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Caravela Escarlate - Caravela Escarlate CD (album) cover


Caravela Escarlate


Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 22 ratings

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4 stars Caravela Escarlate is a rather young Brazilian progressive rock band featuring one of the best South American keyboardists - Ronaldo Rodrigues, who has already showed his skills in his previous formations: heavy prog Massahara and symphonic prog Arcpelago. Caravela Escarlate is definitely more similar to the latter one as the guys are playing some truly spectacular symphonic stuff here. However the main difference between aforementioned Arcpelago and this new group are the vocals because this time Ronaldo Rodrigues decided to focus solely on his keyboard duties and left singing to the bassist/guitarist - David Paiva. And even so I'd prefer Ronaldo to continue singing, I have to admit that David isn't too bad either. He's definitely a competent vocalist, too. Anyway, this album isn't actually this band's first recording, as last year they already released 'Rascunho', but frankly, the debut was more like a 'prototype' because they had no drummer back then so it slightly lacked that rock energy necessary in prog-rock. And this 2nd offering of Caravela Escarlate definitely doesn't have this problems anymore as Elcio C'faro successfully filled the void and provided the music with some wonderful drumming. And now let's have a closer look at the songs included on this album:

1)'Um brilho fr'gil no infinito' (5:18) ' everything starts in a truly bombastic manner with exploding, flashy synthesizers and Hammond organ chops in the background. Not far from Gerard or Nexus style! But around the 1:40 minute the music slows down, some acoustic guitar appears and for the first time we can witness David's oneiric, soft vocals accompanied by more symphonic organ and synth flights. The bass is also omnipresent and near the end Roberto plays also something resembling the good, old 'tron. A truly nice song.

2)'Caravela Escarlate' (4:28) ' this one is a bit more vocal-oriented than the previous one. Up to the 3rd minute the music is driven again by fine synthesizer sounds and Hammond support but later also a rhythmic electric piano joins in.

3)'Atmosfera' (6:29) ' this track features even more electric piano (Rhodes?). In the beginning it's very relaxing and resembles jazz, but around the 1:30 mark it gets more spacey or neo-proggish thanks to Roberto's synths. Then step-by- step the tension and the tempo increase steadily. It's a fine instrumental but maybe not very extraordinary compared to other stuff on this album.

4)'Gigantes da destrui''o' (6:53) ' definitely one of the best compositions of Caravela Escarlate. It begins with soft flutes (mellotron?) and equally mellow vocal of Mr. Paiva. I really love the melody, the passion in the singer's voice and the mellotron-like background. Then the music suddenly speeds up, an electric piano joins the fun again and after a while we can also enjoy a wonderful Moog (?) solo followed by another verse and finally a bombastic Hammond organ show-off! Amazing! It has some early Eloy vibe in fact (they also liked to finish songs with organ/bass crescendos in the early 70s)!

5)'Toque as constela''es' (5:21) ' well, this is a totally different song. Very mellow and a little poppish. I'm afraid it's a bit too uninventive. But it doesn't matter because soon after 3 masterpieces come'

6)'Futuro passado' (4:45) ' a surprisingly heavy and fast-paced rocker in the vein of early Eloy (again) or even Uriah Heep/Deep Purple but with some ELP-inspired Moog solos. And for the first time (if I;m not mistaken) David Paiva shows a brief, but good electric guitar solo. Well done!

7)'Cosmos' (8:34) ' space-rockish instrumental with wonderful synth rides and melodic bass guitar lines. I simply love this groove. It lasts for more than 8 minutes but even if it lasted for another 8, I would still love to get even more. And there's one funny thing: 'Cosmos' reminds me quite much of Par Lindh Project's 'Sky Door', and instrumental from their latest album ' 'Time Mirror'. Not like a rip-off, but like a track composed in the same manner, with the same style and instrumentation. But apparently Caravela Escarlate members have never listened to 'Sky Door' and composed it a long time ago! So it's a crazy coincidence! But never mind, it's a fantastic track!

8)'Planeta-Estrela' (11:34) - here comes the opus magnum! It starts with weird noises, enigmatic noises a la Pink Floyd and mellotron 'choir' but a minute later the bass joins in to provide this epic with a groovy line. Then Mr. Rodrigues begins blasting like there's no tomorrow on his good 'ole Hammond organ! Wonderfully Wakemanesque symphonic piece. Then unexpectedly the tempo slows down and we can hear a classic Rhodes piano again, almost The Doors' style. Very dreamy, very oneiric. From the 6th minute mark also the vocal appears again and the drummer gets busy trying to create a very special atmosphere with his varied percussion instruments. After that the melltron takes the lead and builds up a slow tension. But the last word belongs to the organ again, as Ronaldo truly unleashes the beast near the end. The brilliant mini- suite is a perfect ending for this record.

What more can I say? 'Caravela Escarlate' is one of the top 10 best progressive rock albums of 2018. There's no doubt about about it. All fans of symphonic prog (especially the 70s, retro style) simply must give it a try. Especially fans of keyboard trios like Trace, Triumvirat or Refugee can't miss it because they will find a lot to like here. I'm certain that a great future lies ahead of this band

The best tracks: 'Planeta-Estrela', 'Futuro passado', 'Gigantes da destrui''o', & 'Cosmos'.

4.5 starts out of 5 from ozzy_tom

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |


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