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Roz Vitalis - Compassionizer CD (album) cover


Roz Vitalis



3.62 | 33 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After having fallen for the ninth album of ROZ VITALIS "Lavoro D'Amore" and their unique style of progressive rock that combines classical music hooks with experimental sound structures and Slavic folk, i was very eager to delve into the band's discography to see if any of their other albums keep my interest like that one did. I'm happy to say that i have accumulated another three earlier albums of this band and am happy to report that they are indeed as entertaining. Diving in randomly i ended up with their 5th album COMPASSIONIZER first.

What i love about Russian prog bands such as ROZ VITALIS is they more often than not have a firm grasp of classical music as well as Eastern Europeon folk and find the cleverest ways to incorporate those styles together in their music. Such was the case with "Lavoro D'Amore" and so too it is with COMPASSIONIZER. What i love about main man Ivan Rozmainsky is how in his song structure developments uses catchy hooks in the Western classical music tradition to draw the listener in and then use a whole arsenal of sounds ranging from bells, wind instruments such as clarinets, flutes and recorders and other sound effects to create a smorgasbord of interesting layers of sound.

On the very first track "Tragic Fate" we get some nice keyboard runs that meld with bells and other percussive sounds and builds layers until we get to a progressive frenzy with time sig changes at the speed of light. After it reaches it's peak it drops back to the beautiful piano hooks, so in effect the journey is somewhat logical in its delivery but the scenery on the way is most unexpected and woven together in most unorthodox ways.

While this music is generally placed in the avant-prog category it is unlike most music you would expect in that musical world. While most RIO and avant-prog is dissonant and other worldly in its song structure, ROZ VITALIS seems to prefer that a strong melodic theme dominates their stomp through the musical pasture upon which they gallop freely. This is what makes their music quite accessible from the first listen but the fundamentals of the avant-prog world still remain here albeit scattered about in a different manner than most and what i would call a rather avant-symphonic veneer to their overall sound. In other words the melodic keyboards are the anchor into the melodic world that allow the electronic, percussion and wind instruments to go wild around, therefore i could equally qualify this music as being space rock as well as symphonic prog and in the long run would call melodic eclectic prog.

While the music can get wild at times it for the most part remains steady and calculative with sounds slowly creeping in and gaining strength before usurping control for a brief moment. The ratcheting up effect is subtle and effective and there is rarely anything that just jumps out of the woodwork and slaps you in the face. Probably the most avant-garde of the lot is the odd drumming styles that add counterpoints to the melodies. While some artists are simply happy to keep the beat, ROZ VITALIS excels at keeping the percussion a major part of the dynamics that change it up frequently to add an additional zesty layer of rhythm and syncopation.

I've definitely fallen for this band's sound. It is utterly unique in the musical universe, at least the parts i've yet explored. I'm very happy to have found a band that satisfies different musical aspects such as the avant tendencies i gravitate towards all the while dishing out some of the tastiest melodic developments that accompany all the tones and rhythms that seem to be placed perfectly together for the proper effect. Great stuff.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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