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Caravela Escarlate - Caravela Escarlate CD (album) cover

CARAVELA ESCARLATE

Caravela Escarlate

 

Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 19 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars Last month I got in touch with this Brazilian prog band and asked the musicians to provide me a comprehensive biography, in order to embellish my review, I got a quick reaction, here is the band its history.

'Caravela Escarlate is rooted in the early Nineties: David Paiva had composed songs for many years (inspired by English and Italian progressive rock and popular Brazilian music) and started to experiment making music with several different line-ups. The band Caravela Escarlate name is derived from one of his compositions. The group alternated between active periods and long hiatus. In 2010 David and keyboard player Ronaldo Rodrigues got in touch, David showed some of his compositions to Ronaldo and presented his idea of founding a trio, without a guitar player in line-up. But both musicians were working with different drummers and there was a question about who would occupy the drummer post, the solution was to form two different bands. The new Caravela Escarlate history began in 2011, with rehearsals and their first gig in October 2011 at the Rio Prog Festival. In early 2012 the band began to record their repertoire but the drummer failed to impress and left. Not until 2015 David and Ronaldo looked for a new drummer: Ronaldo contacted the drummer Leandro Pires, who had already played with Marcus Moura (Bacamarte) and the rehearsals re-started. The band evoluted fast and a new recording process started in late 2015. In early January 2016 everything was aborted again and a lot of work was discarded. In late 2015 Ronaldo got in touch with the experienced veteran drummer Elcio C'faro and asked him to give names to fill the job for a new drummer, then Elcio asked why Ronaldo did not invite him! Caravela Escarlate entered 2016 with renewed hopes When David proposed to Ronaldo an entirely new repertoire that could be played and recorded as a duo, resulting in their first album entitled Raschuno, it was well received by the public. Simultaneously the rehearsals with Elcio C'faro took place and the band its debut was July 2016, late 2017 Caravela Escarlate released their second, eponymous album. In 2018 the band signed with Karisma Records, to re-release their second album worldwide (on CD and LP) in March 2019, and for the release of upcoming albums.'

After a few listening sessions I conclude that Caravela Escarlate delivers very melodic and harmonic, mainly keyboard driven and Seventies inspired prog. The 8 compositions (including two instrumentals) are tastefully arranged and shift from dreamy to mid-tempo rhythms and sumptuous atmospheres. The one moment you hear a lush sound with powerful Hammond organ (evoking ELP, Trace or Triumvirat), the other moment a mellow climate with acoustic guitar and warm vocals. Or from a slow rhythm with delicate Fender electric piano to a tight and catchy beat with fat Minimoog synthesizer flights. The music often brings Italian prog band Le Orme to my mind: also ELP inspired but the native vocals add an extra emotional dimension to the music, like Caravela Escarlate does with the Brazilian vocals, wonderful. The fluent and dynamic rhythm-section delivers a very good job, both in the mellow as in the bombastic parts.

The keyboard player colours the music wonderfully with a wide range of vintage instruments: from the omnipresent Minimoog synthesizer to Fender electric piano, Mellotron flutes and violins and the distinctive Hohner clavinet (especially in Gigantes Da Destruicao).

My favourite track is the epic final composition Planeta-Estrela, showcasing the band in its full splendor. After a spacey intro a lot of changing climates follow: from bombastic with Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer to dreamy with Fender electric piano, from compelling with Mellotron choirs to dreamy with Mellotron violins and tender vocals and from a long and sensational Moog synthesizer solo and a majestic Mellotron violin interlude to a final part with a swirling Hammond organ solo, fuelled by a strong and dynamic rhythm-section, wow!

This music will be a delight for those progheads who love keyboard driven prog, like ELP, Triumvirat, Le Orme, Trace, Quill and Ars Nova. And the delicate Brazilian vocals add a special flavour to their pleasant melodic and harmonic sound.

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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