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Starcastle - Fountains of Light  CD (album) cover

FOUNTAINS OF LIGHT

Starcastle

 

Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 95 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Despite the numerous critics that claimed Starcastle were just another Yes clone, the band's debut sold quite well, received heavy FM airplay and it was followed by an extended touring schedule.Epic Records then sent the band to Quebec, at Le Studio in Morin-Heights to work with Roy Thomas Baker on the upcoming album.Baker was known for his work as a producer of Queen and there were some serious doubts about how he could adjust his ideas into the sound of Starcastle.The final product was ''Fountains of light'', released eventually in 1977.

Having worked with Queen helped Baker make the style of Starcastle a bit more pompous, while the band maintained its complex nature throughout, maybe with a few more melodic lines added for good measure.''Fountains of light'' sounds like a Symphonic Rock album leaving the Classic Prog era for a new dimension towards the 80's, as the main keyboards appearing in it are Herb Schildt's dominant synthesizers with light washes from his Hammond organ and the piano.The YES influence is more than apparent, from the complicated bass lines to the STEVE HOWE guitar workouts to the sweet vocal harmonies and the JON ANDERSON-like voice of Terry Luttrell.The compositions remain at a very good level with interesting variations, really dense instrumental themes and strong lyrical textures with romantic atmospheres.The constant use of synths and the sugar-like polyphonic arrangements maybe deliver a slight AOR taste at moments, but the structure of the music is definitely in a YES-vein circa ''Relayer'' and ''Going for the One'' with virtuosic keyboard acrobatics and a certain symponic flavor.The YES similarities are a bit annoying along the way, like listening to a lost album of the British Prog pioneers, but the musicianship and the atmosphere ranges from decent to brilliant, featuring rich, keyboard-drenched textures.

Somewhat lower in music values compared to Starcastle's adventurous debut, but ''Fountains of light'' includes lots of great moments, starting from dreamy and ethereal passages and ending up in complex instrumental ideas.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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