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a Studio release
Roz Vitalis

Release Year: 2007

Date Label Catalog # Comments
Recorded at the Ad Lucem Studios
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 3/13/2007 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: by:
  1. Tragic Fate (7:05)
  2. Autumn of Hypocrisy (3:58)
  3. Compassionizer (5:21)
  4. Elusive Goodness (4:24)
  5. Wakatte Kudasai (7:27)
  6. Annihilator of Moral Hazard (6:22)
  7. Dances of Lost Opportunities (5:37)
  8. Disruption (3:41)
  9. Train of Parting (Compassion Version) (7:55)
Ivan Rozmainsky
keyboards, recorders, percussion, samples, virtual synth
Yuri Verba

Reviewed by MichelF on 22 Jan 2008

Compassionizer by the Russian band (Saint-Petersburg) Roz Vitalis is complex and fascinating. It is serious music that demands many listens to be appreciated fully. My first impression was that it offers us a mix of Gentle Giant and the modern King Crimson with a Van der Graaf touch for the mood. Those references are only given here to help situated what is a truly original progressive RIO group. They had produced many discs but Compassionizer is the first I had the chance to listen to. Its influence and structure seems to me more classical than rock, a feeling I had when I heard for the first time ELP.

When we heard the gong at the beginning of the piece “Tragic Fate”, we knew that something strange is happening. The atmosphere that follows sets the tone for this entire album. It is not truly a concept project, even if it shows a certain emotional unity. They seem to evolve in shades and nuances; few rays of light, lots of grey and some definite darkness. A gloomy walk begins for the attentive listener. Like its title, this piece guides us, after the ambient beginning, to a progression which conveys a sense that someone has met a tragic fate.

“Autumn of Hypocrisy” begins as a modern piano piece (in the like of Eric Satie piano works) and suddenly, like hypocrisy revealed, the piece transformed itself like a M. Hyde mutating in Dr. Jekyll. I like it very much.

The title track “Compassionizer” is the piece that remind me the most of Gentle Giant , but a giant revived by a necromancer, not a joyous character from Rabelais. This piece shows that even from a troubling beginning, the end may be better than anticipated. This composition is intricate and very interesting. After the piano beginning, when the drum enters with the other instruments, a sense of disharmony emerges aided by the sampling and strange sounds. In the end, we return to a more simple tone.

“Elusive Goodness” is a more upbeat track with a pleasing melodic structure. It is a tune in the spirit of ELP or Rick Wakeman. After three gloomy pieces, it offers a break, a small hope, a kind light up the staircase, as is shown on the jacket of this CD.

“Wakatte Kudasai” evolves like a leisurely walk that became more and more intense. I don’t know why, but when I first heard it, it made me think of Alexander Borodine In the Steppes of Central Asia, but revisited by Debussy with a modern electronic spicing…

“Annihilator of Moral Hazard”, what a neat invention! There are so many moral hazards circulating in the world today that help to cope with them is always welcome. So the more heavy notes we heard at the beginning, which are recurring on the track, are those of the moral hazard or of the Annihilator? It is another track with a gloomy feeling and a fine construction. This track reminds me of Frank Zappa works.

With “Dances of Lost Opportunities”, the gloom goes on. For me it’s the saddest piece, in term of feeling of course, on this CD. Opportunity, as the adage says, is hairy in the front and bald from behind! We must seized it when it passes. Otherwise we may regret it sourly for a lifetime.

“Disruption” begins with a nostalgic touch in the dialogue between the piano and the guitar. Then, the voice of each instrument seems to diverge, each in his realm. It is a very quiet track.

“Train of Parting (Compassion Version)” finishes nicely this CD, offering us the complex and intricate construction that seems to be their mark, but with the same sad feeling. Could they do a work as interesting with an optimist stance? That could be interesting. Creation emerges in constrain, so why not choose to compose with laughter and joy…So I challenge you, Roz Vitalis to do a great work of art on the luminous side of life.

To resume my review, their music is challenging, original, more classically oriented than rock and with a touch of experimental and avant-garde music, cast in a gloomy mood. So, in my point of view, it is not for the lover of symphonic progressive rock, metal or even the most popular form of prog, but for those who like contemporary and experimental music, like Random Touch.