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Carpe Noctem Review by Phil Dirt of Reverb Central

The Madeira – Carpe Noctem – Five Stars

This band just keeps getting better and better. Ivan’s crew are superb
players, and the writing and arranging are top notch. This disc is
chock full of mysterious melodies, fast rhythmic energy, lush sound,
and compelling tracks.

Picks: Carpe Noctem, Wreak Havoc!, Undercurrents, Rolling Thunder,
Infidel, El Flaco, Hamsa, The Saracen, SOS (Stomp On Stomp), Tangaroa,
Surf Fidelis, Sahar, End Of The Circle

Track by Track Review

Carpe Noctem * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

A mysterious melody dramatically plays out on a dry guitar while a
glorious muted reverb guitar plays a superb counter melody. It’s just
the two guitars, and the combination is really compelling. “Carpe
Noctem” eventually brings in the bass and drums and more guitars for a
lush layered sound. The Madeira have created a very dramatic and moody
piece here that is hard to ignore. Superb!

Wreak Havoc! * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

Dribbling glissandos, fast picking, Eastern European melody
sensibility, and tight thundering energy overwhelm. “Wreak Havoc!” is
intense, and sparkles with the kind of energy that The Space Cossacks
used to achieve. Very cool!

Undercurrents * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

“Undercurrents” sports a sweeping Russian-like melody that’s slightly
sad and yet perseverant. The warmth of the adventure carries this song

Rolling Thunder * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark rhythmic muted surf patterns and rumbling drums, along with
galloping rhythms combine for a fast and very enthusiastic ride.
“Rolling Thunder” rolls and thunders, and suggests extreme energy with
lush smoothness. The drums are amazing!

Infidel * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

This pretty slow moving track features a lush lead and throbbing
tremolo rhythm. The sound is picturesque and very artful. Lovely
chords suggest islands and lagoons.

El Flaco * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

Galloping rhythm and a very low lead melody create a Joe Meek-ish
impression, while the melody is more sub-Mediterranean mysterious. “El
Flaco” features relentless rolling drums and rhythm guitar, along with
warm, long compression sustained guitar notes.

Hamsa * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

A very sensual blending of exotic percussion, lurid acoustic guitar
lines dominate this delicate, yet lusty song. Exceptional emotional
content and gypsy fire imagery. “Hamsa” is one fine track!

The Saracen * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

Gigantic power and energy, ska rhythm guitar, flying lead lines,
rock-solid bass, and superb drums. “The Saracen” is fluid, dramatic,
exotic, and played amazingly well. Wow!

SOS (Stomp On Stomp) * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

My initial impression of this song was that it was likely inspired by
The Atlantics, but it’s also very much about European stylings. The
grode e-string chokes took “SOS (Stomp On Stomp)” over the top! Great

Tangaroa * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

“Tangaroa” is a lushly recorded easy number with tremolo lead and a
very pretty backtrack. The melody is romantic and adventurous.

Surf Fidelis * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

Oh those grand muted reverb guitar lines! Within a couple of notes, I
was hooked. “Surf Fidelis” never let me down. This is a big, dramatic,
optimistic, and delicately powerful track. Some of the lead lines are
like drops of water, while others splash warmly.

Sahar * * * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

Groovy chop chords and low down lead lines, a melody with lots of
flair and drama, and really infectious drums, bass, and rhythm.
“Sahar” is hot blooded and raucous, with warm tone and intense energy!

End Of The Circle * * *
Surf (Instrumental)

“End Of The Circle” moves slowly and delicately, with lush lead and
gentle acoustic guitars balanced above soft bass and precision drums.
The relaxed pace does not mean it’s low energy. hauntingly rich and

Phil Dirt - Reverb Central
PO Box 7240
Santa Cruz, CA 95061-7240

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