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Roz Vitalis


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Roz Vitalis The Hidden Man of the Heart album cover
4.18 | 171 ratings | 14 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Someone Passed Over (2:18)
2. Passing Over (LP version) (6:43)
3. Rhapsody of Refugees (5:43)
4. Blurred (2:58)
5. Trampled by the Lion and Adder (1:35)
6. Thou Shalt Tread Upon the Lion and Adder (6:44)
7. Passing On the Line (2:02)
8. Disturbed by Jungle (1:56)
9. Jungle Waltz (5:02)
10. Wounded by the Lion and Adder (3:55)
11. Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers (6:58)
12. The Hidden Man of the Heart (5:13)
13. Some Refugee Passed Over (3:44)
14. Psalm 6 (LP version) (8:32)

Total Time 63:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Vladimir Efimov / guitars
- Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky / guitars
- Ivan Rozmainsky / keyboards
- Alexey Gorshkov / trumpets, guitars
- Vladislav Korotkikh / flutes
- Ruslan Kirillov / bass
- Philip Semenov / drums

- Danila Danilov / synthesizers
- Yury Khomonenko / percussion
- Mark Makarov / mandolin
- Leonid Perevalov / bass clarinet
- Georgy Fyodorov / conductor
- Long Fam / violin
- Valeriya Kondratyeva / violin
- Vyacheslav Agabekov / viola
- Sofiya Deynekina / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Liza Chekalina

CD Lizard ‎- LIZARD CD 0136 (2018, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ROZ VITALIS The Hidden Man of the Heart ratings distribution

(171 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ROZ VITALIS The Hidden Man of the Heart reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars So, composer and keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky is back with the same line-up as last time, except here he has extended his musical travelling even further. The album consists of 14 tracks and lasts 63 minutes. Various keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, flute and trumpet are supplemented by exotic kinds of percussion, mandolin, bass clarinet and even a string quartet! Musically Roz Vitalis are often viewed as being part of the RIO and Avant prog movement, but given that I listen to an incredible amount of RIO these days this now seems quite mainstream to me! At the very heart of the music, as always, is Ivan either providing keyboards or adding the complex simplicity of his piano. With the use of strings and brass on this album, there is an additional depth that may have been missing in the past, but given that I have enjoyed every album of theirs that I have heard I am possibly not really fit to judge too much!

That they are one of the finest progressive bands around at the moment is never in doubt, and each time I play this album I find myself getting totally lost inside its majesty. This album, even more so than their others, takes Ivan much more into the realms of being a modern orchestral composer who knows just want to get from each of the instruments at his disposable,. Creating a seamless piece of music that moves from one movement to the next. I love the way that the violins at the commencement of "Wounded By The Lion and Adder" start in perfect harmony and then lose that togetherness as the song progresses, quite deliberately, before moving into a full string quartet. The unusual combination of memorable/hooking melodies and sophisticated compositional structures with complex system of leitmotivs makes for a very impressive album indeed.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Almost three years after the previous studio album "Lavoro D'Amore" which found the St. Petersburg, Russia based ROZ VITALIS, led by the accomplished and talented leader Ivan Rozmainsky, the band the band finally unleash their new studio album THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART. Beginning with the EP "Psalm 9" which appeared in 2016, ROZ VITALIS started to take on a new, more focused approach to their compositional style. With Rozmainsky's keyboard melodies still taking center stage, "Psalm 9" emerged from a steady career of a heavily abstract style fortified with an infinite variety of complexities which gave the music a darkened underground feel, but somehow just missed from connecting to wider audiences.

THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART continues the more streamlined approach of "Psalm 9" with more straight-forward melodic developments and although still firmly existing in the avant-prog side of the spectrum, actually slides on closer to a veritable symphonic prog presentation bringing such bands as Camel to mind. While classical music has always been the primary scaffolding of musical support, it's even more so on the ROZ VITALIS 3.0 sound which incorporates more bouncy grooves and easier to follow patterns of sound that somehow didn't quite coalesce correctly on "Psalm 9," but on THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, Rozmainsky and friends manage to tie it altogether creating a successful new chapter in the ROZ VITALIS canon. Two tracks from "Psalm 9," namely the title track and "Passing Over" have been reworked and are included on this one.

Once again ROZ VITALIS dishes out an ambitious slice of progressive rock with 14 tracks that last slightly over an hour with the expected keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, flute and an even greater role for the trumpet with sprinklings of other exotica such as mandolin, clarinet and a string quartet but on this one, the composiitons are much tighter and engage in well established songwriting techniques rather than meander into infinity and beyond. Such focus is most apparent on strong tracks like "Rhapsody Of Refugees" with it's ska meets rock driven groove and melodic keyboard runs augmented by a cavalcade of trumpet sounds. Each track is well written and the album flows quite well with a nice diverse palette of styles and techniques utilized.

ROZ VITALIS is one of those bands that always creates a concept about which they compose their music around and THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART is no exception to this tradition. Usually based in the spiritual realm, this one delves into the psychological world of the spiritual and creative constituents of what makes up a human being whether it be tragic, ecstatic or just mundane. As always, the music is instrumental and takes the listener on the intended journey through the tones, timbres, tempos and dynamics alone with no vocalizations whatsoever. The music has much more poignant levels of emotional delivery. Whereas the older albums were riddled in esoterica and abstract journeys into the halls of sound, this one goes straight to the heart with the emotional tugs of violins, heavy distorted guitar chords or melodic melancholy in the form of beautifully developed classical piano runs.

On "Psalm 9," i had my doubts as to whether ROZ VITALIS could successfully make the transition from an abstract RIO/avant-prog band to the more accessible symphonic based progressive rock that is experienced on THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, but all my doubts have been put to rest as Ivan Rozmainsky along with his cast of six other permanent members alongside nine session musicians churn out some of the best music of the band's career. Don't get me wrong, i love the older more "out there" albums but i'm quite appreciative of this more streamlined and focused approach as well. The music is still quite complex, it's just that it revolves around more direct developments which allows a whole new level of listenership to join the party. Another substantial release from these astute Russians who show no signs of burning out any time soon.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another Roz Vitalis release, another rollercoaster ride. The eclectic and diverse choice of songs to represent this band's recent work is, as usual, surprising. There are gorgeously performed and recorded neo-classical pieces (of varying degrees of compositional complexity) set next to songs that sound as if they were intended for or belong in a local bar. This is a trend that I've seen from Roz Vitalis from the start--though I have to admit that this album is the best recorded and engineered album I've heard from this band. My complaint of Roz Vitalis material remains the same: inconsistent quality, inconsistent complexity (some songs feel like they're classical compositions while others feel as simple as child's play), and inconsistent audience targeting (exactly who is the audience that they see their music attracting?).

1. "Someone Passed Over" (2:18) a somber, not-quite-sad cello theme which is then augmented and developed by each of a string quartet to form a weave of high quality and maturity. (8.5/10)

2. "Passing Over" (LP Version) (6:43) a piano, bass, and electrified acoustic guitar version of the previous song upon which layers are added to include drums and flute, heavy electric guitars and synths. At the midpoint the song breaks down into "drunken brass and woodwinds" while drums and bass support, but then steady drum beat, rolling bass line, and picked acoustic guitar establish a variation over which piano, electric guitar, and horns join in. Nice play on that album-opening theme. (9/10)

3. "Rhapsody Of Refugees" (5:43) What the heck! Where are we? At the circus? Nice sound and performances of a rather child-like song but so shockingly out of character with the previous two songs that I just can't go there. (7/10)

4. "Blurred" (2:58) fast strumming acoustic guitar with keys, bass, and drums while flute, electric jazz guitar, trumpet take turns deploying the melody. Turns more Spanish in sound and feel as the song develops. Just a little to straightforward and lacking variety in the development. (8.5/10)

5. "Trampled By The Lion And Adder" (1:35) classical composition for chamber strings. Gorgeous. Definitely the band's strength. (5/5)

6. "Thou Shalt Tread Upon The Lion And Adder" (6:44) a weave of percussive drum parts, muted guitars and harpsichord open this one before 1/4 spaced strums from a heavily distorted electric guitar join in. The guitar then starts to riff and solo before the band steps up into a full rock "march." In the third minute everything slows down and spreads out into a more spacious, folk jazz weave. Nice. This is followed by an eerie carnival-esque section which flows and works very well with the previous sections. Now this is progressive rock music! A slow build and amplification sees the addition of horns and more guitar work. (9/10)

7. "Passing On The Line" (2:02) seems a piano version or variation on previous two songs' themes. Quite oversimplified. (3.5/5)

8. "Disturbed By Jungle" (1:56) continued Satie-esque piano experimentations or 'tudes. (4/5)

9. "Jungle Waltz" (5:02) a simple foundational weave within which electrified acoustic guitar, bass, drums, piano, and, later, organ and trumpet play. Competent but nothing very innovative or special here. (8/10)

10. "Wounded By The Lion And Adder" (3:55) violin solo with chamber strings supporting. Again, gorgeous and, again, the band's true strength. (9/10)

11. "Fret Not Thyself Because Of Evildoers" (6:58) opens with avery eerie xylophone riff over which some very heavy, scary electric guitar, bass and cymbols play. Then, suddenly, we're lifted out of the scary scenario and brought into a comic-pop Halloween party. Not up to speed for top notch progressive rock compositionally or performance-wise. (7.5/10)

12. "The Hidden Man Of The Heart" (5:13) band with acoustic guitars over which flute, electric guitar and trumpet take turns soloing or enhancing the musical themes. Though based on some pretty simple constructs, this one works due to the melodic expressions of the soloists. (8.5/10)

13. "Some Refugee Passed Over" (3:44) another composition for strings that opens with solo cello before viola joins in for the second pass through of the main theme. Third time through violin is added. The harmonic weave is quite nice. Fourth time adds a second viola with accenting notes gradually taking over the lead. At the two minute mark things break down and more staccato play comes from two of the quartet with more echoing and merging of themes. Nice piece. Why don't Roz Vitalis just stick to neo-classical chamber music? They're so good at it! (9/10)

14. "Psalm 6 (LP Version) (8:32) the attempt at a "heavy metal" (' la IRON BUTTERFLY or early BLACK SABBATH) version of the opening song's themes. Horns take up a theme in the second minute--over the simple "metal" foundation--giving the song a new Spanish flavor. Then, at 2:05, everybody drops out and a churchy organ enters performing some of the same themes in a softer, gentler fashion. Solo trumpet joins in with a plaintive voice. Drums and electrified acoustic guitar give it a 1970s MIKE OLDFIELD sound and feel to it. Nice (though hardly original). Bass, drums, and strumming acoustic guitars and mandolin give it a ALAN PARSONS PROJECT "Fall of the House of Usher" feel. Okay, they got me. Nice work. (9/10)

3.5 stars; a nice addition to modern instrumental progressive rock music. I'd love to see a Roz Vitalis album with all neo-classical chamber music.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I love the sound of cello. It's accompanied by violins in the intro of this ROZ VITALIS album. A very good piece of chamber music which lasts only two minutes, but the main theme is reprised by the piano in the second track. The mixture of rock and classical instruments is not new in the prog world, especially the flute, but "Passing Over" alternates several sections and in the middle of the track it has a CAMEL flavor. An excellent beginning. In less than 10 minutes there's a bit of everything, including a short section which justifies why this band is in the RIO/Avant section of Progarchives. Anyway it's very melodic and not challenging at all. In the final part of the song the sound of trumpet, familiar to who follows this band arrives and it's a pity in my opinion, that the song ends fading out.

"Rhapsody of Refugees" is between Wakemanian keyboards and a trumpet reminding of the Goran BREGOVIC style (not so much Goran Bregovic, don't worry). It's another high-level track in which the ethnic element is mainly grotesque.

A short strings chamber interlude of few more than one minute follows. Like the intro, it's excellent and leads to the next track. Those strings interludes make me think to Colin BASS and his "An Outcast Of The Islands". "Thou Shalt..." features a great guitar and behind it a classical mood can be heard. Piano, bass, flute and what apparently is a harp make a break in the middle.

A two minutes piano solo, again with a classical flavor, but with the sembiance of a studio for beginners is followed by anoter 1 minute piano interlude, then we enter the "Jungle Waltz". On this track, the flute is played in a Ian ANDERSON style in order to enhance the "wild" and dark atmosphere. If the intention was to give the listener the idea of a dark jungle, Roz Vitalis succeeded. Then pauses, trumpet and an unusual sequence of chords, vaguely dissonant are perfect in keeping it dark. The final crescendo would have been great if not faded out.

Strings again. "Wounded by the Lion..." occupies three gorgeous minutes. I'm not very expert in classical music, but I think the reference may be Gustav MAHLER with a touch of J.S. BACH. I'm not sure, but I suspect that the Lion is representing St. Mark, as it's the christian symbol representing that evangelist.

"Fret Not Thyself..." has a Crimsonian feeling and reaches its heights when the music becomes compulsive and the trumpet takes the lead. Anyway every single part of this complex track is at an excellent level.

It's time for the title track: Flute and acoustic guitar first. It's a very melodic track. Very enjoable in which there's room for all the instruments without being a "box for solos". I'm not sure if it's really the best track of the album, but it's surely a candidate.

"Some Refugees passed over" is another string quartet which reprises the main theme which is recurrent throughout the album, then "Psalm 9" which has previously been released in an EP. It's a true progressive rock track, more on the rock side of the thing. It's also the longest album track, featuring more than 8 minutes.

It's a pity for the fadeouts which make me round down the 4.5 stars that in m opinion it deserves. It's a great album.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Roz Vitalis, a Russian band, with their album "The Hidden Man of the Heart" from 2018, touched perfection and created a prog rock masterpieceMystical and melancholic, with sounds that sometimes step into really dark atmospheres, but at the same time, a bright spot emerges that gives glimps ... (read more)

Report this review (#2981659) | Posted by newdawnofprog | Thursday, January 11, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A very interesting album with beautiful and various music. The album is very well arranged as a classical symphony. But sometimes there is a similarity with a rock symphony. Several main themes "initiated" at the beginning of the album are developed further. The album combines, in my opinion, ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#2309638) | Posted by Great1703 | Sunday, January 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the things I always liked about Roz Vitalis is how they never stop and always struggle for finding new paths in music. And no surprise, this persistent search for a new sound sometimes pays off, and it is why a number of the band's melodies, those combining originality and inner harmony, r ... (read more)

Report this review (#2150859) | Posted by Vanamonde | Friday, March 1, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "The Hidden Man of the Heart" can apparently be considered the most broad-scale "Roz Vitalis" project at present. Apart from seven main participants, eight new musicians have joined the team, including string quartet headed by Georgiy Fedorov. At the moment "The Hidden Man of the Heart" is the b ... (read more)

Report this review (#2039324) | Posted by Igor Lu | Friday, September 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars These sounds seem to be very familiar to you. But if you try to find something unusual in music, something, that will take your brain away, the 'Roz Vitalis' new album 'The Hidden Man of the Heart' (2018) is the particular thing that you need. Elegant oriental motives will charm your ears during ... (read more)

Report this review (#2026032) | Posted by IceAngel | Sunday, September 16, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Viam supervadet vadens", so I want to say about the new creation of the group, Roz Vitalis. This is a breakthrough, finalized and the qualitative fruit of this team. The team presented by the team today can rightly be assessed as one of the most powerful, full-fledged and conceptual works. Eac ... (read more)

Report this review (#1934588) | Posted by ElenaRS | Monday, May 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In the cold Spring time I was very sad. I felt blue due to the dominance of musical culture promoted by mass media. I had made decision to listen to new album of the band which is known and loved by me for a long time because of the originality. The album "The Hidden Man of the Heart" is much darker ... (read more)

Report this review (#1932878) | Posted by Naida Regent | Sunday, May 20, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The new album by Roz Vitalis was an important milestone in the history of the band. This is the first album that the band funded through a crowdfunding campaign. From the very beginning, the musicians were aimed to do something special and outstanding. And, in my opinion, they succeeded. Many o ... (read more)

Report this review (#1920420) | Posted by Nikols | Tuesday, May 8, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Roz Vitalis was a Russian composer and keyboardist who set up a project in 2001, a poetry band. But later became a trio, the lineup expanded, not only the keyboard but also flute, harmonica, violin and clarinet and other instruments. Although it was the pre-pioneer shake and anti-rock, it was also c ... (read more)

Report this review (#1911245) | Posted by mitarai_panda | Sunday, April 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Hidden Man Of The Heart - this is really good instrumental music. This is new conceptually the album is about spiritual-creative constituent of a person in strange dynamics. Lovers of experimental prog (not exclusively RIO) may feel captivated by this album. Instrumentation includes the keyboar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1911112) | Posted by nikitasv777 | Sunday, April 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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