ROZ VITALIS - The Hidden Man Of The Heart

Roz Vitalis - The Hidden Man Of The Heart

14 songs
63:31 minutes
***** ***


Three years after their album Lavoro DíAmore, Russian progressive rock band Roz Vitalis are back with their newest studio album The Hidden Man Of The Heart. Although, "being back" is possibly the wrong expression in the case of Roz Vitalis, who started rather modestly in the early days of the millennium, but soon grew up to be a fully-fledged rock band. Their Bandcamp page shows how much music they have already released over the years, but itís only every few years that they publish music on an international label. And thus, we can consider The Hidden Man Of The Heart as the successor of Lavoro díAmore.

The core of the band consists of seven musicians, led by Ivan Rozmainsky, but there are four guest musicians adding different instruments, and even a string quartet. The music is still instrumental, and while it would not do their music justice to simply declare it progressive rock, we might be more precise with avant rock or maybe even more to the point: progressive chamber rock. And this works incredibly well on the bandís regular songs where the instruments are lushly interacting to create a sound that will transport you to pastoral Spring landscapes. Actually I felt often reminded of Camelís classic masterpiece The Snow Goose from 1975, which had a similar narrative feeling without words to it. Other influences are the sprawling repetitive epics of a young Mike Oldfield. Adding flute and trumpet to the guitar, keyboards, bass and drums means that from an instrumental perspective, there is always so much happening that you wonít even miss the the lack of vocals.

It must also be noted though that six of the tracks are pure classical pieces, most of them performed by the aforementioned string quartet, and while a few would have been nice, they happen to make out fifteen minutes of music, which I find is a bit much, because they tend to rob the other pieces of their momentum. But in this day and age where everything has gone digital, you might as well take these tracks out of your playlist and enjoy a marvellous eclectic prog rock album that then will have a more concise playing time but which will also be even more memorable. Currently there are few bands that go their own way, the way Roz Vitalis have been doing for many years already. If you like your progressive rock lush, mellow and without vocals, you are at the right address.

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