III by Caravela EscarlateRelease date: January 27, 2023
Label: Karisma Records
Following up to their second self-titled album released nearly six years ago, Brazil’s own Caravela Escarlate have been around since their formation in 2011. Taking aspects between the English and Italian progressive rock sound of the ‘70s, but adding both the traditional and popular textures of Brazilian music, it gives the trio their own answer to the sound and vision, which helped create the Caravela universe.
Their third album simply titled III, released on the Karisma label, is inspired by historical issues in different texts, Medieval Times, the Roman Empire, Pre-Columbian Civilizations, and the Age of Discovery. The cover of the eruption of Vesuvius by 18th century painter J.M.W. Turner, is like witnessing a view of the apocalypse that’s he’s visioned in his painting of Pompeii, 79 A.D.
With seven tracks (two instrumentals), and the viewing landscape of drums, bass and a massive amount of keyboards flowing into view, the trio get down to business as usual. From the galloping Canterbury ride into mellotron and synthesiser city on ‘Castelos do Céu’ with its insane waltzy midsections, to the crazy combo of Museo Rosenbach, Cressida, and Triumvirat rolled into one for this fanfare-like touch on the ‘Cruz da Ordem’.
Rodrigues’ hands comes up for the challenge by preparing himself by walking into this epic-like hallucination that is absolutely mind-boggling. Both Paiva and Cáfaro are following Ronaldo in mid-full speed to see where this insane carousel will stop. But they play very well, and they play very majestically to the beat of their own instruments.
Returning back to the Waltz’s once more, this time Caravela raise the chandeliers more and more to reach the dark, blue skies whilst the heavy clouds are coming to the forefront. For the massive rainfall that’s occurring on ‘Sonhos Medievais’, the trio brought in enough artillery to prepare these massive tidal waves, crashing the entire city in a big splash!
‘Mandala’ is an entryway to the spiritual guidance of their inner souls where they take Kerry Minnear’s clavinet, and the changes of the deep, dark cavernous places for the mellotron to set up this mantra by representing the sacred beauties of Hinduism. ‘Filtro dos Sonhos’ closes the album off with a mid-fast carpet ride before David’s Rickenbacker halts the other members by revving up his engines too.
You can hear elements of Black Sabbath’s own Geezer Butler in his arrangements as he goes into this little improvisation before they calm everything down in a moody bossa-nova groove with Ronaldo channeling both Graham Bond’s ‘Love is the Law’ and Steve Winwood’s piano intro of Traffic’s ‘Glad’ from their 1970 masterpiece, John Barleycorn Must Die.
After that, they hurl through the cosmos into this climatic battle once more to channel the sections of George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue!’ A knock-out punch after another, Caravela Escarlate have done it again. They truly captured their story-telling vibes and give it a real state of shock, that is almost like a volcano waiting to erupt!