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Cast - Four Aces CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.95 | 35 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This Mexican band will produce some good albums throughout their long career. Actually, they spent a long time together before releasing any stusdio album. This might explain their very prolific production of the mid-nineties.

The musicianship is very good, but some times the songwritting is just a bit short. On, this album, we'll get a bit of both worlds.

"In The Light of Darkness" opens the album brilliantly. Good melody, strong rhythm. Middle-East influence for the middle and instrumental part (a bit heavy). The finale is again very melodic. It is bizarrely followed with "Introverture". With such a title, I guess that this track should have been the opener. It is quite complex, with no real theme. Lots of different themes make it a bit difficult to follow. Almost Crimsonesque mood. Not too bad after a few spins.

"Last Will" is an most elaborate track. A very symphonic number actually featuring a nice opening (piano and vocals) which will evolve into a somptuous intrumental section (Cast strong point). At times again, it sounds as ELP but Cast adds sufficient own flavour to be original. The closing section is very emotional.

"Galeno" is a short (to Cast standards) and very pleasant instrumental piece. A very strong and inspired guitar has the leading role here. An incredible sound, really. Remisniscent of Carlos but more powerful. Very interesting.

The central piece of this album, is the epic "Echoes" (nothing to do with the other one). It starts brilliantly. Sensational rhythm with a powerful bass play and vigorous keyboards. No time to breathe during the first five minutes. Only after this very strong intro, a subtle and Genesis-esque part will follow. Dino Brassea, sounding very nice in this slower part.

The second half of this number sounds a bit too repetitive. This feeling is especially during the instrumental section (from 10' to 12'30"). A bit pompous, I must admit (did I say ELP ?). It might have been cut down a bit to keep the interest of the listener at the same level. Fortunately, the closing part (over five minutes) is again very nice. Same light and sweet vocal part with very pleasant piano. I am missing a bombastic finale but all in all this track is well balanced and will please the ears of lots of prog fans.

"SPVM" is a intrumental and classical interlude. I wonder why Cast felt the use of listing such a number here. The album lenght (as usual for Cast) is long enough (over sixty- three minutes) to avoid it. Anyway, the next number reminds me PFM. Probably due to the vocals. Genesis is not too far either. I quite like the drum play in this number. A very pleasant song even if definitely PFM is almost carbon-copied.

Talking of borrowing styles, the intro of "Winter" might be a tribute to Keith Emerson. This piano intro sounds so much as the master does. The whole piece is full of sweetness : from vocals to the famous piano. A nice moment indeed. "Scenery" closes the album quite beautifully. One of the few poppish Cast number : a catchy melody that makes you appreciate it at the first listening (not too often the case with Cast).

Cast's music is generally somewhat complex and needs several spins to really allow the listener to enter into their work. I would say that their music is a mix between symph and neo-prog. As for other Cast albums, some of you might feel that they are a bit lacking in personality by getting their inspiration from some mighty bands of the seventies.

This effort is not their best one, but not their weakest either. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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