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Roz Vitalis: Lavoro D’Amore

From Russia with love…

Keyboard maestro Ivan Rozmainsky has been single-mindedly flying his purist prog flag in the Russian city of St Petersburg, starting Roz Vitalis as a one man project then going through various collaborative incarnations until arriving at a full-blown band on 2011’s Revelator.

Lavoro D’Amore (‘Labour Of Love’) takes 11 instrumental pieces through the prog cosmos, embracing chamber, avant, psych and the symphonic strain he has made his own. There Are The Iniquities Of Workers Fallen starts with Ivan’s twinkling harpsichord and Alexey Gorshkov’s Miles-style electronically enhanced trumpet before a complex gothic riff rears, straight out of vintage Van der Graaf. While Ivan’s Hammond and Steinway steer, embellishments from guitarists Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky and Vladimir Efimov add presence. Vladimir Korotkikh’s flute work may draw Tull comparisons, but 70s Crimson is closer to the mark, notably on the pastoral Every Branch That Beareth Fruit. Rozmainsky’s Russian references set this apart from western prog templates, resulting in the self-described “unclassifiable branch of prog” bearing fruit on this evocative album.