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Caravela Escarlate: Caravela Escarlate

An idea that first formed as long ago as 2010, the Brazilian symphonic prog outfit Caravela Escarlate endured some six years and many configurations before finally unleashing their self-released debut Rascunho. Only a year later, the trio of David Paiva (Caravelle), who plays electric & acoustic guitars, bass and sings, Ronaldo Rodrigues, who handles keyboards, and Elcio Cáfaro, who is the drummer this band long searched for to make their dreams reality, returned with a self-titled release. Now, a further two years down the line that second outing has been picked up by the ever excellent Karisma Records in hope of it finding a wider audience. With band and label also looking to forge into the future together, Caravela Escarlate proves a wonderful way to get the collaboration started, with an ELP and Trace like Hammond attack playing off nicely against a more controlled Yes vibe that on occasion drips warmly into a more psychedelic swirl that nods to early Pink Floyd. With strong links to the idiosyncratic Italian Symphonic-Prog sound also running throughout, what your presented with on this controlled self titled effort is a hugely melodic, warm and inviting album that resides for long passages in instrumental glory. Although the Portuguese vocals from Paiva are also hugely engaging and perfect for this setting.

The mellow build and crescendo of closer “Planeta-Estrela” may not seem like the most logical place to first delve in, but running to over eleven minutes and combining many of the elements that make this album the impressive encounter it is, does leave it as possibly this band’s calling card. Not that what’s come before is any less engaging, with opener “Um Brilho Frágil No Infinito” a sparky and uplifting introduction that leaves no room for doubt as to just how locked in and musically connected this trio are.

Initially the idea behind the band was to write and perform music that didn’t contain any guitar and as such it should be no surprise that it really is Rodrigues who often dominates proceedings. He does so, however, with a real sense of purpose that allows the smoother title track to slide along on a ranging bass line and soaring melody. With the seriousness of “Gigantes Da Destruicão” working keenly alongside the more playful “Futuro Passado” - where the guitar also comes much more to the fore - there is also a welcome slice of variety on show.

It may be two years old - and prices online would suggest those initial pressings are now hard to find - but with Caravela Escarlate it would appear that Karisma Records have unearthed another gem. Watching this band evolve from here should be very interesting indeed.

Track Listing
1. Um Brilho Frágil No Infinito
2. Caravela Escarlate
3. Atmosfera
4. Gigantes Da Destruição
5. Toque As Constelações
6. Futuro Passado
7. Cosmos
8. Planeta-Estrela

Added: October 7th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Caravela Escarlate on bandcamp
Hits: 953
Language: english

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