Readers of Sea of Tranquility should be no strangers to Russian prog act Roz Vitalis, who have been relatively prolific over the last decade or so as they've slowly morphed from a one-man show started by keyboard maestro Ivan Rozmainsky to a full fledged band. Their latest release for Italy's Lizard Records is titled Lavoro d'Amore, a tempting collection of instrumental progressive rock that will appeal to any fan of King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Focus, Pink Floyd, PFM, and Camel. Currently, the band are comprised of Vladimir Efimov (electric Gibson guitar), Alexey Gorshkov (trumpet), Yury Khomonenko (drums and percussion), Ruslan Kirillov (bass guitar; ukulele), Vladislav Korotkikh (flute; low whistle),
Ivan Rozmainsky (grand Steinway piano; harpsichord;
Hammond RT-3 organ; Tesla Delicia mini 2; Elka Rhapsody 490, other keyboards; metallophone),
Philip Semenov (drums and percussion), and
Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky (electric Fender guitar; acoustic guitars; bass guitar).
With 10 songs, there's plenty of material to sink your teeth into here on Lavoro d'Amore, but the band opts for normal song lengths for the most part rather than epics. "The Acknowledgement Day" rumbles along with King Crimson styled intensity, filled with jagged guitar riffs and vintage keys, while the more jazzy "Unanticipated" sees exploratory trumpet blasting into the stratosphere over sedate drum patterns, creepy organ effects, and booming bass lines. Lovely flute, crisp guitar riffs, and waves of organ permeate the upbeat & lush "il Vento Ritorna", while Rozmainsky's lovely piano melodies drift atop the somewhat avant-garde arrangement of "There Are The Workers Of Iniquity Fallen". Metallic, funky guitar riffs battle flute and organ on the rampaging "Need For Someone Else", and the album's lengthiest tune "What Are You Thinking About?" bubbles and boils with simmering keys, catchy grooves, tasty lead guitar, and an overall feel that's like a meeting of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and Ozric Tentacles.
While Roz Vitalis haven't been a band that are often mentioned when people talk about the cream of the modern progressive rock movement, Lavoro d'Amore seems to prove that they should be included in that discussion. This is very solid, enjoyable prog with a healthy nod to the past but original enough with just a smattering of jazz and avant-garde to keep things interesting. Check it out on the bands Bandcamp page with the link below.
The Acknowledgement Day 04:32
Lavoro D'Amore 04:32
il Vento Ritorna 04:03
There Are The Workers Of Iniquity Fallen 05:21
Need For Someone Else 06:44
Invisible Animals 05:11
Every Branch That Beareth Fruit 04:37
Ascension Dream (Peak Version) 03:45
What Are You Thinking About? 08:25