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Cast - A View of Cast CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.00 | 8 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars By the time of this compilation, Cast has released six studio albums. IMO "Third Call" was the best album of Cast so far (four stars in my rating). Some others ones were average (two stars) to good (three stars). But on each one, there were some nice and appealing compositions.

There will be three songs from their debut album (a bit over exposed, IMO). "The Magic Is Gone" is recorded live but you will only notice this when the track is over (some hand clapping). Very nice number (one of the best of " Landing in a Serious Mind"). "Reunion" was also one of the well-executed track, but I'm not sure it really deserved to be selected for this "Best Of". Just an average track from a decent album. Showing an excellent musicianship, but maybe a bit too pompous (but ELP is one of their main inspiration, so...). Also recorded live.

I had not a great feeling about "Chris Col" but I must say that this live version is very good, and as such is a very pleasant number here. Rather short (Cast is used to produce songs that are averaging eight minutes), but very strong. It rocks alright and is somewhat different of their traditional work (more poppish). Another side of Cast is highlighted here and it was maybe not a bad idea to have it on a compilation album.

One track from "Sounds Of Imagination", their second effort. It will be "Dragon's Attack", a complex and beautiful song, very PFM oriented (but this band is another of their main source of inspiration). Very harmonious, with several tempo changes. Lots of great keys. All in all, another very good choice. Also recorded live.

Two songs from "Third Call", my favourite Cast album so far as I have mentioned. The opener "Static Dreams" is one of my preferred Cast song. A fantastic melody and a great lead vocal from Dino Brassea. I have always like his style , even when he is singing in English which he will be mostly do during the first Cast period. Only during some later releases will they choose to sing into Spanish. This song is a live version but very much similar to the original. The highlight on this compilation.

"House By The Forest" features Fish oriented vocals and has an almost Trespass-esque atmosphere. Subtle and very pleasant again. Almost a Marillion song.

One track form "Four Aces". Again, it is one of the best of the original album (although I prefer "Echoes", but again its lenght (over seventeen minutes) does not fit with the compilation. So, "In The Light Of darkeness" is a very good alternative. A bit heavy during the middle part maybe. But Cast will rectify this with a brilliant intro and finale. A great number.

Their fifth album, "Endless Sings" is represented by "Spirit Of Man". Another complex song with lots of instrumental passages (but that's another TM of Cast). Some Genesis keyboard oriented sounds ("The Knife" at times sits just around the corner). Technically brilliant but maybe lacking in unity. The final piano part is a 100% tribute to Keith. "Hidden Poems" is featured as well, but is not really interesting.

On this compilation effort, there won't be any tracks from their latest album "Beyond Reality". The reason being pretty simple : there were three long numbers (suite type). One of the two numbers left was a tribute to "Camel" ("Another Night" form "Moonmadness). Still, they could have selected some of the movements (if not all) from the fantastic "The Rescue" instead some less interesting songs like "Hiden Poems" which will be featured later on "Castalia" and "Reunion".

Anyway, it is a very good album which will give you a pretty good idea of the band production at this time of their career. They will release some double live efforts later on that might as well be a good choice to discover the band. But that's another story. If you like bands as PFM, ELP and to a lesser extent Genesis and Renaissance, Cast might definitely be appealing to you. Four stars for this one.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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