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ROZ VITALIS

RIO/Avant-Prog • Russia


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Roz Vitalis picture
Roz Vitalis biography
Founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 2001

ROZ VITALIS was created by composer and keyboardist Ivan Rozmainsky in 2001. Primarily it was one-man band. In 2003 ROZ VITALIS had become trio and included also Nadezhda Regentova (keyboards, voices) and Vladimir Polyakov (keyboards). In 2005 line-up experiences expansion. Now the band includes also Klara Metelkova (flutes, harmonica, vocals) and Yuri Verba (clarinet). Style of ROZ VITALIS is RIO/Avant-Prog/Symphonic Prog/Psychedelic/Space Rock. The main influences are LE ORME, GENTLE GIANT, KING CRIMSON, YES, ELP, SUPERSISTER, JETHRO TULL, DEPECHE MODE, AFTER CRYING. Music of the band was compared by prog-reviewers with GENTLE GIANT, UNIVERS ZERO, BRIAN HIRSCH, KING CRIMSON, TRIUMVIRAT, KRAFTWERK etc. In short, music of ROZ VITALIS can remind KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT, but is keyboard-based, with rare female voices and electronic drums. It is "chamber electronic prog" rather than "rockish music".

The best recordings are the following. "Lazarus" (2003) - RIO with ethno and electronic elements. see reviews at www.progressiveears.com & www.proglands.com ; "Das Licht Der Menschen" (2004) - concept album including three 20-28-minute epics devoted to the "theological idea of Trinity". It is very polyphonic album, difficult for listening. "Enigmarden" (2005) - almost instrumental prog-music with flutes and clarinet solos. EP-albums "Painsadist" (2003) and "The Threesunny Light Power" (2004) also can be recommended. More early albums are characterized by low quality of recording. All albums are self-released ones.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The band makes original and interesting prog-music, which has a lot of progradios' rotations and good reviews at prog sites.

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ROZ VITALIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROZ VITALIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 18 ratings
L'Ascensione
2002
2.97 | 15 ratings
Lazarus
2003
3.90 | 12 ratings
Das Licht Der Menschen
2004
2.73 | 17 ratings
Enigmarden
2005
3.56 | 24 ratings
Compassionizer
2007
3.72 | 33 ratings
Revelator
2011
3.93 | 42 ratings
Patience Of Hope
2012
3.55 | 18 ratings
Overcoming-Up
2014
3.87 | 81 ratings
Lavoro D'Amore
2015
4.09 | 140 ratings
The Hidden Man Of The Heart
2018

ROZ VITALIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 6 ratings
Live Autumn '05 In The Ad Lucem Studio
2005
4.12 | 6 ratings
Live At Mezzo Forte, Moscow, September'09
2009
3.18 | 3 ratings
Live 2013-08-31 + Bonus
2014
4.00 | 5 ratings
Live in Kirishi
2016
4.04 | 12 ratings
At Last. Live
2017
4.11 | 9 ratings
Elephant Live
2018
4.13 | 8 ratings
Great Expectations Live
2019

ROZ VITALIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ROZ VITALIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 7 ratings
Lazarus Abridged
2009
2.08 | 5 ratings
The Selected Of Enigmarden
2015

ROZ VITALIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Excerpts from Early Demo Recordings 2001
2001
3.18 | 2 ratings
Painsadist
2003
3.09 | 2 ratings
The Threesunny Light Power
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live At ESG-21, February 13th 2010
2010
5.00 | 2 ratings
Beyond the Limits of Spring. Live at Kitayskiy Letchik Jao Da, May 10th 2011
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live Summer 2012
2012
4.09 | 3 ratings
Live At Saint Peter Prog Fest #5
2013
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live 14-11-14
2015
3.41 | 22 ratings
Psalm 6
2016
5.00 | 2 ratings
Amaryllis / What Are You Thinking About? (with Vespero)
2018
3.50 | 2 ratings
Mille Te Ne Cadranno Al Fianco
2019
4.50 | 2 ratings
Cadence and Cascade
2019

ROZ VITALIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Great Expectations Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2019
4.13 | 8 ratings

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Great Expectations Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Recorded in St. Petersburg at the end of May 2018, this was only the second gig for drummer Evgeny Trefilov, who had replaced Philip Semenov who had held the seat for the previous ten years. The gig itself was to publicise the new album, 'The Hidden Man of the Heart', but the band were already looking forward so as well as featuring some older numbers, there were also some new ones which have yet to be recorded, including the first ever performance of "Bait of Success". The line-up is of course led by pianist and keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky, and as well as Trefilov he is joined by Ruslan Kirillov (bass), Vladislav Korotkikh (flute), Leonid Perevalov (bass clarinet) and Vladimir Semenov-Tyan- Shansky (electric and acoustic guitars).

Roz Vitalis are an unusual band, as while songs such as "Passing Over" contain passages which are extremely delicate and melodic, with refrains moving from piano to flute to synth, there are plenty of others when the band is working far more in the avant garde and eclectic fields. They have always been experimental and combine a modern approach with keyboard sounds which have far more in common with bands from fifty years ago than the present day. The woodwind instruments come in and out as the music demands it, not playing all the time, so the band may be performing as a quartet, quintet or sextet, whatever is right at the time. The guitar may be gently picked or strummed hard, and again the movement between acoustic and electric is seamless. The arrangements are complex, layered, incredibly intense and over the top or delicate and refined.

Roz Vitalis continue to release music that is both challenging and engaging, and this has been produced so the sound is probably as it was in the venue where this was recorded as opposed to having been cleaned up an enhanced. The applause at the end of each song is cut very short, and it would have been better to have this appear more as a seamless concert, but this is really nit picking on my part when the band are providing songs such as "Thou Shalt Tread Upon the Lion and Adder (Trampled Version)" which has a superb introduction. They continue to be one of the most exciting and invigorating bands coming out of Russia.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.09 | 140 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

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.

 L'Ascensione by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.29 | 18 ratings

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L'Ascensione
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars I don't know where the passion for Italian titles is from. "L'Ascensione" (the Ascension) is the debut album of Ivan Rozmainsky's creature "Roz VITALIS". Listening to the band's more recent output many wonder about why they are placed into the RIO/Avant subgenre. I wasn't around when the band was debated and added, but this album is very experimental even if not too far from the soundscapes of King Crimson and Gentle Giant. The first track changes mood several times and the russian sung final reminding of a horthodox mass with a Vangelis like background belongs to the genre.

Many people thinks that Avant rock is made of free jazzy improvisations, noise and unpredictable sequences of notes and chords. Well, it's also this, but this is not the case of Roz Vitalis, whose tracks have a well defined structure and don't leave much room to improvisations. "From Heaven Th Earth" is an organ base with a classical mood counterbalanced by a drone percussion riff. Very unusual. Later the organ fades out leaving it to electronics and percussion. more or less in the half of the 11 minutes of this track, there are some passages when the percussion stop for a while leaving harpsichord and xylophone the duty of the base. Signature changes, dissonances, electronic noises don't destroy the various melodies in the background. I think it can be called a Crimsonian track with the structure of a nightmare: starting from a quite regular piece of music and ending into a very dark ambience.

"The Unpurified Substance Of A Soul" starts not too differently. It's a good follower of the previous one, but turns immediately into a Gentle Giant like track. The style of percusssion programming is similar to that often done by Senmuth. Also this track has very dark moments. It closes with a short part of organ and Nadezhda Regentova's vocals.

"Through a spiral...." is again a dark mixture of drone percussion and keyboards, but I hear a classical music influence. Debussy comes to mind.

The mood doesn't change much with "Dreamy Memories" A strange section of vocals and "doohs" can be called contemprary classical in the vein of Giorgy Ligeti. I think it's similar to the instrumental things of Nichelodeon.

The longest track "Ascension Dream" is more melodic. It's a hint of the future tendencies of the band which will later abandon the experimental side and will concentrate more on the melodies. With the many changes and the strange "mass like" vocals it's like watching a movie or reading a book. You don't know what will follow but it's everything very consistent. The melodic piano base comes and go throughout the whole track. Desscribing it further is useless, also because it changes a lot of times. It has to be listened to, and it's a good listen.

A short interlude of one minute and half full of bells leads to the last track: "L'Ascensione 2". As often in the prog world, the last track closes the circle with the first, so it's church organ again, but it's more dreamy and a bit psychedelic, too. This is an album that requires headphones and the right environment and mood. An excellent debut by a band which has released and still releases a huge quantity of material, and honestly I haven't listened to their whole output, but up to now I haven't found anything bad.

Mainly (this album) for who likes Gentle Giant and King Crimson.

 Elephant Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2018
4.11 | 9 ratings

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Elephant Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Roz Vitalis have been one of the most consistent progressive rock bands out of Russia for many years now, always stretching boundaries with avant garde and jazz inspired music, and this their latest album definitely shows them playing to their strengths. Recorded at two different venues in Saint Petersburg and Narva in 2018, the line-up now has a new drummer in Evgeny Trefilov, while band leader keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky has also brought in saxophone player Ilya Belorukov which also allows the band to spread their wings even further. While four pieces are from their most recent studio album, 'The Hidden Man of the Heart', the other three are new compositions.

It is completely instrumental, and while Rozmainsky is at the heart of everything which is taking place, the use of sax on five of the numbers and clarinet on the other two has the band combining jazz, avant garde and elements of VDGG to create something which is sometimes challenging, always fascinating and certainly never boring. No one can accuse Roz Vitalis of wanting to follow the prog mainstream but instead are out there attempting to push boundaries and create something which is truly progressive and not another clone. This album has been released through Bandcamp, and I urge you to discover not only this but also the back catalogue of one the most interesting and enjoyable prog bands around.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.09 | 140 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Vanamonde

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, render a rare sense of discovery of ever existing but just previously unknown treasuries in the Platonic world of musical ideas. And their last album "The Hidden Man Of The Heart", may be the high-water mark of their creative development, perfectly represents the essence of their inventive quest. Of course, RV's works were never everyday easy music for pure distraction, yet it is very far from boring and monotonous, and the listener can enjoy a good diversity in the mood and sound in the album: from a bright, springy melody of Passing Over through a subtle and beautiful meditation of Some Refugee Passed Over to an apassionata of Thou Shalt Tread Upon the Lion and Adder.

Highly recommended for any lover of sophisticated, intelligent music.

 Great Expectations Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2019
4.13 | 8 ratings

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Great Expectations Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Roz Vitalis is a jazz fusion avant garde prog band from St. Petersburg, Russia, who started out as a one man band back in 2001, and over the years has grown into an impressive full fledged band over the years which includes guitarists, keyboard, flute and bass clarinet players. Ivan Rozmainsky is the leader and keyboardist and the band has released several studio and live albums over the years making them one of the most impressive progressive instrumental bands from Russia making an impression in the genre all over the world.

This live album, 'Great Expectations Live' takes several of the tracks from the bands most successful album 'The Hidden Man of the Heart' and puts them into a live setting along with classics from other albums from the band and even a few brand new tracks. The band is most impressive in a live setting in that the listener who doesn't get a chance to see the band live can still experience the level of musical professionalism first hand in this setting, especially in their improvisational passages. This concert was recorded live on May 26, 2018.

'Premonition' starts off the album with a somewhat pastoral flute solo before developing more intensity after bringing in the full band, with guitars and keyboards standing out from everything. As the track develops, things go from accessible jamming to more dissonance showing the band's experimental side that often comes up during their jams. Soon, a guitar solo backed by a swirling organ takes over, then things calm down as the percussion breaks down and a flute takes the lead as the band slowly plays a relaxing background which follows into a lovely guitar solo. Very nice!

Next we get a electric piano solo provided from Rozmainsky in a somewhat short track called 'La Gentilezza'. This leads into the next track 'Bait of Success' which is a more rocked-out track with the flute and guitar taking turns providing the melody as the piano and a complex bass line give support and intensity builds as it continues. This is the first performance of this track ever.

A long extended version of 'Annihilator of Moral Hazard' appears next at over 12 minutes in length. Starting with sparkling keys and nice effects, it soon morphs into a steady, churning beat and builds with an almost industrial feel. When the percussion breaks down, the track becomes mysterious and floats along in a psychedelic feel before it explodes into a heavy guitar supported by a flute improvising off of the guitar riff, almost feeling like a jazzy Jethro Tull vibe. The clarinet starts to go wild as things get more intense and the guitar continues to increase that intensity. At the end, the main theme takes up the accumulated power and pushes it to the climax.

'The Hidden Man of the Heart' starts with a pastoral feel with flute and acoustic guitar and tinkling cymbals before the drums come in and establish a mid-tempo rhythm. During the last half of the song, the beat changes to a Bolero-like rhythm with an organ pushing things ahead. 'Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers' starts off somewhat mysteriously and then soon settles into a more upbeat rhythm and then quickly crescendos sounding similar to early 70s psychedelic rock with the right mix of guitars and keys and complex moods and rhythms.

'Springnight City' is another short track fades quickly in with mellotron, bass clarinet and howling guitars creating a avant- garde kaleidoscope of sound. This gets cut short, but quickly goes into 'Jungle Waltz' which sounds as if it was developing from the previous free form track. There are still odd textures going on here, but now there is percussion added to help adhere the sound together, which is what happens as a nice jam results based on the structure that gets created. 'Blurred' is a quick track that features improvised clarinet trading off with keys, then flute and lastly guitar. The track sounds like it was edited from a longer improvisation.

'Passing Over' features the flute in a mid-tempo lilting jam. The middle section suddenly turns more free form as the clarinet starts to wail and screech and we get some other-worldly sounds for a while before it returns to the original theme again. 'Thou Shalt Tread on the Lion and the Adder (Trampled Version)' begins with a solemn organ and heavy guitar playing against each other with no rhythm. Suddenly a quick pattern picks up the tempo while the guitar plays off of the pattern in a descending pattern later adding variation and then running away with the track all together. Halfway through this turns pastoral when the flute takes the center stage backed by keys playing an arpeggio pattern and the bass clarinet playing a quick and staccato-like bass pattern. The guitar takes it all back again later and then it all churns dramatically to a climatic ending.

'What Are You Thinking About?' builds off of a repeating guitar pattern and uses this to create intensity and excitement not unlike 'Run Like Hell' from Pink Floyd. Last of all is 'Ascension Dream'. This is a nice pastoral track that works as a cooling down track after the fast paced previous track.

This is another great album illustrating the improvising talent of Roz Vitalis and the excitement generated in their improvised and sometimes free flowing music that is even more impressive when seen or heard in a concert setting. The music is great, but there are times when the recording suffers a bit sounding sort of flat or stuffy, but for the most part it is a good record of the band. It may not necessarily be the best place to start if you are interested in the band, but it is a good album for those looking to explore the band in more depth.

 Elephant Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2018
4.11 | 9 ratings

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Elephant Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Roz Vitalis is a Russian avant prog and jazz fusion band that has been around since 2002 and has released 12 studio albums. This album is a Live recording entitled "Elephant Live". I don't have any information as to when it was recorded or where, but I do know it contains a lot of live versions of tracks from their latest studio album released earlier this year entitled "The Hidden Man of the Heart". There are 7 tracks with a total run time of 45 minutes.

Ivan Rozmainsky founded the band and was the sole performer in the beginning, but has since expanded the line up to a full band. There are currently 6 members to the line up now, and 5 of the tracks feature a full-time alto saxophonist. The remaining 2 tracks in the sax's place, a clarinet/bass clarinet. Ivan plays the keyboards, and the music here is keyboard/organ heavy.

The music is all instrumental on this album, and has a jazz fusion feel for the most part, but the band also utilizes some avant- prog techniques to create dissonance, especially through the brass/reed instruments, which many times carry the band into the avant-prog territory. But the music always seems to find its way back to a traditional fusion sound.

All of the individual musicians create an impressive sound on an solo basis, but in the first 2 tracks, there seems to be a slightly amateurish and insecre feel when they are playing together. Not sure where that comes from as it gives not just an unpolished feel, but adds to the live, improvisational feel too. At times it can be a little unnerving, but at other times it works well.

I find the ensemble sounds like they are gelling better from "Bait of Success" onward. This is a nice energetic track which is more guitar driven, where the two tracks before were driven more by the keys and the sax.

I really find "Premonition" to be a highlight and it has a more experimental feel to it and is closer to an avant-prog feel throughout the track. I seem to find that the band's style of playing actually fits better with this style than it does with the more straightforward fusion sound, which tends to be a little starchy. There is some excellent guitar work on this track too. During the 2nd half of the track, the music becomes more melodic and goes into a slower rhythm and features a nice piano led section followed by a bluesy guitar, with the sax providing a countermelody as a support. Very nice.

I really like the progressive turn in "Psalm 6" which has a pounding rhythm set up by the drums and bass with the other instruments accenting the beat. It suddenly becomes much slower and ballad-like with an organ and keyboard led section, then things become a little more intense when drums and bass return. As in the prior track, everything evens out on the 2nd half as things move into a more blues oriented jam, but with a heavy rock edge. As it winds up toward the finish, things really begin to drive hard.

"Jungle Waltz" is an interesting name for a track that follows a 5/4 meter. Again, this one leans closer to the progressive fusion style, but it is definitely an original sound with a nice driving bass. While it definitely is not a standard waltz, it is a favorite of mine from this album as it shows a lot of ingenuity. The clarinet is a very nice touch here too. I love this one.

The album ends on "The Hidden Man of the Heart". This is a more mellow sounding track, and it tends to bring back the feeling of insecurity from the first two tracks. I'm not so much a fan of this one, but at least it is a shorter track.

So, even though I find the first 2 tracks and the last one a little shaky, I find the middle 4 tracks to be much better, as if the band began to gel a lot better. If the entire album was as good as the best tracks, I could have even considered this an excellent album, but as it is, the weaker performances are not so weak as to completely ruin the enjoyment received from the best tracks which are "Bait of Success", "Premonition", "Psalm 6" and "Jungle Waltz". These tracks, which are strong 5 star tracks, are definitely worth the listen, they can stand on their own collective selves above the weaker tracks 3 star tracks, so much so that they earn the album 4 stars.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.09 | 140 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Igor Lu

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 best "Roz Vitalis" album. The band has always been unlike their colleagues with regard to music subculture, but now they managed to reveal their own individual style in exact and adequate way. All compositions sound clearly, the melodies, like sound rays, seem to highlight secret places in listener's mind. Versions became even more laconic; it is not typical of prog-rock, but appears to be absolutely natural for present-day "Roz Vitalis", who seem to have already crossed the line on this genre.
 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.09 | 140 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by IceAngel

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 the process of listening 'The Hidden Man of the Heart', the leading composition of the album. Melancholy and anxiety will steal your heart in the melodies 'Wounded by the Lion and Adder' and 'Amaryllis'. Sometimes tracks sound alike you are playing computer game or travel in a very exotic country, for example 'Rhapsody of Refugees'. There are some religious allusions in the 'Psalm 6'. And it seems to me, that the whole album is dedicated to some path to the higher power. How the man moves, fears, changes, finds out something important about life and death. The album at all has something similar with 'Apocaliptica', but it brings more light in the heart of the listener. And is contains more complicated musical structures. I recommend this album for all who is longing for really talented, intriguing and special music.
 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.09 | 140 ratings

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The Hidden Man Of The Heart
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

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.

Thanks to felonafan for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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