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Compassionizer Narrow Is the Road album cover
4.13 | 35 ratings | 8 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Only One Road for the Wayward (7:20)
2. The Invasion of a Crying Shame (3:53)
3. Black Sky White (5:25)
4. I Need You to Help (5:50)
5. Narrow Is the Road (5:14)
6. In Things Too High for Me (8:40)
7. Looking from the Dome (5:37)
8. Kramatorsk (14:32)
9. Road (3:42)

Total Time 60:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Serghei Liubcenco / electric & acoustic guitars, rubab, doira, other percussion & drums, whistles (3), recording
- Leonid Perevalov / bass clarinets, recording
- Ivan Rozmainsky / conception, Roland Juno-D, Pribor Neofit, Arturia MiniBrute & other synths, kalimba, vibraphone, marimba (2), recording
- AndRey Stefinoff / clarinets, recording

- Bayun The Cat / synth bass (4,6), kalimba (6), tbilat & other percussion (6), recording (4,6)
- Angelina Dortman / flute
- Dmitry Efimchuk / acoustic guitar (8)
- Antonina Pozdnyakova / violin
- Oleg Prilutsky / trumpets, recording

Releases information

Artwork by Vyacheslav Potapov (VP)
Mixing & mastering by Anatoly Nikulin
Released by ArtBeat Music

Thanks to felonafan for the addition
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COMPASSIONIZER Narrow Is the Road ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (15%)

COMPASSIONIZER Narrow Is the Road reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
4 stars Prolific and ambitiously adventurous composer/musician Ivan Rozmainsky (of Roz Vitalis fame) is back with his new collective of virtuoso collaborators for a third album release since 2020. And it's a good one!

1. "Only One Road for the Wayward" (7:20) Ivan & co. here move more into the discordant world of avant jazz artists like JOHN ZORN and YUGEN. I think this one succeeds because of its slow, spacious pacing and "conscientious" note-making. (13.25/15)

2. "The Invasion of a Crying Shame" (3:53) starts off as if picking up where the first song left off, but then quickly becomes something different--a kind of middle school band practice session for the horn section. Interesting for how loose and sloppy the timing is for the instrumentalists engaging in the weave. (Yes, I can tell it's done intentionally.) The grating electric guitar injected into the final quarter is surprising and a little off-putting. It's as if a 2:00 AM jam of rather tired and, probably, drunk musicians is being recorded. Not quite sure of the reason or motivation for this song to be included on a publicly-released album. (8.5/10)

3. "Black Sky White" (5:25) there's a bit of a Celtic or even Acadian folk feel to this one. (It reminds me very much of the music from the QuÚbecois band, CONVENTUM's 1979 album, Le bureau central des utopies.) I like it for the predominance of acoustic instrumentation. Very nice finish. A top three song for me. (9.25/10)

4. "I Need You to Help" (5:50) built around weave of comparatively sappy melodies, Serghei Liubcenco's choice for guitar sound once again mystifies me: like using a kitchen appliance, he can sure make some noise! The scaled down interlude in the middle reminds me of MASSIVE ATTACK's "Teardrop" but then we move into Asian-infused, cheesy drum-machine-led, mediŠval weave while the wildest collection of disparate instruments somehow move forward together, as a rag-tag ensemble. Adventurous and laughable yet admirable! My final top three song. (9/10)

5. "Narrow Is the Road" (5:14) again Ivan & company bring together an ensemble of classical and jazz instruments to create a pathway that is somehow moving forward while taking turns giving up the leadership position, this causing some uncertain movement and moment--this despite the definitive title. Perhaps the road is old, less traveled, and poorly maintained. Anyway, against all odds, the band somehow pulls it together for the final quarter of the song to reveal some beautiful teamwork. The weave then turns to avant chamber jazz sounding quite similar to the work of Belarusian bands Rational Diet, Five-Storey Ensemble, and Archestra. Here are some quite lovely "traveling" melodies conveyed in the second half of the song. This is certainly one post-apocalyptic (or pre-industrial) band of road travelers that I would enjoy being with or encountering. My favorite song on the album. (9.5/10)

6. "In Things Too High for Me" (8:40) the solo kalimba in this song's opening does not fool me for a minute. The music quickly shifts into an electrically-founded trapse of troubadours--which occasionally turns space alien (minute #2) and Asian (minute #3). This one sounds as if it could come from some of DAVE NEWHOUSE's zany collaborations--the Moon Men or Moon X projects. In the final third the structure becomes tight, organized, almost classical, this despite the odd mix of instruments. It's a very Paolo "SKE" Botta-like sound. Not my favorite piece but interesting. (17/20)

7. "Looking from the Dome" (5:37) concertina/organ and rock electric guitar open this one before winds and cymbals join in to create a near-klezmer weave. Banjo and strings join before wah-ed guitar takes the lead. the percussion-driven rhythm and pacing remind me very much of parts of MIKE OLDFIELD's 1979 masterpiece of four "Incantations." The final stripped down minute feels more African tribal with they now-typical odd assortment of collaborating instruments. (8.75/10)

8. "Kramatorsk" (14:32) violin announces the Russian melody theme before low winds take over. Then drums This could very much be a piece by Markus Pajakkala's UTOPIANISTI--except for the fact that it doesn't change, progress, shift, or develop as dynamically as Markus' compositions. This one drags on--rather like a New Orleans funeral procession. The addtion of heavily distorted guitar strumming in the second half does little to enhance the (lack of) interesting or pleasurable development of the song. The Psycho-like violin (and, later, synthesizer) screams in the eleventh minute are surprising and, once again, do little to enhance the likeability of the song (except if you're a lover of King Crimson or Art Zoyd at their most angular/dissonant). Again, I know not the intent or message the band was trying to convey here, but it is one that is, unfortunately, totally lost to me. I understand and appreciate the adventurousness, skill, and vision it takes to compose and perform something like this, it's just not my cup of tea. (25/30)

9. "Road" (3:42) this sounds like a cute little Baroque chamber piece--something being performed for a small private audience or as background music for a museum opening. (8.5/10)

Total Time 60:13

With this album I think Ivan and his intrepid collaborators have put together their finest effort. The sound engineering and production is excellent with great clarity of each and every single instrument. My favorite selections on the album are, of course, the more chamber-oriented pieces dominated by acoustic instruments and mediŠval-like folk sounds and weaves.

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any lover of truly adventurous progressive rock music.

Review by Kempokid
4 stars Another fantastic album from Compassionizer that really represents the sheer versatility on display from them. Rather than the more brooding atmosphere and cold, alien quality that would often shine through with the stronger use of electronics on past albums, Narrow Is The Road takes on a far warmer, more uplifting tone while maintaining a lot of the moodiness that make them so compelling. The range of instruments, while being about as diverse as before, still sound very different as a result. You'll find a lot more symphonic elements especially, with the assortment of woodwind and brass being utilised to craft an atmosphere just as compelling as past output has been. The compositions themselves feel like a bit of a step up as well, still focusing far more strongly on crafting a mood and soundscape that evokes a range of emotions that often feel rather hard to define entirely, but this time around, everything sounds that touch more dynamic and impactful. This is especially true with the way that everything flows together as smoothly as it does, to the point where you'll end up hearing certain passages and ideas being reused later on but under a different context which ends up further expanding upon and refining what was already there, positively contributing to each rendition that's performed.

The electric guitar is another favourite aspect of this to me with the way that it's almost always implemented in such unconventional ways without entirely derailing the experience. The way that The Invasion of a Crying Shame uses it is especially powerful, breaking through the rather subtle, layered composition with a wave of roaring distortion that then gets played around smoothly and almost instantly, providing a certain intensity that I am a huge fan of when used in smaller doses in the context of an album such as this. The way that Narrow Is The Road is able to have such left turns while maintaining a practically unbreakable sense of momentum is rather impressive and sophisticated, essentially hiding its more avant-garde tendencies in plain sight time and time again and making for a fantastic experience to full absorb and break down all the nuances of. I basically always feel rather excited about seeing this band make a new album since they're so consistently great and interesting in how differently they're approached. In this case, I'd say that Narrow is the Road marks the band's most conventionally prog album in how it's structured, but that doesn't make it any less great at what it does. While An Ambassador In Bonds remains my favourite album Ivan Rozmainsky is involved with at this point, fans of atmospheric prog should not ignore this one either, as it's more fantastic music that makes full use of a wide range of instrumentation to craft another album that sounds rather unique and exciting.

Latest members reviews

5 stars The recent, fresh opus of the remarkable St. Petersburg musician Ivan Rozmainsky, with the Compassionizer project, pleases with an abundance of instruments and musical ideas from the first seconds. Is it possible to imagine an unified fusion of Gentle Giant, Henry Cow, Univers Zero and even Pink ... (read more)

Report this review (#2872012) | Posted by Devolvator | Saturday, December 31, 2022 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Wow, never expected to have a band reach out to me to review one of their new albums. That is definitely an exciting thing to notice as it can mean discovering new and interesting music from new, possibly groundbreaking artists. It is fun discovering music. Although, sometimes you might get some ... (read more)

Report this review (#2869257) | Posted by Dapper~Blueberries | Monday, December 19, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I definitely estimate this work as a great one, however, as i see, some reviewers consider the album as Intended for a narrow circle of listeners. This music is proper to get contact with your conscience and to stop realizing and feeling time and all the things around. If you do not might me say ... (read more)

Report this review (#2851621) | Posted by mhskey | Friday, November 11, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Once I said many of melodies created by this talented team can act as a perfect soundtrack to a movie. I would say this album is a new stage in the artistic development of Ivan and his peers because any theme in this work IS a movie with real plot twists, suspense moments, climaxes, and endings, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2850403) | Posted by Vanamonde | Monday, November 7, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The album "Narrow is the Road" is more coherent than the previous two. It feels the spirit of the present time, the ongoing difficult events that have affected Ukraine and Russia this year. In every note, one can feel personal involvement of the performers and the transfer of this to the listeners. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2847502) | Posted by Naida Regent | Monday, October 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Great album. Unlike the previous one and despite the theme, it is light and cheerful. Only two tracks are sorrowful and disquieting. At the same time the music is deep and touching. That`s why I sincerely recommend to listen to the album. We need such light in darkness. Only One Road for the Waywar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2847255) | Posted by ProAnastasia | Sunday, October 23, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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