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Roz Vitalis - Compassionizer CD (album) cover

COMPASSIONIZER

Roz Vitalis

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.56 | 24 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
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.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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