ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Roz Vitalis - 2022 - “20 Years. Alive and Well"

(81:20; Roz Vitalis)


On November 27th, 2021, Roz Vitalis held a 20th anniversary concert where they revisited material as well as performing some which had not yet been recorded. Ruslan Kirillov (bass), Vladislav Korotkikh (flute), Ivan Rozmainsky (conception, keyboards), Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (guitars), and Evgeny Trefilov (drums) were playing for the first time with AndRey Stefinoff (clarinet), plus they were joined on percussion by Yury Khomonenko who was a member of the band between 2011 and 2013, while five compositions were performed with drummer Philip Semenov who was the band's first official drummer from 2008 to 2018. In recent years there has been less of a concentration on studio releases, with only one studio album since 2015, and instead we have been receiving many live albums, which not only are obviously much cheaper to record but allow us to heart the band in an environment they are very much at home. With no vocals present, it does take a lot for a fully instrumental band to capture the imagination and attention of an audience, but these guys have no problem with that whatsoever with music and arrangements that keep moving and changing. Yury has managed to find a home for himself within the pattern as well, adding nuances outside the drums, while AndRey and Vladislav have important roles to play as he comes in and out, either emphasising melodies or adding others of his own. Roz Vitalis are a band who often do not have a solid foundation, in that Ruslan may be staying tight to Evgeny/Phil at times, but at others he is off creating melodies of his own as the strands come together in some places and part in others. However, it is the close relationship between Ivan and Vladimir which allows them to stand out as they follow and bounce off each other. Songs like “Patience of Hope” contains some stunning interactions between all the players, moving rapidly, while others are far more thoughtful and restrained. The depth within their sound is incredible, with so many different styles coming to bear, and the result is an album that in many ways is a wonderful introduction to this great Russian avant/RIO/prog act. Let us hope there are at least another twenty years ahead of them.

Progtector: March 2023

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