Vespero - Rito

8 songs
65:36 minutes
***** ***


It took South Russian band Vespero eight self-released CDs, among those one called Luxemburg Live (although I am not aware of them ever playing a concert in my home country), before they decided to rerecord some of their earlier material in a more disciplined way under the guiding eyes of Ms Alisa Coral from the Russian space rock reference Space Mirrors. Although I am not familiar with Vespero’s past, I can imagine that Rito must be the highlight of their career. The short Inverno leads to the ten minute long Triptych: To The Falling Sun, where we get a first taste of the Russians’ inspiration. A hypnotic rhythmic backbone provided by the Fedotov brothers leaves much improvisational ground for guitarist Alexander Kuzovlev who sounds like a young Steve Hillage, and the added trippy electronics make the parallels to Gong even more apparent.

Whenever Vespero opt for more ambient moods, they come close to mid-Seventies Tangerine Dream, although Vespero seem to have a much more sombre outlook. Inna’s Burst In Tears takes its charm from Natalya Tjurina’s melancholic vocals, and Valentin Rulev’s violin spices things up sometimes with fusion jazz overtones, a bit like Jean-Luc Ponty’s Mahavishnu Orchestra period.

Rito bridges the gap between improvised music and composed art rock, with Vespero taking ingredients from genres such as space, psychedelic and progressive rock, turning it all into a cocktail that everyone should enjoy who is into anything between the aforementioned bands. At times, Vespero are meandering maybe a bit, losing focus, but they always find their way back into the song, and Ms Coral’s impeccable mastering job transforms this CD into real ear candy.

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