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Cast - Landing In A Serious Mind CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.05 | 29 ratings

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4 stars When I read some reviews about CAST'S debut album, I thought that it was mediocre at the best, but still by insistence of a Mexican friend, dared to buy a copy of "Landing on a Serious Mind", something I will never regret, because the album is delightful, the vocals are good, but the instrumental breaks are outstanding.

The excellent interplay between the talented Luis Alfonso Vidales on the keyboards and Francisco HernŠndez Reyes on the guitars is elaborated with undeniable skills and technique. The Mexican elements in the music and the acoustic guitars with Flamenco reminiscences are delicate and introduced in the right moments avoiding abuse, in other words composition and arrangements are absolutely capable.

The album starts with "The Magic is gone" something that I believe is a contradiction with the opener, because the magic is just starting. After a delicate and very original introduction based mostly on keyboards and piano Dario Carlos Brassea in the vocals and Francisco HernŠndez Reyes add a passage clearly reminiscent of PENDRAGON'S "The Masquerade Overture" (Between Paintbox and The Shadow), but then evolves in something different and absolutely fluid, as the song advances, the vocals keep getting better and better and the aggressive guitar makes a perfect complement.

"Rest in Your Nest" starts more or less in Waltz tempo, but as the track advances keeps getting closer to some sort of Pompous Symphonic with echoes of Europe, with Brassea sounding very close (in vocal range and despite the strong accent) to Nick Barrett. Another solid number.

"I Just Wanna Be" brings us back into Neo territory again close to PENDRAGON, but this time to their softer side with sudden and surprising vocal explosions, the drumming by Josť Antonio Bringas collisions with the heavy guitar by the bassist Rodolfo Gonzalez Quiroz and Latin styled keyboards, not as solid as the previous two tracks, but still very good.

"At Last Alone" is a radical change, begins pompous and melancholic simultaneously, the acoustic guitar on the background playing in the vein of Flamenco musicians adds a wonderful touch. After a few seconds the song turns into a powerful ballad with elements borrowed from "A Trick of the Tail", just to change again into an "ALAN PARSONS PROJECT" inspired piece of music with more complexity.. "At Last Alone" changes over and over proving us that this guys know what Progressive Rock means, specially each time Luis Alfonso Vidales uses the Moog with great dexterity.

"Not Sleeping" presents us a different sound, this time they irrupt into Jazz/Fusion territory with some elements of "JEAN LUC PONTY" but with a Latin touch, the drumming by Josť Antonio Bringas is simply spectacular, a frantic violin (probably synthesized because it's not credited) blends perfectly.

"Just Another Way" the longest song in the album, is a pure Symphonic piece of music in which Luis Alfonso Vidales plays an extremely beautiful piano, that blends perfectly with the vocals creating a dramatic and melancholic song with some ELP reminiscences and a lot of CAST make of this song a real pleasure to listen.

"Do What you Like", "Athens", "Reunion" and "Chris de Col" have a lot in common, a clear Symphonic sound. with huge Classical influence and a touch of King Crimson, four tracks that seem taken from another album, to the point that I believe are from a different era of the band, being that CAST story begins in 1978, but this album was only released in 1994, an excellent way to close "Landing on a Serious Mind".

Most reviews I read, describe CAST'S debut as a mediocre album, something with what I totally disagree, maybe their later albums are even better, but "Landing on a Serious Mind" is a strong album from start to end with no weak moments, and that in my opinion deserves no less than four very solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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