Roz Vitalis is a Russian band, build around keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky. He started the band as a solo project years ago, but on this album he is surrounded by an 8-piece band.
Musically, it’s hard to pinpoint this album - there’s influences from symphonic rock, but also more psychedelic pieces and quite a bit of folk influences as well.
The opening track immediately shows that folk influence, by means of the guitar and flute, but it soon develops into a rock track. The title track is more truly a folk track, without drums and developing slowly into a melodic guitar solo at the end. There’s a crackle underneath the intro music as well, as if it’s an old vinyl record.
However, there is other, less accessible material on this album as well. A good example of this is Unanticipated, which is a haunting, slightly post rock influenced track, with a jazz like trumpet in it.
Then, and here the pinpointing becomes really hard, there are tracks that are clearly influenced by Italian prog - starting with Need for Someone Else, a track that in it’s intro (guitar riff and flute) bring to mine PFM’s É Festa, although it develops in a different direction. The track unfortunately suffers from being too full and loud, causing even some clipping.
With Invisible Animals being a truly psychedelic rock track, in the vein of old Pink Floyd, the soundscape building of What are you thinking about, and the Ennio Morricone feel of the closing track Ending, I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable. This album contains some very strong tracks, but it is also a bit of a mishmash of styles. The tracks are individually well composed, but the full set seems a bit uneven in terms of style. Also, as mentioned already with Need for Someone Else, the production is not flawless. The bass, which is very well played is often hard to hear, and in some places the keyboard clip.
So, although certainly the more folky tracks and Invisible Animals are quite well composed, the mix of styles and the production make this a hard one to recommend. I’d say ‘try before you buy’…