Caravellus - Knowledge Machine
Progressive Power Metal
9 songs (59:20)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review
Long gone are the days when the Brazilian scene can claim a titan in any given Metal subgenre. Brazil have had a strong Metal scene for a number of years, but lately things have not been as active as we may have hoped. Even after the death of the “real” Sepultura, the end of Sarcofago, and the stagnation of their Extreme Metal scene, Brazil can add this band to their growing list of excellent new bands. The Cavalera Conspiracy is certainly boosting the heavier side of Brazilian metal, along with Krisiun, but in this review I will leave my norm and review a Brazilian band who ply their trade in Power Metal. The one time I actually entered the True Metal forum I came across a thread discussing Caravellus. They are a brand new, hyper-talented Progressive Power Metal band hailing from Brazil. This is my first time escaping my comfort zone of strictly Extreme Metal reviews, and I cannot say that it is not exciting and challenging. I really refuse to listen to 90% of Power Metal, but when it is this fresh and this good, the time is nigh to open my first Power Metal review.

In many ways on every angle they sound similar to a cross between the technicality of Symphony X along with the meandering and epic feel of Dark Moor minus the female vox. The initial adventure into their latest album, Knowledge Machine was a track called Corsairs in Black. This song has an intro that explodes with rapidity and technicality. As the song draws on the drummer shows his skill amongst difficult time changes, the strings roam their way across the solos like a twisting bullet, and the keys add riveting effects to accompany the treble. Even amongst all this show up musicianship, the need to provide a powerful and memorable chorus is realized several times during this track. For just that moment the incredible talent takes a backseat to a driving and consistent rhythm. The ability to master both niches in their Progressive sound manifests itself as a true strength with Caravellus. More odd time signatures surround the next track, When the Night has Fallen. A chorus laden clean guitar sound plays over melodic vocals and wisp-like keyboards. The stop go motion of certain parts of the song accent the river flow of keys over the chorus. The soft relaxing mode of this song is consistent with many Power Metal bands in that they follow their initial strong foray with a melodic piece. The song eventually picks up and ends with a scorching guitar solo that trades and duels with the keys before another chorus. This structure maintains itself as a strong basis for the songwriting of this Brazilian act. Beyond the Skies begins with some more fantastic lead work and keyboard auras. This song in portions has a darker feel to it, with the bass guitars becoming more audible on this track than before. The Divine Comedy is a speculative and innovative track, beginning with some lovely acoustic work laid behind a Portuguese monologue. Some of the most emotional vocals on a wonderfully sung clean album take place here. It is easy to tell that this is Caravellus’ attempt at constructing a miniature epic, meaning a song that does not exceed 7 to 8 minutes but has the meandering feel that a very long song or an old film could create. Caravellus play with odd time signatures almost during the entire album. This album truly lives to its title, Knowledge Machine. The mastery of theory here is astounding. Female vocals enter the picture on this album, although I am unsure if the lady on vox is credited or not.

Finally after the restful and calm of the previous few tracks Behind the Mask emerges as one of the most intense songs on the album. The power and fury behind the technical lead work on the guitar blows me away. This band is far more talented than their level of fame.

I really do not have to go down the line with every song explaining every detail. The bottom line on this band is: they are a super talented group with unlimited potential, this is an excellent album, however, if more songs were like Corsairs in Black and Behind the Mask and they maybe (and kill me for saying this) made their music a bit less Progressive and more accessible they could see real success in the states. Power Metal is oft times spread to a wider audience than my personal favorite, Black Metal, here in the US, so if they follow their hearts and continue writing music this special, Caravellus will be the name on every fans tongue.

Killing Songs :
Pretty much everything
Tony quoted 92 / 100
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