Sure looks to me like there has been a lot of cool Prog Rock albums coming from Russia lately. Sadely it seems they don't get the exposure they deserve if we compare, for example, with those coming from Polish bands (i.e. Riverside, Collage, Osada Vida...).
Lavoro d'Amore is my first contact with Roz Vitalis (they have been producing music for about 15 years), a band from Saint-Petersburg. They play what I consider to be vintage Instrumental Progressive Rock, very much in tune with the late sixties and early seventies.
The first two tracks (The Aknoledgement Day and Lavoro d'Amore) feature some very nice flute and guitar. The music gives a positive vibe to the listener. Early Camel comes to my mind. After that, the band moves into psych and more jazzy territories. King Crimson (Lizard period), Robert Wyatt and even Van Der Graaf Generator are acceptable references. Yet again, the next two tracks offer a change of mood (now darker), closer to a territory occupied by Sweedish band Anglagard. For the next three songs, keyboards (electronic and piano) really kick in to bring us into the Space Rock genre for wich artists like Jean-Michel Jarre or Vangelis are best known for. Finally, (What are you thinking about?) returns us to the late sixties, somewhat similar to Pink Floyd or early Porcupine Tree (i.e. Voyage 34). The last track (Ending), with its great trumpet, I consider to be a salute to Morricone/Leone spagetti westerns, a great ending to a very good album.
Even though I have made a large number of references to well known artists in this review, that's only to guide the reader so he can somewhat know what to expect with Lavoro D'Amoro. Roz Vitaliz offers us an eclectic musical tour into the great era for Prog that was the late sixties and early seventies. Even the sound of this album fits well into that period (it feels like an "in studio" live recording with a depth that made me feel like I was listening to a vinyl album, even though I used my Ipod). Finally, don't be put off by the different musical genres featured on Lavoro D'Amoro. The band manages to this while keeping a common link between the eleven tracks. Even though this is instrumental music, I feel that there is a concept behind this album.
I highly recommend that those who miss the great period that was the late sixties or early seventies check out this very good album by Roz Vitalis. You won't regret it for sure.