ROZ VITALIS - Daybreaking Live

Roz Vitalis - Daybreaking Live

8 songs
50:55 minutes
***** ***


When it comes to regular longplayers, Saint Petersburg instrumental prog rockers Roz Vitalis act like many other bands: every two or three years, they release a professionally recorded studio album, with their fifth and latest The Hidden Man Of The Heart showing the band from its lushest side so far. But there is also another side to Roz Vitalis, and thatís the one of a group of musicians having a richly filled Bandcamp page that currently (January 2020) counts 40 releases, many of them live recordings that you can download for any price you deem fair.

Their latest offering Daybreaking Live was recorded at a show on a progressive rock festival in their hometown. Most of the eight songs are quite new material which hasnít been recorded on a proper studio album yet, except for Mother Of All Rain from Patience Of Hope (2012) and Fret Not Thyself Because Of Evildoers and Psalm 6 from their last studio album from 2018. It takes of course courage to present five still unknown tracks to the audience, but the bands headed by keyboard player and pianist Ivan Rozmainsky does a solid job. Mostly the band sounds very authentic. On their last album, more than a dozen musicians were involved. This time we get Roz Vitalis as a quintet, with Rozmainsky being accompanied by a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a flutist, many of whom have been long time members of the band.

This reduced line-up means of course that we get a somewhat sparser and more direct sound, where I want to especially point out the super-tight rhythm section which amazed me especially on the complex Nepsis, and the flutist whose skilful playing adds an enchanting atmosphere to the songs. Rozmainskyís piano skills feel at times a little hesitant, but let us not forget that this is still very new and highly complicated material that is probably not so easy to reproduce in a live setting.

I have to confess that I donít always have the time to review each and every release from Roz Vitalis, but Daybreaking Live is definitely a worthy addition to their canon. Apart from a short intermezzo on piano and synth (Loro Con Dolcezza E Cortesia), the new songs are all between six and nine minutes long, and offer a lot to discover. Roz Vitalis stylistically lie somewhere between chamber prog and art rock, and more than once remind me of Camel during their Snow Goose album. Itís music that manages to be dreamy and demanding at once. The production of the live album is good enough, and the lack of glossy production makes it a more honest listening experience. I am already looking forward for what comes next with these creative Russians.

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