distinct no matter how many times it's played, and serves to form the backbone of this album in the process. To my ears, this album feels far bolder and focused on melody than I'm used to from the band, with less time being dedicated to the long winded jamming or atmosphere than usual, definitely making it feel rather unique. Daybreaking is one of the clearest examples to be found here of this decision, still carrying a lot of the cryptic, mysterious vibe that's practically a mainstay of Roz Vitalis, but the guitar and bass are pushed way forward in the mix and given a lot of attention. Not only does this make for a rather fun, catchy track, but it also brings in a hint of that more heavy, avant-garde sound that I often wish the band would delve into more often. Donor further reinforces this sound through its own heavy, prominent bass that it revolves around for its rising intensity and climactic finish. The thing is that despite this, the band is able to maintain a strong sense of elegance to how things progress, it never feels rushed, just long enough to get across what it wants to and a bit more, naturally moving through its sections to craft a series of wonderfully textured soundscapes that I haven't really heard elsewhere.

Overall Confortate Gli Abbattuti Live is yet another good live album from Roz Vitalis that if you liked their previous work, you should also like this by all rights. The stronger focus on intensity and melody also go a long way to make this a very ear-catching listen and potentially the best starting point I've heard for getting into the work of Ivan Rozmainsky. If you're into the idea of somewhat more out there symphonic prog with a large variety of instruments (especially keyboards), give this album a shot, it's a great time.

 Confortate gli Abbattuti Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2021
4.11 | 8 ratings

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Confortate gli Abbattuti Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Good for mental and physical health under such a terrible pandemic situation. ROZ VITALIS have got started as a chamber rock project at first, but in this creation they play complete 'vital' rock on the stage. Their performance is filled with energetic eclecticism and diversity (heavy, jazzy, or artistic) seasoned with delicate symphonic flavour and edgy avantgarde spice. It's a pity there might be less audience in the venue than in the pre-pandemic era, but it sounds like the audience should get immersed in their vitality and vivacity. Russian fans could not wait for the day VITALIS appeared on the stage ? we can notice it without any suspicion really.

Very insightful this album takes the departure with one of their masterpieces "Premonition" that involves delightful opening matured with soft but tragic flute texture and grand earthy keyboard-oriented turf.  A mystic opening act calls for serious heavy rock movements stabilizing our inner minds. The latter moment has pretty calm but sticky melodic streams and modulating vibes. Quite theatrical. As the title says, in "Escaping From Myself" we enjoy a sensational sound trip especially in the middle part, leaning towards "Portable Madness" by Sensation's Fix. The very last synthesizer-based echoic lesion is awesome really. "Walking" has an atmosphere like we walk on a lane after the rain. This reminds me that we would be in the fresh air under the clear sky. Yes it refreshes us so clearly. The former part of "Child Song" is a kind of clean, pure song like children's heart but they have various emotions deeply in mind ? from the middle until the end slightly unsettled, disquieting air flows. Wondering if they would have a similar emotional situation.

Anyway they are using repetitive (and impressive) phrases so effectively here and there. "Donor" is one of my favourite songs, where kinda sensitive, charming phrase comes up repeatedly to us. This mysterious sound-touch reminds me of the similarity to Japanese nursery songs (they have no intention like this though). Uptempo, lively rhythmic bases and slightly ethnic melody lines ring our bells. The shortest track "Confortate Gli Abbattuti" is fantastic and elegant. The moment the elegance strings the upcoming song "Passing Over" is my love really. "Psalm 6" another iconic stuff of VITALIS is a great mixture of heavy minutes and lyrical feelings in the similar vein to Szentendre. Launches us sorta wondrous spurt. We are sure this gig held in March 2021 should produce a great day.

 Compassionizer by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.62 | 33 ratings

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Compassionizer
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars [A retrospective originally published at The Progressive Aspect in 2020]

With Roz Vitalis main man Ivan Rozmainsky releasing the debut album from a new project called Compassionizer, I felt it an opportune time to revisit its namesake. I recently wrote another nostalgic look back at an older album, with my thoughts on Anathema's Eternity. Now Roz Vitalis is unlikely to be as well-known as Anathema (and that's a shame, and another discussion entirely), but I'm sure every fan of Roz Vitalis has their own special and favourite albums from the band as, like Anathema, their mood and style have changed several times over the years. There are, however, pivotal and transitional moments, and 2007's Compassionizer is surely one of the more important of those.

Roz Vitalis was created by composer and keyboardist Ivan Rozmainsky in 2001, initially as a one-man band, and (to my ears) marred by sounding too synthetic and programmed. By the second full-length album in 2003, Roz Vitalis had become a trio, with the addition of Nadezhda Regentova (keyboards, voices) and Vladimir Polyakov (keyboards). The dark electronic music of this period has far more dynamics, and is experimenting with lengthier tracks, and rapid changes within them. By their fourth album, the trio had expanded to a quintet, with Klara Metelkova (flutes, harmonica, vocals) and Yuri Verba (clarinet), the addition of acoustic instruments marking a change in the band's sound. From this point on, Roz Vitalis sound to me as if King Crimson, Gentle Giant and a splash of Depeche Mode have been thrown into a blender without a lid, and whatever slips out the top is collated into an electronic avant-chamber symphony, with maybe a pinch of Art Zoyd. I mean that in the most positive way, as there's not a Roz Vitalis release I don't enjoy. For 2008's Compassionizer, Roz Vitalis was reduced to a trio once more, still with Yuri Verba, and now also Sydius (guitar).

The album opens with the initially spacey and Kosmiche Tragic Fate. I made the point in my review of Compassionizer's album, that compassion almost literally means to suffer with. As such, it's hardly surprising that the prevailing sound of this album is rather cold, rather than the warm fuzziness many people might assume when they see the word compassion. Tragic Fate reminds me a lot of keyboard-led RPI bands from the '70s, such as Corte dei Miracoli ? but twisted and distorted until they are tortured shadows of themselves. The drumming is programmed, but sounds like it's played (on real electronic drums), and is actually a real highlight! (I'm not often a fan of programmed drums, but there are times they just work, and this is probably the best use of them I've ever encountered.) The keyboards are delectably sinister, and I revel in the menacing atmosphere this opening track creates.

Some gorgeous piano begins the following Autumn of Hypocrisy. This is a great example of how Roz Vitalis take music of a classical nature, and infuse it with spacey textures and psychedelic layers. Menacing and cacophonic Crimsonesque tones are introduced, and the whole provides a lovely mix of atonal and dissonant parts with gentle and harmonic themes. Melody and disharmony clash and caress in equal measure. There's some jollity in the introduction to the title track, though it sounds as if a little forced and contrived ? which is quite genius. True enough, all hints of happiness soon disappear. By this third track, it is obvious that this is the most balanced Roz Vitalis release yet, and this is why it's such an important moment in their discography for me. Where previous albums went from one extreme to another, from more truly avant moments, to passages almost veering on boring, this album has made sense of the mess. It's still all over the place, but now in a more structured way. There is still plenty of experimentation, but the methodology behind it has improved, and the results are better for it.

Compasionizer shows real musical maturity from Roz Vitalis, in terms of the composition, instrumentation and production. It's the first truly great album from the band, which is not to dismiss what came before, but simply to emphasise what a truly great step up this album represents. If anyone ever asks what Roz Vitalis album to listen to first (not that anyone ever has, so criminally overlooked this band is), I would always suggest Compassionizer. It's an accessible route into their quite unique sound. There are many bands I could mention (and I already have done in this review), but ultimately Roz Vitalis sound like none of them, and no-one else but themselves. What I especially like about Roz Vitalis is the way they create a more minimalist sound than a lot of bands they might be compared to. Their use of empty space gives a sense of fragility that really enhances the music. While not often delicate in sound, the music can sound delicate in nature, and it's quite beautiful. I'm fairly confident that some people who don't enjoy it, will find the music of Roz Vitalis cold, sterile and hollow, and I guess to a degree I could agree with those descriptions ? yet for me they work as positives, and not negatives.

Despite Ivan Rozmainsky having his fingers in many musical pies, Roz Vitalis continue to release great pieces of music. If you've not yet acquainted yourself with the band, then Compassionizer is a great place to start. This was the last album made by Roz Vitalis as "electroacoustic chamber ensemble", as from 2008 they exist as "a full-blown rock-band" (in speech marks, as this is how the band is described on the Roz Vitalis Bandcamp page), so if the sound of this album doesn't fully grab you, try one of the more recent releases. Objectively, it would probably be hard to argue it as the band's best release, but listening to music is all about subjectivity, and often what is best and what is a favourite can diverge substantially. For me, Compassionizer remains my favourite Roz Vitalis album, and I can't see that changing any time soon.

 Overcoming-Up by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.70 | 26 ratings

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Overcoming-Up
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars "Overcoming - up" is actually quite a successful attempt to modernize the earlier legacy of Roz Vitalis, only in the spirit of newly acquired experience. In my opinion, it worked more than well! The album is the most futuristic opus of the group's entire discography. In addition, the recording seems to be devoid of guitars, both acoustic and electro. For all my love for music, it is rather difficult to describe purely instrumental rock, but I will try anyway. The album opens with a rather multi-layered and powerful composition after which the album is named. The rhythm section is very typical for early Weather Reports, along which Rick Wakeman strolls at a leisurely pace. An amazing and quite energetic combination. It seems that here the group managed to combine the incompatible, or simply successfully interpret the borderline state. The next piece ? "Madrigal". I don't know if this track is a reference to the legacy of Yes, but it definitely has the atmosphere of the progressive rock of the late 70s. A lot of beauty, flight, high sadness. As in the entire album, the keys are pronounced here, which I think is not surprising. It was followed by "Journey of Possible Forgiver", although it sounds more like "The tour may not take place". This is where special effects come into play. And now the listener can hear the sound of water and birdsong, which is intertwined with percussion improvisations and keyboard inflections. In "Serene Light," the band pays homage to second half 70s prog rock with its overall blissful atmosphere in the spirit of Genesis and Barclay James Harvest. What follows, in my opinion, is the main track of the album "Thorns of Forgiving" - an ideal component for prog music, both in duration (7 minutes) and in its "filling". The powerful rhythm section and "vortex" component of the keyboards and percussion come into play again. I know what the musicians meant when they came up with the name, but it is definitely not like anything, this is an attempt to give birth to a certain avant-garde style of its own, at the junction of musical trends. The album also has in its arsenal the "mini-opera" "Claws of Winter (Blizzard Paths)" - which is better to hear at least once in order to get the most complete picture of the boundless possibilities of this group. And the disc closes with "Overcome by Uplift" - a quiet, almost cosmic lullaby, directed somewhere boundlessly upward. Particular attention should be paid to the cover of the disc. Strange, but true: this is just an upside-down photograph of the "Big House on Liteiny" in Saint Petersburg, taken with a film camera. In the early 30s in the USSR, the building of the OGPU-NKVD ? the secret police organization ? was located here; this was an agency of special extrajudicial executions. And it is not clear why the leader of the group, Ivan Rozmainsky, being a religious person, combined this photo with religious symbols. And, nevertheless, we have one of the successful and coolest covers in the history of modern Russian prog-rock (created by Vladimir Kabanov)! In the best traditions of the 70s, it is "served" to the listener without any additional identification marks.
 Patience Of Hope by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.86 | 51 ratings

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Patience Of Hope
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars Alternatively, call this unusual opus "Unfading Hope". It just so happened that I was fortunate enough to start my reviews of Roz Vitalis with this album, dated 2012. It was a calm and great time to be creative, which was reflected in the recording of the album 'Patience of Hope'. Music full of hope. This is the first "large-scale" release of the ensemble, which has grown to 7 people, not counting the many guest musicians! The collective has grown a lot above itself and "creatively got stronger", which also affected the magnificent album cover created by one of the members of the collective. The album includes such tracks as "Mother of All Rain" which became the band's 'signature song' and a participant in all concerts in the following years. Furthermore, I want to mention 'To Stir up Your Pure Minds', which should be discussed in more detail. In it, the listener has a huge palette of acoustic instruments, from the harpsichord to the violin - beautifully woven into the canvas of the melody. An excellent instrumental for experiencing sublime mental states. And, of course, there is the magnificent 'Touching Upon the Mystery', an electric and progressive blend of this melancholic acoustic opus. It contains the entire palette of musical images and talents, both of each individual performer and the ensemble as a whole. The rest of the songs from the album, as it seemed to me, are excellent instrumental connecting links between the above-mentioned masterpieces. In general, we can conclude that this is not just the creative take-off of the group, but also a huge groundwork for years to come, from which the group will go higher and higher. In the meantime, you should just forget about the bad and drink, like a sip of fresh water, a wonderful musical particle of the gone 2012, as a useful and interesting artifact.
 Crown by ROZ VITALIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
4.93 | 6 ratings

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Crown
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars The long-awaited "isolation" single from St. Petersburg "Roz Vitalis" CROWN, like Univers Zero that has risen from the Leningrad swamps, has taken Robert Fripp into its arms. Catchy, growling, sometimes heavy and broken. These are the general points of this great recording. It seems that the musicians have finally completed their "phase transition" and before us is a fully formed dark rock music with all the flavors of instruments and moves possible. The single starts off powerfully and not even in the spirit of the classic Roz Vitalis, I would even say strikingly! But this is not surprising given the general recording concept. The style has become more "compact" but no less meaningful, and even more integral than it was before. In secret, I hope that further recordings will be completely in this vein, although this is only my subjective opinion. And yes, these guys are very good using guitar riffs; such riffs were practically not observed before. The second composition titled "Beautifulness" is the classic Roz Vitalis as it is! Namely: airy, barely tangible, beautiful and performed with an academic crystalline - as befits real thinkers and virtuosos from non-trivial music. It is as if several different things performed at the same time in it, and each time you hear one or another musical canvas, depending on your mood. In general, this rather short single is very compact, but capaciously reflects both the best classical features of the group and the rise to new dark peaks that have not yet been explored. In addition, the front-cover for this unprecedented opus was made by your humble servant, author of this review.
 The Man Whose Wings Were Cut Off by ROZ VITALIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
4.94 | 7 ratings

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The Man Whose Wings Were Cut Off
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars Despite the fact that the recording of the new single of incomparable ROZ VITALIS took a long time, this work turned out to be very atmospheric and intense. It is pleasant to realize that the ensemble, having developed its own corporate style, in which it has been moving for the last 10 years, has not changed its trajectory. Roz Vitalis every year stride through the world of progressive music with increasingly dense and dark steps. The group not only did not exhaust own powers, but began to sound much more voluminous and multi-layered, which speaks of the great contribution of each musician as a whole. Music has become much less avant-garde (like the earliest albums of Roz Vitalis), much more influence of the classics of the genre has appeared, which is highly appreciated by the leader himself Ivan Rozmainsky. These over 6 minutes, I am sure of this, will give the listener a particle of an ocean of musical thought and saturated quiet energy. For newcomers, the style of the group may not be so simple. For a more comfortable understanding of music, the term "quiet power" should be used. When the music does not cover you with a flurry of energy but goes to the very center of your soul, where it opens like a rose.
 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
4.06 | 19 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars "Wind, sand and dancing with snakes."

Exactly so, associatively, I would call this magnificent live release from the delightful and refined ROZ VITALIS.

The recording is especially remembered for the increased influences of flute and guitar, which were virtually minimized in the early days of the band's career. Now, there is a feeling as if in the vastness of this disc the British Camel and the progressors Gong, from the period of the Shamal album, met in a single battle (the latter flaunts a graceful desert that evokes associations with the music of Roz Vitalis).

When listening to this live album, there is a feeling of a vast desert, but not something lifelessly dead, but on the contrary: infinitely warm, flowing, universal, timeless.

Melancholic and rather bluesy style of playing Vladimir Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky walks through huge landscapes, like a rider wrapped in a shroud. The characteristic "crystal" still life of keyboards by Ivan Rozmainsky is also actively present on the album. Well, the virtuoso drumming by Evgeny Trefilov is just

like in the spirit of the early Genesis, which speaks of the musicians' great love for the classics of the genre.

All tracks presented on the album, although diverse, are combined into one common musical canvas, capable of giving odds to many representatives of the genre, both old school and contemporaries. And the quality of the release itself does not raise any doubts, which speaks of the mastery of the highest standard, and of the group, as a single living organism, flowing from one phase to another, while remaining itself.

 The Threesunny Light Power by ROZ VITALIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
3.09 | 4 ratings

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The Threesunny Light Power
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Also from 2004 is a three-track EP, the title song of which is 24 minutes long, so the EP is more than 35 minutes in total length as the other two songs are somewhat shorter. It is the same line-up, with a similar musical approach, and even the same vase of flowers on the cover as the album, and one can only imagine that the reason they weren't all on the same release is that that would have made it more than 100 minutes in length so would have meant a double CD release. On this EP Ivan is accompanied by Regentova and Polyakov on the epic, and then on the closer by Laskin, with the middle song being a solo keyboard piece.

"The Threesunny Light Power" could, and possibly should, have been on 'Das Licht Der Menschen' as it is such a direct continuation, but the other two numbers are quite different. These are far more keyboard-based with much less of a choral or baroque sound, and no woodwind or percussion (drums are programmed, which is readily apparent). This means the EP has some very different styles within it, and although I can see why they have been placed in this order, I would have probably gone 1,3,2 as musically that allows the transitions to make more sense. However, this is another great release from Roz Vitalis, and with their whole collection now easily available through Bandcamp (this has been listed as available for a minimum $1 USD) now could not be a better time to discover one of the great progressive bands from Russia.

 Das Licht Der Menschen by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.89 | 19 ratings

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Das Licht Der Menschen
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I have been writing about Russian band Roz Vitalis for a fair number of years now, but I have never gone back and investigated their early material. However, Ivan Rozmainsky (keyboards, programming, winds, percussion, vocals) sent me birthday wishes a few months ago, along with this album and an EP which I thought I might enjoy. 'The Light of the People' was originally self-released in Russia in 2004 and was their third full-length album. Ivan was joined on this by Nadezhda Regentova who provided keyboards (plus vocals on one of the three songs), keyboard player Vladimir Polyakov plus guest guitarist Sergey Laskin who played on the opening number only. There are only three songs on the album, although there is a total playing time of some 70 minutes, and much of it is instrumental.

What I found completely fascinating about this album is that it owes more to church and baroque music than it does to what I think of as progressive. There is a large amount of woodwind instruments and various percussion, including tubular bells, timpani, and xylophone, as well as plenty of keyboards. Musically it feels like a classical piece in three movements, with melodies coming in from different direction and being repeated on different instruments. In terms of progressive music, I feel this has more in common with Gryphon than it does with what I think of in Roz Vitalis which goes to show just how much the band have changed over the year. There is no sense of rush, but rather one of quiet deliberation, with each note being played by a particular instrument for a reason. This album was released only a year after their second, 'Lazarus', which I have also not heard, and I am at a loss to understand how this could have been recorded so quickly as there was undoubtedly a huge amount of hours spent in a studio crafting this and pulling it together.

For those, like me, who have only come across Roz Vitalis in recent years (their 2018 album 'The Hidden Man of the Heart' is truly wonderful) then it is makes sense to go back in time and hear a band in their infancy who were already making wonderful music.

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

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