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Compassionizer - Caress of Compassion CD (album) cover





4.19 | 29 ratings

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4 stars The more recommendations I get for projects involving Ivan Rozmainsky, the more interesting I end up considering him as an artist, with the work he's been involved in being quite a variety of projects with distinct sounds, ranging from the avant-garde intensity of Roz Vitalis, to the vintage symphonic sound of RMP, to even featuring on some prog metal tracks with Trappist System Trio. Of all of these artists and sounds however, Compassionizer's Caress of Compassion might just be the most interesting of all of his work, taking on an approach quite far removed from the rest of his work, being considerably more focused on atmosphere and texture above typical songwriting, often feeling more akin to ambient rather than the prog he's been a part of. It also helps that in the case of this album, it's more than just a case of trying something different, but actually executing these ideas well, utilising the variety of instruments to paint a variety of sonic landscapes that cover a range of emotions, ranging from the mysterious to the melancholy.

The album kicks off with one of its best tracks, The Whole Creation..., immediately creating an atmosphere utilising the range of exotic instruments along with the droning of keyboards, giving off a very mysterious feel, with imagery reminiscent of exploring a dark cave. This is combined with a light eeriness as well, further adding to the atmospheric depth at play. The way this track progresses as well is also incredible, gradually becoming denser as more instruments are added to the mix without losing the subtlety that contributes to the immersive nature of the album, with the powerful guitar melodies being especially impactful. I also appreciate tracks like Street out of Sleep and Beware of Evil Workers that make full use of the keyboards to create a very artificial, futuristic sound while maintaining the use of the other instruments to undercut this with a somewhat organic feeling to it all, a contrast that is utilised excellently to provide further complexity to the atmosphere.

On the other side of things, there are tracks such as How Poems Lose Relevance and Beware of Evil Workers yet again that have an understated sense of grandiosity to them, with the sound of an organ or harpsichord in particular being key contributors in this, demonstrating some great versatility whilst not compromising the cohesion either, all sounding quite different yet undoubtedly belonging to the album. If there were one thing that this album could use a bit less of however, it's definitely the minimalistic parts almost entirely dedicated to largely isolated piano melodies, often contributing a melancholy tone to the music, but rarely being able to have the same sort of power as much of the other material, particularly during Caress of Compassion, Pt. 2. That's not to say that these are all entirely bad however, as in the case of 1907, this tone is quite profound in its relative emotional impact, managing to almost sound introspective in its delivery, with the diversions into the other elements of the band once again giving that distinct feeling of progression despite the fact the understated nature of the album.

Overall, I wouldn't just consider this yet another successful project for Ivan Rozmainsky, but straight up his most successful of all the ones I've heard so far, being quite an interesting change of pace to his regular material, but such a great one at the same time. I feel like he completely succeeded in his vision of creating something far more melodic and atmospheric than his past works an tying these all to more positive emotion, as even during the darker sounding portions of this album, there's a constant underlying beauty and meditative sound to it, being tranquil even at its most intense. All of this combined with meaningful use of a wide variety of symphonic instruments gives this a very distinct, unique identity that is unlike much of what I've heard. I would definitely recommend this album to those that enjoy extremely atmospheric music, as this is definitely the main thing that this album is aiming for, and accomplishes this for sure while still having quite a lot of character to go along with it.

Best tracks: The Whole Creation...., Beware of Evil Workers, 1907

Weakest tracks: Caress of Compassion, Pt. 2, My Soul as a Thirsty Land

Kempokid | 4/5 |


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