CARAVELA ESCARLATE – Caravela Escarlate
The promo sheet references such giants as ELP, Yes, and Camel, and I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment, but Rick Wakeman’s solo work such as "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" also comes to mind in places. Caravela Escarlate’s brand of prog is playful and full of surprises, and it has a strong undercurrent of melodrama and the carnivalesque to it. The synth work is inspired and the twisted arrangements as well as the enjoyable melodies result in a fresh take on classic 70s prog. There is something invigorating about that. The sound of the album lacks neither clarity nor crispiness, but personally I would have preferred a bit more warmth and perhaps even a few imperfections so that it would come across as slightly livelier and more vibrant than it is. Having said that, these guys can really play and the majority of songs give you the impression that Caravela Escarlate are having a blast running through them, but a couple of tunes do not really tickle the senses and lack depth, almost as if they are a bit crammed with all kinds of wacky ideas without actually saying anything or capturing the imagination. In short, the first six songs are essentially better and more remarkable than the last two cuts on the disc.
Overall, "Caravela Escarlate" is an uplifting and upbeat album with a handful of ambitious mand emorable tracks to it, and it certainly deserves closer study. There is a lot of potential on display here, so it will be interesting to see what these crazy Brazilians will come up with next.