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Starcastle - Chronos CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.07 | 10 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Twenty-three years after their last studio release (the very poor "Real To Reel"), "Starcastle" put this compilation album (demos and some unrealeased songs) on the market. I am rather perplex for such release and to its sales potential.

Throughout all those years the flame of the band was hold by Gary Strater, their bassist. There will be lots of personnel changes, long periods wihtout contracts, reformations which will lead to the recording of this projet : "Chronos I".

I usually am not reluctant to listen to bands that sound to other great disappeared ones (like Genesis - Gabriel era of course - for instance). I find it valueable to be able to discover how current (or not) bands re-create their sounds. Because they do no longer exist. With "Starcastle", the story is different : cloning "Yes" while the model is still performing is not so exciting to me.

Now, this album holds some of their best numbers : "Lady of The Lake" and "Fountain" of course. The latter one is particularly well reworked and it is nice to have them both side by side on a single studio recording. Fortunately, the band will also avoid to "re-edit" songs from "Real...". Even their third album will be skipped from this work.

Songs as "True to the Light" and "To the Fire Wind" also have gained some substance in this "revisitation". Nice job, I have to say. "A Fall Of Diamonds" is actually another version of "Diamond Song (Deep is the Light)" from "Fountains of Light". Same good and fresher interpretation. And "Portraits" still tries and sounds as "&U&I" (partially).

As far as unreleased songs are concerned, three and a half sit here. The half one is "Breath and Thunder" already featured on their live album "Concert Classics". The band has the good idea to shorten it almost by half here and the short passage of "Firebird" is wisingly deleted as well. This is probably their most "punchy" song ever. Not too bad in this format to be honest.

"Morning Fall" is a pleasant sweet rock song, somewhat similar to "Change in Time" from third album "Citadel". "Where Caverns Wind" is a poor acoustic tune which should have remained unreleased without perturbating your progressive interest for rarities while "Dance Of The Physotrons" is a bit heavier and more complex than usual but is just average.

I guess that this album will satisfy most of your appetite for "Starcastle". It is a good representation of their work and skips the most pop / AOR = poorest part of their repertoire. Released material is mostly better performed here while the unreleased tracks are not great, frankly. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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