Peter Thelen    13-April-2001 As Criancas Da Nova Floresta

Recordando O Vale Das Macas - "As Criancas Da Nova Floresta" (PRW 010,77/93, CD)

Recordando O Vale Das Macas (translated: Remembering the valley of apples - RVM for short) is an entirely instrumental adventure, the music is a heavily folk-influenced melodic rock, for the most part happy and festive, maybe recalling the gentle melodics of early PFM or Maxophone, mixed with a bit of the hard-hitting pyrotechnics of Finch. For this reissue (if you want to call it that) plenty of surgery was done, as only the second side of the original album is represented here (totally re-recorded, of course), while the four tracks on the first side were scrapped, and replaced by four unreleased old tracks. In addition, the thirteen minute title track of guitarist Fernando Pacheco's 1986 solo album Himalaia, which featured the full band, was included. Originally a seven-piece, the band at the time of this re-recording (1993) is essentially a quartet of Pacheco, drummer "Miltom", Eliseu Filho on keys and violin, and Ronaldo Mesquita on bass, with additional guests handling extra keyboards, flute, and acoustic guitar. Three of the album's six tracks top the eleven minute mark, the longest being the three-part sidelong "Children of the New Forest II", a melodic tour-de-force that showcases the full band at their best. The remaining three tracks are shorter, but equally energized. This is spirited music, rich with tradition, full of bright colors and warmth. Highly recommended.

(Originally published in Exposť #3, p.18, Edited for Gnosis 3/24/01)

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