Exposé Online banner

Roz Vitalis — The Hidden Man of the Heart
(Lizard 0136, 2018, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-08-26

The Hidden Man of the Heart Cover art

I am slowly discovering new Russian bands and music, at least new to me, and I am impressed with what I am hearing. The latest is Roz Vitalis, a band from St. Petersburg that has been around since 2001. They have quite an extensive discography, at least 26 releases, many of which can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp. Their newest release is The Hidden Man of the Heart, a concept album about the different spiritual and creative aspects of man and how they interact in various and sometimes strange ways. Each aspect can be thought of as The Hidden Man of the Heart. The fourteen instrumentals are a complex interweaving of classical music and undefinable progressive rock. The core members of Roz Vitalis are Valdimir Efimov (guitar), Alexey Gorshkov (trumpet and guitar), Ruslan Kirilov (bass guitar), Ivan Rozmainsky (keyboards), Philip Semenov (drums), and Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (guitar). They are joined by guest musicians Danila Danilov (synthesizers), Yury Khomonenko (percussion), Mark Makarov (mandolin), Leonid Perevalov (bass clarinet), and the Les-Quartet (Long Fam (violin), Valeriya Kondratyeva (violin), Vyacheslav Agabekov (viola), and Sofiya Deynekina (cello)). The album opens with the cello playing a sad solo with the rest of the quartet joining in on the leitmotiv that is then taken up by the full band on subsequent tracks. Roz Vitalis employs this same approach for each “hidden man.” The string quartet pieces “Someone Passed Over,” “Trampled by the Lion and Adder,” “Wounded by the Lion and the Adder,” and “Some Refugees Passed Over” plus the two solo piano pieces “Passing on the Line” and “Disturbed by the Jungle” are exquisite neoclassical compositions. And the other eight tracks feature a range of progressive rock from gothic / spaghetti western, dissonant / sinister experiments, to gorgeous near symphonic rock with cathedral organ. In addition to the classical music tracks, the other stand out tracks are “Jungle Waltz,” “The Hidden Man of the Heart,” and the album closer “Psalm 6.” The Hidden Man of the Heart has got to be in the top ten albums of 2018, as Roz Vitalis’ music is universal and will appeal to even the most jaded prog head.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Roz Vitalis

More info
http://rozvitalis.bandcamp.com/album/the-hidden-man-of-the-heart

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mani Neumeier & Peter Hollinger - Meet the the Demons of Bali – Wooaah, wait a minute, hold the phone, and just a cottin' pickin'... Mani has really done something different here! Some may remember the Privat CD reviewed last time. There, he took on every...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues