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The Vintage Caravan - 'Arrival' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4a/57/bd/The-Vintage-Caravan-Voyage-83-1443043548.jpg Hot

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The Vintage Caravan continues to be the best legal high on the market.

Close your eyes, dream of a kaleidoscope world, turn up the volume, press play and you are immediately transported back to the early seventies. From the strains of the opening track 'Last Day Of Light' it is obvious that this is more "vintage" sounding endeavours from The Vintage Caravan. The album retains that very 1970's feeling courtesy of producer Axel "Flexi" √Ārnason who also produced the last album. 'Arrival' was recorded in a studio set-up in an old ballroom somewhere in a secluded Icelandic fjord. I can imagine that songs like 'Monolith' and 'Babylon' were recorded with the volume being pushed to the maximum and the paint peeling off the walls with the Northern Lights flashing across the night sky. The album also features another sensational Psychedelic front cover that has been designed by American artist David Paul Seymour.

The song-writing sessions for 'Arrival' started almost immediately after the release of their sophomore album 'Voyage', back in the summer of 2012. I had the privilege of reviewing the latter back in issue 62. The young Icelandic trio of Oskar Logi Augustsson (vocals, guitar), Gujon Reynisson (drums) and Alex Orn Numason (bass) continue to produce music beyond their tender years. I think that if the bands Cream, ELP and Black Sabbath had a lovechild it would be TVC.

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'Eclipsed' would have fitted perfectly on the previous album whilst 'Shaken Beliefs' and 'Crazy Horses' are up-tempo numbers with a highly infectious groove, especially the latter where it is virtually impossible to stay still whilst listening. 'Innerverse' starts off as a brooding ballad but kicks into overdrive with some fearsome Hammond Organ that would have Keith Emerson raising his eyebrows. 'Carousel' even features a bass solo that is very apt given the fact that I sit here reviewing the album in a week where we lost two great bass players in Mike Pocaro and Andy Fraser. The epic 'Winter Queen' brings the album to a storming conclusion.

The band themselves best describe their new album; "it's a bit darker, a bit heavier and a bit more melodic but definitely in a good way." I would agree with latter completely but would also add that 'Arrival' is not as instantaneous as 'Voyage' and I do miss the quirkiness of tracks like 'M.A.R.S.W.A.T.T' and 'Expand Your Mind' from the last album. That said, this is another fantastic trip back to the early seventies.

The Vintage Caravan continues to be the best legal high on the market!

Mark Donnelly

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