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Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) - Rokus Tonalis CD (album) cover

ROKUS TONALIS

Aviva (Aviva Omnibus)

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 35 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Not a long time ago, when AVIVA was brought to the Symphonic Team for addition, I was not sure if they belonged here, because if it wasn't for some electronic keyboards, they would had been a great candidate for the Neo Classical charts, because he structure is something totally different, with echoes of Rachmaninoff and Bartok.

Being that nobody else would accept them, we believed that they deserved to be added, and even though when I have some doubts, I am glad that they are here, because their music is simply outstanding, no matter if they are a pure Symphonic band or not and of course the most important component for their inclusion is Progressive Rock, and it's clearly present.

Before I start my analysis of "Rokus Tonalis", I feel the need to say we are not talking about a proper band, AVIVA is the brainchild of the virtuosos performer and excellent composer Dimitri A. Loukianenko, who plays all the instruments with an uncredited guitarist.

The main theme is the "Apocalypse of Saint John", but being instrumental we have to trust in the word of the author, even when the dramatic and mysterious atmosphere is a good indication of the concept, so without more to say, lets go to the songs

Prelude is a short introduction to the fabulous music we are about to review, the first impression is the excellent piano and the obvious dissonances, there's obviously a Modern Classical influence that makes it extremely interesting

Prima - Blessed Paul's Phantoms starts absolutely violent, the organ shows an ELP influence that most reviewers talk about, but I respectfully find secondary, the center of everything is the extremely complex composition and the aggressiveness with which Loukianenko attacks the piano and keyboards, the changes are dramatic, passing from modern synths and organs to classical piano with an Avant Garde feeling in the background. Exquisite combination of sounds and atmospheres, around the middle I find a very strong resemblance to Carl Palmer's "The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits", but the development and conclusion is absolutely unique.

Secunda - Sliding on the Surface is linked to the previous track, again the dominant instrument is the piano which is plaid with great skill, but then the Prog spirit appears with the synth and organ, as frying to reach to the surface from the ocean of Classical music in which is immerse. But not everything is dramatic to the extreme, some lighter passages with a touch of Fusion give a bit of light to a well developed dark atmosphere.

Tertia - The Destruction of Faena marks a radical change, at this point we are talking about a pure Prog track with incredibly dramatic changes from the dark passages to some more brilliant, in the background the listener can feel a religious Baroque sound that gives some hints about the concept, another magnificent song.

Pastoral as it's name indicates, is a bit bucolic and pleasant compared with the aggressiveness of the previous tracks, the author gives the listener some time to breath and prepare for the strong tortured sections about to come.

From the start of Underwater Sermon the listener can feel the tension, the radio, but not even the radio messages added prepare anybody for the violent crash of sounds and dissonant instruments, even when some jazzy sections relax a bit, the collision of sounds keep the suspense, because with AVIVA you can never guess what's coming next.

The Valse at the End of Times starts with an ELP oriented section with the same dexterity as Keith Emerson, Loukianenko tortures the keyboards but gives us pleasure with one of the most fantastic and elaborate songs of the album, Some passages are contradictory and extremely complex, but with great skills Loukianenko jumps to fluid sections, just to hit us without warning with the heavy artillery, the only word that comes to my mind is flawless.

Molto Largo .- Calm Lightstarts with suspense, the low volume of the organ seems to announce something harder is coming, a mysterious music goes slowly "in crescendo", but only reaches a relative climax at the end, this guy knows how to keep the listener waiting for the unexpected, but suddenly a radical change and we notice it's a new short track called Walking Down the Burning Scores, which is simply brilliant and for the first time flows naturally till the end with a display of skills at the keyboard, the album keeps getting better as the time passes.

Hymn is not what I was expectuing for the end (in this album nothing is as expected), the soft organ with a constant jazzy drumming that again goes "in crescendo" and never reaching the climax, this may be seen as something by many people, but it's what the musician tried to do and achieved success. Special mention for the Moog performance.

The album is closed with Postlude, a weird track that words can't describe with justice, because even when it seems as leading nowhere, the effect of culmination is reached.

There's not much to add, "Rokus Tonalis" is a fantastic album that I hope marks a new era of Symphonic Prog, and even when I hardly give a perfect rating to a debut album, this time I will make an exception and rate it with 5 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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