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Roz Vitalis: The Hidden Man Of The Heart

Often press releases are just plaudits and plumped up fluff, but sometimes it’s easier to let the blurb talk for itself than it is to decipher it. The Hidden Man Of The Heart by Russian composer turned band Roz Vitalis is a prime example. So…

Conceptually the album is about spiritual/creative constituent of a person in strange dynamics. Such constituent can be called “The Hidden Man of The Heart”. Often these dynamics can be tragic and dramatic when a person is faced with various temptations destroying his or her spiritual/creative constituent. A person can be Trampled and Wounded by such temptations which can be represented in the terms of The Lion and Adder, Jungle, or just Evildoers. Sometimes such person becomes Refugee in the Blurred and Passed Over. And then all that is left to do is to sing, to cry and to scream - in desperation - Psalm 6!

Which surely clears that up then… But there’s more...

The style of "The Hidden Man of the Heart" - like any other ROZ VITALIS stuff ��" can be described as the "Unclassifiable Branch of Prog Rock". However, such tags as "Melodic Avant Rock", “Canterbury Gothic Prog” or "Between Sympho Prog and Avant Prog", are, perhaps, also partly relevant. The music of ROZ VITALIS is about The Ineffable and The Unfathomable. In particular, it is about human aspiration for The Unapproachable Light… Any the wiser?

Now I don’t mean any of that disparagingly, but it is a perfect way to illustrate just how dense and intentionally impenetrable what we are dealing with here can be. The byword is diversity, but not diversity alone, the very reason for being that Roz Vitalis seem to have is to challenge, to create, or to not really care whether you’re quite managing to keep a grasp of their coat tails. This band lay down the foundation and ask you to deduce and create your own conclusions. Did you disseminate the meanings behind the musings? I’m not sure anyone can say for certain. However from the off what’s laid down just asks you to believe. If you do, all (or nothing) will soon be revealed. “Someone Passed Over” is melancholic strings by way of introduction, “Passing Over” immediately alters the mood (get used to it…) by twinkling on singing piano and acoustic guitar and an unexpectedly joyous melody. However it’s the almost kids’ TV like keyboards that grin so hard you know their cheeks hurt, that truly catches you off guard as “Rhapsody Of Refugees” feels like contradiction by way of a title. By the time Mexican Mariachi trumpet blasts then lead the merry way, you’re either on board in a devil may care manner, or cowering in the corner crying for your mama…

And on it goes. “Trampled Under Lion And Adder” is a short, heart tug of deeply crushing strings, “Thou Shalt Tread” almost hits like something Muse might have created if they were born 30 years earlier and were at least two hundred and thirty six times more mad than they are. Although the deep sadness that underpins this album also finds time to make an appearance. As does a brooding craziness in “The Jungle”, the hither and thither drilling of “Fret Not Thyself Because Of Evildoers” and echoingly atmospheric church organs and marching snare drum of “The Hidden Man Of The Heart” itself, as trumpet once more makes bold, proud shards of melody stab deep. Although it might be the most overtly prog rock meander of the closing “Psalm 6”, which has the temerity to introduce a chunky riff that is slowly unwound into a fittingly scattergun conclusion, that sums up what’s going on here best… kinda.

The Hidden Man Of The Heart is, as you are probably already working out, not my usual listening fare. However this is a hell of a ride. I’m not sure my stomach could cope with many visits to this roller coaster of an album, but if I ever want to lose myself in something that refuses to conform but which isn’t simply out to dazzle you with quirkiness, then this may be it right here.

Track Listing
1. Someone Passed Over
2. Passing Over (LP Version)
3. Rhapsody of Refugees
4. Blurred
5. Trampled by the Lion And Adder
6. Thou Shalt Tread Upon the Lion and Adder
7. Passing on the Line
8. Disturbed by Jungle
9. Jungle Waltz
10. Wounded by the Lion and Adder
11. Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers
12. The Hidden Man of the Heart
13. Some Refugee Passed Over
14. Psalm 6 (LP Version)

Added: June 18th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Roz Vitalis on bandcamp
Hits: 779
Language: english

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