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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)

3.31 | 21 ratings
L'Ascensione
2002
3.01 | 20 ratings
Lazarus
2003
3.88 | 15 ratings
Das Licht Der Menschen
2004
2.76 | 20 ratings
Enigmarden
2005
3.57 | 28 ratings
Compassionizer
2007
3.72 | 37 ratings
Revelator
2011
3.92 | 47 ratings
Patience Of Hope
2012
3.58 | 21 ratings
Overcoming-Up
2014
3.89 | 86 ratings
Lavoro D'Amore
2015
4.14 | 153 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
3.26 | 4 ratings
Live 2013-08-31 + Bonus
2014
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live in Kirishi
2016
4.07 | 14 ratings
At Last. Live
2017
4.16 | 12 ratings
Elephant Live
2018
4.16 | 12 ratings
Great Expectations Live
2019
3.99 | 18 ratings
Daybreaking Live
2020

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

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

4.00 | 8 ratings
Lazarus Abridged
2009
2.31 | 7 ratings
The Selected Of Enigmarden
2015

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Excerpts from Early Demo Recordings 2001
2001
3.33 | 3 ratings
Painsadist
2003
3.25 | 3 ratings
The Threesunny Light Power
2004
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live At ESG-21, February 13th 2010
2010
5.00 | 3 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
4.25 | 4 ratings
Live 14-11-14
2015
3.41 | 24 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 | 4 ratings
Cadence and Cascade
2019
5.00 | 5 ratings
The Man Whose Wings Were Cut Off
2020

ROZ VITALIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Ivan Rozmainsky (electric piano, synth) and his band has been delivering class instrumental music from Russia for nearly 20 years now, and this album continues that fine tradition. This was recorded live at the annual Babooinumfest in St. Petersburg in 2019, an event which features some of the very best bands in this field, and on this their eighth live album (the fifth in consecutive years) the band were previewing many tracks which have yet to be recorded in a studio. Joining Ivan on this jaunt were Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (guitar), Ruslan Kirillov (bass), Vladislav Korotkikh (flute) and Evgeny Trefilov (drums), and the quintet continue to follow very much their own path as they combine RIO and avant prog in a way unlike many others.

When Korotkikh is involved he often takes the lead melody role, but he is not involved in every song, and here it is down to Kirilov to try and steady the ship as everyone else goes off doing their own thing. One of the real differences between these guys and many others is that Ivan is using electric piano a great deal, almost in the manner of a harpsichord, and his synth sounds are very much those of the early Seventies organ, while Vladimir is very much a rock guitarist who plays plenty of power chords and uses quite a bit of distortion, and Trefilov is all over the place, adding to the dynamics and appeal. They can do gentle and pleasant when they wish to, but it is when they are in full flight they are at their best, experimenting, yet always making logical sense so the listener is not left behind. This is music which is progressing and challenging boundaries as they refuse to follow the crowd. Roz Vitalis continue to be one of the finest progressive bands from Russia and is one that any proghead should be investigating if they haven't done so already.

 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Igor Lu

4 stars To implement new ideas someone waits for the most favorable conditions, and other one ... does not wait - takes every opportunity. St. Petersburg group Roz Vitalis refers to the latter. After the studio album 'The Hidden Man of the Heart', the highest achievement of Roz Vitalis to date, 'Elephant Live' and 'Great Expectations Live' were released; and earlier this year, the new concert album, 'Daybreaking Live' was published. This release is half full of new, previously unreleased compositions. You can even say more than half - the old 'Nepsis' song is presented here in a thoroughly revised and expanded version. Where does such generosity come from? The leader and main composer of Roz Vitalis, keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky, explains this by not knowing when the band will now get to the studio. And in fact, if there is a quality record, why not publish it?

'Daybreaking Live' was recorded on November 4, 2019 during the performance of Roz Vitalis in the St. Petersburg club 'Place' at the 'Babooinumfest', known among fans of progressive rock festival. This is the third release in the group for drummer Evgeny Trefilov - the first and second ones were just the previous mentioned live albums. Due to the Evgeny's manner of playing, which is heavier than that of the previous drummer of Roz Vitalis, Philip Semenov, and also due to the fact that Evgeny was also involved in mixing of all these live albums, their sound has a lot in common. But 'Daybreaking Live' in comparison with 'Great Expectations Live' is more ascetic, even rude. Perhaps the matter is not only in the new moods of the musicians, but also in the fact that the line-up of the group was reduced to a quintet (keyboards, guitar, bass, flute, drums), where each instrumentalist does not share his function with someone else.

Roz Vitalis plays still a powerful and sometimes very 'twisted' instrumental progressive rock without direct references to the 'whales' of the genre. The inclusion of the song 'Nepsis', first published in 2003, in the concert program was probably no coincidence - the band's music became more nervous again. This is especially felt, for example, in the new composition 'Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth' - precisely because it is one of the most transparent, lightest things on the album, but the 'airy' melodic themes in it are supported by disturbing almost psychedelic accompaniment. The album opens with a block of new compositions, the first of which - 'Wides' - represents the current line-up of the group from its strongest sides and can become its new 'business card': here you will find catchy riffs performed by each of the soloists, a strong rhythmic foundation, and sometimes sharp, but unexpectedly logical dynamic transitions.

 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

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

4 stars When the sound quality and the performance of a live album are so good to make it sound like a studio album, it's amazing. This live effort of Roz Vitais has exactly that quality. With a quite huge discgraphy including lives and compilations I can't be 100% sure, but I think that the excellent opener "Wides" is unreleased on studio. The middle part of the track with a repetitive bass line and a sort of obsessive lead guitar is a perfect introduction to the newagey part dominated by flute and electric piano which later goes uptime. A great instrumental which sets the mood. Good start. Only the sound of the drums reveals that it's a live execution. The crescendo is completed by a distorted guitar which turns to clear when the track slows down a bit.

I may be wrong, but also the title track sound "previously unreleased" to my ears. Not too different from the first track for what concerns the mood, but darker. The arabesque keyboard in the background adds a touch of ethicity but only if you pay enough attention. Then the final section, very melodic, arrives. It's likely because of the flute, but this part sounds very close to Camel of the late 70s or even to the Japanese Bellaphon. At the end, we can hear the first applause. So it's really a live...

Nepsis, from the album Lazarus is one of the tracks which justifies the inclusion in the RIO/Avant section of PA. Let's say that when in a single track you put an Emerson-like keyboard and a Fripp-like guitar adding a touch of weirdness in the central section, the subgenre classification means almost nothing. Also because when it exits the short chaotic part it acquires a particular taste. Maybe I'm not in a good metal shape, but what I hear is a mixture of Debussy and Gentle Giant. Something that I can't really explain in words.

The short duo "Loro con Dolcezza..." is, I think, another new track. I don't knw why tis he Rozmainski's band so used in giving the tracks titles in Italian. It means "Them, with sweetness and courtesy". It fades into "Fret not thyself.." whose studio version is on "The Hidden Man of Earth", their 2018 studi release. Here the effect of playing it live is evident as it's a little accelerated, it seems to me, respect to the studio version. Anyway it's another great track fronted by the guitar.

Patience of Hope is the first Roz Virtalis album that I've listened to, and it's nice finding this drreamy atmpspheric track, even if it's not the first time that it ends on a live album. Probably it's one is which Ivan Rozmainski has more feelings. It doesn't miss the dreamy soundscape even when the guitar takes the lead with a riff that could be called Gilmourian if it wasn't for the distortion. Mother of all Rain: the title describes it very well.

Strangers and Pilgrims is another track which I don't think I've found on a studio album before. Not bad but the intro takes too long I think. When it ends there's a harpsichord sound which introduces the electric piano. Another stop and a change with the guitar with a lot of chorus in the background and the bass riff that takes the lead until the whole band enters. This track is made f short circular sections with themes coming and going, repeating and disappearing. So, intro apart, It's a very good track which deserves the definition of "progressive". A sort of short epic with a touch of classical feeling.

The performance ends with Psalm 6, which is probably one of the ost well-known tracks of this band, again from the 2018 album. It starts uptime and full of rhythm. Excellent as closer, it makes me think to Niacin, just to give the idea, but it's clearly a Roz Vitalis track. The chord sequence is not particulariy original but 4 chords can be enough if used in this way. It reminds me again to Bellaphon and Camel. The coda has a bit of Lady Fantasy, but without being derivative. Excellent as closer for a live. I can understand the word "Spassiba" in the seech to the public that I suppose has left the concert very satisfied.

Excellent live album from an excellent band.

.

 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Continuing to deliver a steady stream of excellent prog albums from St Petersburg, Russia, the avant-prog band ROZ VITALIS continues on with still more new material only this time much of it is delivered for the first time in the form of a live album in the first month of 2020. DAYBREAKING LIVE was recorded at Babooinumfest, the progressive rock festival organized by Sergey Gorchaninov and his band OT&DO but despite being a live release primarily consists of unheard musical bliss not yet available as studio recordings. Most of the material stems back to the years 2018-19 and was written after the release of "The Hidden Man Of The Heart" but pretty much continues the legacy of mixing disparate styles of classical prog elements into a hypnotic display of excellent musicianship.

Despite the primarily new material, DAYBREAKING LIVE does contain three classic tracks from previous albums. This includes "Mother of All Rain" (from "Patience of Hope' album), "Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers" and "Psalm 6" (both from "The Hidden Man of the Heart" album). ROZ VITALIS centers its albums around a primary theme although nebulous in nature. This one is going for a spiritually distinguished vibe with driving progressive forces drifting into melodic constructs. The band excels at crafting knotty difficult listening music that exists somewhere in between the angular world of avant-prog and the more accessible reaches of the symphonic prog world.

Laced with classically infused piano runs as well as more abstract runs through the avant-prog wilderness with hairpin turns and dissonant counterpoints, ROZ VITALIS crafts a beautiful string of eight tracks that captures the essence of its unique Russified stance on contemporary progressive rock music that sounds like no other. As with most ROZ VITALIS music, this too is instrumental and a testament to how excellent the musicianship of this band comes through in a live setting. The setting is intimate with a warm cozy vibe flowing through a small but dedicated fanbase. While the main focus is on the interplay between the keyboard and guitar, the flute is omnipresent throughout and adds those classic warm pastoral retro sounds of classic 70s prog acts. The drumming style while mostly subordinate to the melodic flow also has its moments of branching out into its own.

Of the newer tracks, the album starts off with three strong prog behemoths. "WIdes" is a nice opener as it establishes a tight instrumental interplay that displays the band in mid tempo that focuses on varying melodic developments embellished with strong improvisational playfulness. In many ways the band excels at taking the spirit of classic jazz recordings and applying them into the world of symphonically driven avant-prog workouts. The drum rolls in particular bring out the jazzy vibe while the keys root the music to classical and the guitar channel Fred Frith angularities. The title track follows suit but the feisty "Nepsis" offers a stellar keyboard workout along with heavier guitar antics that focus on distortion and stronger drifts into what sounds like Krautrock territory but when all seems like it's ready to float into space, Ivan Rozmainsky reels the unwinding chaos back into classical piano led melodic marches. This favorite track runs the gamut from the most orderly style of prog to pure detachment. Love the church organ sounds in tandem with the filthy rock guitar grit. "

Loro Con Dolcezza E Cortesia (Piano & Synth Duet)" is basically a short intermission between the two halves of the album. It sounds a bit like chiptune video music in the synth department but offers some nice soft flute and some jittery off-kilter time signatures. "Fret Not Thyself Because Of Evildoers" offers some classic ROZ VITALIS sounds with its avant-swing and busy guitar licks. "Strangers And Pilgrims On The Earth" is the last new material but delivers some sizzling hot prog that is just shy of the 9 minute mark. It hits the ground running with nicely syncopated keys, bass and drums that are slightly timed differently and just out of sync at first but then the track shifts towards a synthesizer run in classical Baroque mode and then commences to change things up often by adding dark atmospheric backdrops, varying degrees of guitar intensity and different time signature shifts as well as tempo changes. This is a perfect example of how complex some of ROZ VITALIS' arrangements have become and an excellent example of how prog jams can retain all the sophistication of studio arrangements.

With the final performance of "Psalm 6," the band dishes out another classic from the past with alternations between pastoral and more upbeat sections before the album ends leaving another satisfying experience with seasoned prog veterans who can really take you to another dimension. ROZ VITALIS excels at cranking out pleasantly addictive instrumental workouts. This is certainly not the kind of music that sticks in your head. I can never remember what any ROZ VITALIS album sounds like exactly but yet once i put on their music i am sucked into its energetic vortex for the long haul which is exactly what i'm looking for when i want to experience a cerebral ride through a complex tapestry of sonic bliss.

This is the kind of stuff Aglagard and Anekdoten pulled of so well in the 90s with nicely woven instrumental interactions that focused on strong hooks and then improvised upon. ROZ VITALIS has put a Russian spin on this style of knotty musical workouts and delivers both on studio releases as well as on live ones. DAYBREAK LIVE is yet another excellent slice of nicely varied prog tunes that will please those who are seeking nicely packaged chunks of musical complexity that also offer beautiful melodic elements that are stitched into the over all fabric. Great performances! Wish i was there :) I'm hoping that these newer tracks will find their way onto a new studio album as it would be nice to hear some variations on these live renditions however in reality this is such a well played album that except for the audience interaction sounds, this pretty much sounds like it was crafted in a studio anyways.

 The Hidden Man Of The Heart by ROZ VITALIS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.14 | 153 ratings

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

Review by Great1703

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, very well, several styles. The album is conceptual, filled with mysticism, which is amplified from beginning to end. The first track, "Someone Passed Over", which opens the album, is a dedication to classical music. This is the first track in a series of tracks in the style of classics. The second track "Passing Over (LP Version)" refers us to the 60s of the past century, it is like a small "symphony". The composition has an "introduction", then the theme "unfolds", a large set of solo instruments is used: an electric guitar, keyboards, wind instruments, and then a slow "disappearing" ending and again return to the main theme. Wind instruments add romanticism to the composition. The third composition, "Rhapsody of Refugees," probably refers us to the 70s. It sounds interesting electric organ and winds. The fourth song "Blurred" is romantic. Beautiful passages of solo guitar and winds. The theme, which at the beginning of the "romantic" guitar was picked up and developed by winds, the guitar returns in the epilogue. In the fifth piece "Trampled by the Lion And Adder" - a sad melody performed by stringed instruments sounds. Very "lyrical" violin. In the sixth composition "Thou Shalt Tread Upon the Lion and Adder" in the first part - rock sketch, then - keyboards and winds slightly change the initial theme, then rock guitar, space effects, and return to the rock theme, culmination again. In the seventh track "Passing on the Line" first solo the lyrical piano, then the melody loses its lyrical hue, it becomes more "hard" The eighth song "Disturbed by Jungle" continues the keyboard solo theme begun in the seventh, and the sound is slightly more uneven than in the previous song. The ninth song "Jungle Waltz" will justify its name - it is a waltz, but played in a modern musical interpretation, more technical, sounds like a technical melody. The tenth work "Wounded by the Lion and Adder" repeats and develops the theme begun in the fifth one. The violin is also lonely and magnificent. The eleventh composition "Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers" is an excellent development of instrumental rock works of famous groups of the late 60s and early 70s. The twelfth work "The Hidden Man of the Heart", which gave the name to the entire album, is an album in 1 composition: here the main theme of the symphony album is used, the beginning with an acoustic guitar, a romantic electric guitar replacing wind and keyboard. The thirteenth track "Some Refugee Passed Over" is the final track of several tracks in the style of classical music. The fourteenth song "Psalm 6 (LP Version)" is the culmination and epilogue of the entire album. All the main themes of the album are woven in it. The first part is rock, the second is romantic "organ", the third is winds and guitars, and the final part of the composition and album is again a romantic solo, then slightly changed by the distortion effect, rhythm change and the ending!
 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Another non descript period of time, another request to review a Russian instrumental prog album, which is something I'm almost always glad to do, given the relatively consistent high quality I've found between them, this one especially. There's often a fairly common thread between these albums such as the Rozmainsky and Mikhalov Project, which I guess is only to be expected given the fact that many of these acts seem to be somewhat related in terms of common members between them. Out of all of these however, Daybreaking Live is almost certainly the album I find to be the most well realised of the bunch I've heard, with tight interplay combined with memorable melodies with a prominent worship of electric pianos and synths, keeping this core identity found throughout many of these Russian prog bands, while thorougly refining it and honing in on its strengths.

Once again, I find an extremely commendable aspect of the band to be just how well produced and mixed these albums are, given the fact that they're live performances, everything sounding crisp and distinct while having the appropriate amount of power that each instrument should have. Wides demonstrates the atmosphere this can create very effectively, the electric guitar providing some edge to the music, which works especially well when combined with the fairly intense drumming that's definitely one of the main focuses on this section, all before many elements of the track fade away, leaving a somewhat eerie bassline to perpetuate the tone of the track. The multifaceted nature of the band is then shown in full force as a graceful flute melody weaves its way into the fray seamlessly, eventually being backed up by the electric piano to create a steady, fun groove that becomes gradually more defined as each instrument comes back in, one by one. Daybreaking tones the intensity down through having far more focus on more subtle elements, interplay between the flute and guitar forming the basis for the majority of the track in order to create an extremely lush sound, further demonstrating the versatility of the band, with some moments sounding quite similar to some of the more eventful post rock bands such as Magyar Posse. Talking about Magyar Posse, Nepsis starts off in an incredible way, the frenetic electric piano and electric guitar creating a real intensity that sounds like you've been dropped right into the middle of a massive crescendo, where even after things have died down somewhat, there's still a certain chaotic nature to everything, none of the rhythmic components feeling quite right, leaving the listener slightly on edge. I love the switch up this song has near the end where it begins to centre around a singular rising riff while everything surrounding it gradually becomes more and more insane, and is overall one of my favourite moments on the album as a whole.

Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers is without a doubt what I consider to be the best song on this album, almost exclusively for the superb melodies featured throughout, and the structure of it, constantly returning to the same motifs but sounding more warped with each repetition, more distortion and off key aspects of the music appearing as the prominence of electric guitar continuously rises, once again demonstrating how Roz Vitalis con confidently make intense music, while also being able to have more beautiful, melodic cuts like Mother of All Rain. Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth contains melodies that definitely have baroque influence, but also highlight one complaint I do have with the album, that being that the electric piano can often sound a bit out of place in moments like this, almost having a chiptune aethetic to it, which starkly contrasts with the rest of the music, and not in a way I find particularly good either. That said, I find this an overall minor complaint given how it makes up a relatively small part of the album overall, especially of this track, although this comes with some other complaints regardless, that being that while the brisk pace is very welcome, giving everything some lovely energy, I still feel like there's some retreading that's done here, and it overall sounds a bit too similar to other tracks here. Psalm 6 fortunately brings the album to a close in a strong way, the heavy guitar work making way for the prettiest moments on the album, as the sound of an organ comes in and helps to create a moment of absolute serenity that gradually evolves over the course of the song into an amazingly evocative guitar solo that brings the album to a close in an excellent way.

As previously mentioned, I find this to be one of my favourite of the live Russian prog albums that I've listened to and reviewed, taking the melodic sensibilities that form the core of this sort of music and then having everything feel much less like a jam and more like tightly structured, multifaceted compositions. I love how this album is able to comfortably convey so many tones as it progresses while rarely feeling as if it's missed the mark, ranging from pastoral symphonic prog pieces, to eerie atmospheric experiments to even incorporating vague elements of post rock into the mix during a couple of songs, making for a largely engaging album. While occasionally forgettable, I cannot deny that this is a high quality album with a lot of depth to it.

Best tracks: Wides, Nepsis, Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers

Weakest tracks: Loro Con Dolcezza E Cortesia, Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth

Verdict: A very worthwhile album overall in my opinion, covering a wide array of tone and atmosphere as the album progresses, leading the listener through a collection of wonderful tracks that almost never fail to entertain. Definitely an album I recommend to those who enjoy some good, complex instrumental prog.

 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Roz Vitalis continues to expand their studio and live discography making their band widely known not just in their native land, but worldwide. Their brand of RIO/Avant Prog has become a sound that is recognizable as their own, a mix of instrumental fusion utilizing a improvisational, yet melodic sound that is at once pleasant to the ear and at other times dissonant with occasional use of microtonal harmonies.

Their 8th live album 'Daybreaking Live', released in January of 2020, is probably one of their tightest live performances yet. Most of the tracks on this outing were composed between 2018 and 2019. There is also the addition of 3 tracks that come from a few of their past albums done in the same setting. The show for the album was at Babooinumfest in St. Petersburg (November 4, 2019), which is a mostly annual, progressive rock festival. The line-up is the usual bunch of talented musicians, namely Ivan Rozmainsky on electric piano and synth, Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky on guitar, Ruslan Kirillov on bass, Vladislav Korotkikh on flute and Evgeny Trefilov on drums.

The album opens quite appropriately with a moderate tempo on the track 'Wides' (8:26) which soon opens up into a faster tempo which brings up the intensity and excitement levels, getting the listener moving and involved in the music. 'Daybreaking' (5:57) on the other hand, slows things down to a more pastoral level with a softer sound and a lot of interaction between the flute and other instruments. 'Nepsis' (7:26) drives the intensity up several levels with a hard, driving guitar bringing in the more dissonant sound to the music. This is soon contrasted with the playful keys which twinkle around as they tease anger out of the guitar, creating some interesting textures. The music turns even more progressive and unpredictable when the flute comes fluttering around, then dark when an organ brings the guitar back in. By now, you have been exposed to several styles in only 3 tracks, and this is probably the best example the band has made of their dynamic style on their live albums.

Next comes the short, almost baroque sounding 'Loro Con Dolcezza e Cortesia' (1:34), a simple piano and synth duet. This transforms into the next track 'Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers' (6:54), which comes from their last studio album 'The Hidden Man of the Heart'. This takes the simplicity established on the previous track and the rest of the band continues to come in, as they do so, the intensity quickly builds as the theme is established and embellished. Rozmainsky quickly moves from organ to synth smoothly, and the guitar responds to the textural changes in the different keyboards. The music moves from soft to heavy a few times, always generating a great amount of pulse-pounding intensity, with the keys and guitar moving from melodic passages to dissonant sounds smoothly.

'Mother of All Rain' (4:17) comes from the 'Patience of Hope' album. This is a nice and soft track with the flute taking over again, but this time not in a pastoral feel as much as a 'smoother' jazz feel, probably the most accessible track of the set. About halfway through, the signature guitar sound comes in giving the track a more sinister feel and again driving up intensity. 'Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth' (8:47) begins with a naivet' feel as a fugue style is brought in between the different keys and then interchanging with the guitar. This goes on for a while, then suddenly is interrupted by a sinister sounding guitar creeping in. Eventually the keys bring in the light theme again, but the guitar continues to generate the unsettling feeling underneath it all. The rest of the band comes and goes, bringing up the volume and then diminishing it again. At the 6 minute mark, the track changes direction as the drums become steadier and drive the song to a frantic new level and bringing in a variation on the main theme. The last track 'Psalm 6' ends the album. The track originally comes from 'The Hidden Man of the Heart' and is a concert favorite. It flows from a dramatic and progressive beginning to a quieter middle section and back again and can really ratchet up the excitement of the crowd.

This is definitely the bands best live album to date as the recording is top-notch and the bands transitions are tighter than ever. There is also a lot more variety on this album as the textures of each track are unique and variable. I definitely hear a lot of improvement in the bands sound on this album, at least in a live setting, as, at least for the most part, the sound is well balanced and the musicians are probably the tightest I have ever heard them. The band's time together has really made their sound much more cohesive and on point. There are a few times when this tends to slip, but for the most part, it is definitely one of their better live albums. Personally, I tend to have more issues with live albums and usually have a hard time giving them a perfect rating as I find it is always better to experience the live setting actually being there in the crowd. It's hard to bring that excitement to the recorded format. I'm not saying that it can't happen, because I have rated some live albums at the maximum rating before, but it is very rare. However, there is a marked improvement evident in this recording and, even though it is at 4 stars, it is in my opinion their best live album yet.

 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Naida Regent

5 stars After listening to "Daybreaking Live" album I had discovered for myself new Roz Vitalis, although previously I listened to this band time and time again. At the present moment compositions are perceived as more mature and "grow" with musicians both physically and mentally. The sound became more heavy and dense. Due to more heavy guitar and more heavy rhythm-section "approach" of the band comes closer to progressive metal. But, at the same time, Roz Vitalis's style remains true to oneself and recognizable. Evidently, the group wants to take from prog a little bit of everything and, at the same time, to be distinctive and original. As before, there are baroque-and-medieval motives. In "Nepsis" and "Psalm 6" motives of dancing heaviness transform into tranquil transcendence. In each composition there are memorable and hit melodies. "Mother of All Rain" remains the most melodic one. The flute sounds remarkably, but I would like to hear more winds like in "The Hidden Man of the Heart" album. In general, in the future it would be better to increase quantity of wind instruments (clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French Horn). The same wishes concern use of string instruments (violin, cello, double bass, viola). The main recommendation is to move to symphonic style of music.
 Daybreaking Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2020
3.99 | 18 ratings

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Daybreaking Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mortte

2 stars This is the first album I've heard about Roz Vitalis. Really haven`t got any knowledge about Russian prog, only heard Autograph that came to play to Finland in the eighties. The band says it's influences come for example from King Crimson & Gentle Giant and they're heard in this album. Maybe earlier albums have also some rio/avant-styles, but they're not represented in this. Composition style seems to be to put really different pieces into same composition, that I think has been common both in Gentle Giants music and also modern prog.

'Wides' starts in a very strong KC-atmosphere reminding 'the Devil's Triangles' some parts a bit. But in the middle it changes into beautiful, little bit mediocre and more rhythmic. In the end intensity rises and I really like psych sounding organ in it. Next 'Daybreaking' is beautiful in the beginning but changes into middle kind of gloomy funk and in the end back to the beaty. 'Nepsis' is my least favourite reminding KC:s eighties albums. 'Loro Con Dolcezza e Cortesia' is a short duet to piano and synth. The piano sound reminds me a 'Tetris'-game sound from the nineties. Anyway the most sympathetic piece in this album.

All the way album goes better direction in the end. Next 'Fret Not Thyself Because Evildoers' is my favourite and reminds a little bit Pekka Pohjola's music. It's also the most consistent piece. 'Mother Of All Rain' is a beautiful, but although lasting only four minutes there is not happening much. 'Strangers and Pilgrims On the Earth' has at least four parts. First two are not very interesting but I like the darker last ones. 'Psalm 6' is also one of the highlights in this album. It has most original of the compositions, but it is too long.

I think the main problem in this album like also many today's progalbums is that there isn't enough great material. Specially when it's instrumental music, it really needs good melodies and/or very interesting structures. Also more variation of the instruments might keep up the interest. Now this is same kind of package album, as the most today's albums sadly are. Sure it is heard there are great musicians, but really hope drumplayer Evgeny Trefilov got more passion into his playing, now he sounds like he plays all the time from the notes, sometimes others players intensity rises but not his. Also have to say this is not recorded well, overall sound is quite thin. The picture I got from this album I don't think I will ever get back into Roz Vitalis. But I believe those who want to listen fresh prog and are KC & Gentle Giant fans, will enjoy this album.

 Great Expectations Live by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2019
4.16 | 12 ratings

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Great Expectations Live
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

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.

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

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