Das Licht Der Menschen

by Roz Vitalis



This album is concept one. This is an attempt to express musically theological idea of TRINITY. Titles of all tracks and the whole album contain the word LIGHT in different languages (Light, Licht, Luce, Feny, Svet).

* * *

"When does a work cross over from progressive to experimental? From rock and roll to avant garde? Why do we consider Mussorgsky's Pictures At an Ehibition, as redone by Emerson Lake and Palmer, rock and roll, but place the version by Tomita in the Classical section? Why is a band that sounds like an electronic version of a Gorecki Symphony not Classical? I am convinced that the ghettoization of popular music (in its various forms) has left Classical music far poorer, with less quantity of music to claim as its own. This album is a case in point. It is a great avant-prog album, but it should also be recognized as a great 21st Century Classical composition. Maybe in 20 years time, the lines will blur enough that this work will be taught in composition class alongside Dufay, Bach, Mozart, Gershwin, Bernstein, Goreki, Parch, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Lennon & McCartney, -- oh, and Ivan Rozmainsky. I think I've made my point.

Das Licht Der Menschen (The Threesunny Light Superpower) is a concept album about the concept of the theological Trinity, and it uses the word 'light' to describe "Trinity" as seen through different languages and musical interpretations. Sections of the works border on the polytonal, so unless you are a fan of later Stravinsky or Prokoffiev the deliberate dissonances may be jarring."

1. Potoki Sveta Trisolnechnogo
Surprise... That was my first thought. Shades of early King Crimson, passages reminiscent of the soundtrack to the BBC Sci-Fi series "Blake's 7", A section of organ solo that could have been played by Palestrina -- or C.P.E. Bach, except C.P.E. never played chord progressions like these... Wait, now it's Keith Emerson doing Knife Edge. The mind begins to boggle, and we're only half way into the first piece.

2. Colore Pieno di Luche
A series of seeming improvisations against an organ continuo. Deliberately out of tune recorders against tubular bells against voices. Reminiscent of a recording by The Dufay Collective. Then again, two minutes later, we're in the the middle of a Frank Zappa improvisation. I made the mistake of listening to this for the first time while writing software at a client site. A shout of laughter at a brilliant turn of musical phrase made me quite conspicuous. After explaining myself, several Zappa fans challenged my interpretaion, until after I played the section in question for them. Expect sales to go up by four as a result.

3. Ablakok, Csillagok, Feny
Drums, tympanii, tubular bells, winds, harp, strings, harpsichord. References to other works -- a hint of "The Star Spangled Banner" followed by a section which seems to feature the koto. Much later, am I the only one to hear the subtle references to Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' which close this piece? I'm not talking about Oldfield's famous string opening theme--but one of the secondary themes played by the Tubular Bells. Near the end of Ablakok, Csillagok, Feny -- around minute 19 -- the tubular bells duet with the synthesized bells. The Oldfield theme is echoed in this duet (and elsewhere in the piece: check out minute 9 and the vocal solo against tuned percussion). It is followed by more of what I like to call "freeform Zappa", wonderfully done. The ending comes with a suddenness which startled me at first listen. I had to replay the last two minutes to really hear what the composer was doing. We end, not with a bang, (bong?) but with a bell's whisper...

Afterword: Now I have to play it again. This one has me hooked."

(c) Greg Amov

* * *

"Going through the ROZ VITALIS discography in chronological order reveals a lot about the band's development and how they mastered the art of changing things up from the very beginning. DAS LICHT DER MENSCHEN ("The Light Of Humans" in German) is the 3rd album by the St Petersburg based band with Ivan Rozmainsky still taking the lead with his technically brilliant keyboard skills and roller coaster thematic developments. This album is the total opposite feel from the dark, gloomy and depressive "Lazarus" and focuses more on positive emotional responses. According to the band, the three gargantuan tracks on this one represent a trinity of light, where all the tracks contain the word "light" in various languages. It is also designed to be the most complex and lengthy beast in their musical output and at 70 minutes exactly a lengthy one indeed. This one has only three tracks with each clocking in over the 20 minute mark. Moreover, the main emphasis on DAS LICHT DER MENSHCEN is polyphony where two or more melodies independently cooperate to unfurl a larger musical flagship. On this release once again keyboards and electronica are the dominant feature but there is extra attention paid to percussive chimes and Nadezhda Regentova delivers some of her most spectacular vocal skills offering up yet again another brilliant album.

"потоки света трисолнечного" (Potoki Sveta Trisolnechnogo) Flows of Tripe Sunny Light in Russian (27:48) is the longest track in the entire career of ROZ VITALIS and immediately conveys a a more enlightened and optimistic feel than the previous album. It starts out with female vocals and chimes and certainly brings Dead Can Dance to mind a bit but quickly Rozmainsky delivers his magic keyboard touch with all the classical wizardry and chime bell action that creates a feel as if the Dark Ages were ceding into the Renaissance. Once again there is a lot of attention paid to theology and a conceptual focus on unification and enlightenment through music. As always the music whether dark or light is progressive in every way possible. While the music is firmly rooted in classical offerings of past centuries, the jazz and progressive inspired musical ideas sprout up unpredictably and often. Between the keyboards and chimes there is also lots of choral vocal action and there are many moments where if feels like the whole thing was recorded by monks in an abbey in the middle of nowhere. While most of the track has a slow to mid-tempo feel to it, there are occasional prog rock outbursts that include guitar and spastic drumming although like all these early albums the drums sound a little lackluster and needed some attention, however they are a fairly minor role in the mostly keyboard and chime dominated sonosphere here.

"Colore Pieno Di Luce" (Color Full Of Light) in Italian (21:50) picks up well where track 1 left off as it continues the chimes and keyboards but immediately creates a more progressive sound with wild time signatures and polyphonic elements overlapping and creating an interesting contrast from the start. The tempo picks up after a minute or so and begins to sound like one of those eclectic symphonic prog bands of the 70s like Island. There are also folk elements to the mix as it sounds like a symphonic prog band joins in with the folkies. This is a meandering track with no structure really however it's very melodic. It consists of keyboard melodies, chiming percussive marches and Nadezhda's vocals at times. While it is melodic it also has counterpoints that verge on dissonance. A very interesting track that creates different types of tension that always resolve in the end. Another Benedictine Monk sort of church music thang meets Bach inspired classical music and progressive rock excesses. Love it.

"Ablakok, Csillagok, Feny" (Windows, Stars, Light) in Hungarian (20:22) once again begins with chimes and keyboards. This one is quirky as it unfolds with lots of chime percussive action, keyboard runs in a classical Baroque style and odd time sigs. It's pretty much a call-and-response between the chimes and keys which create a Bach-esque atmosphere as if Johann had licked some toads or something and created some music before his time. Just when you think we're living in the 18th century it all changes and becomes rather esoteric chimes, keys and very bizarre time sigs that change up often with some flute sounds, symphonic backings, female vocal "ahh's" and a rather marching drum effect. This one pretty much meanders aimlessly but pleasantly in myriad directions. Pretty cool

This album lives up to the more lightened up hype. It truly is a nice upbeat progressive electronic meets symphonic prog and folk behemoth. It is very quirky as it is both melodic and jittery in its rhythmic parade down a seventy minute time span. It is both traditional in a classical sense and totally unorthodox in creating utterly unexpected surprises throughout its run. Basically the timbres are of a classical nature but their behaviors are very surreal and prog related. They can be smooth and silky one moment and then totally become as wild and wooly as the most extreme avant-prog. This is the reason i love this band. ROZ VITALIS has the mojo to pump out one brilliantly crafted album after another and with DAS LICHT DER MENSCHEN it is utterly apparent that they can successfully create totally opposing moods from one album to the next. As always this could have been given a more professional makeover with various aspects being heightened to greater effects, but this as it stands it quite satisfying in its own right."

(c) siLLy puPPy


released September 21, 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Potoki Sveta Trisolnechnogo (27:48)
2. Colore Pieno di Luce (21:50)
3. Ablakok, Csillagok, Feny (20:22)

Total Time: 70:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Ivan Rozmainsky / music, keyboards, programming, winds, percussions, voices (except [3])
- Nadezhda Regentova / keyboards (2), voices, music
- Vladimir Polyakov / keyboards (except (2)), music (except (2))

Guest musician:
- Sergey Laskin / electric guitar (1)


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Roz Vitalis Russia

The Russian band ROZ VITALIS (from Saint Petersburg) exists since 2001 as a studio project, since 2005 as an electroacoustic chamber ensemble and since 2008 as a full-blown rock-band.
The most famous studio albums are "The Hidden Man of the Heart" (2018) and "Lavoro d'Amore" (2015) - both released by Lizard Records, and also "Patience of Hope" (2012) released by Mals Records.
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