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Casino - Casino CD (album) cover

CASINO

Casino

 

Neo-Prog

3.61 | 65 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Play on!

Casino is a kind of "super group" of Neo-Progressive Rock with members better known from bands like Arena, Pendragon, Threshold, Twelfth Night and Pallas. My CD version of this sole album by Casino - which was hard to find and very expensive - has a sticker on the front that mentions all these bands. Pretty much the entire elite of Neo-Prog right there! Surprisingly, Shadowland is not mentioned which might have been an even more relevant reference point considering that both Clive Nolan and Karl Groom are part of both Shadowland and Casino and also considering that the Casino album must have been made around the same time as Shadowland's Ring Of Roses (both albums being released in 1992) while neither Arena nor Threshold had released anything yet at that point.

Nolan is a man with many different talents and many different musical projects in which he can make use of them. Casino is one such project and here Nolan provides the music and lets Geoff Mann handle the lyrics and vocals. There is a concept behind the album revolving around gambling and addiction, it is quite brilliant! Both the subject matter and the actual music is dark and in that sense, and really only in that sense, similar to Arena, the hard edged sound of that future band is completely absent here. The music of Casino actually reminds me a bit more of Pink Floyd than of many Neo-Prog bands. The dark mood reminds me of the great Animals album. Also, you will not find any overly sing-a-long-friendly choruses here like in many of Shadowland's songs, for example.

Casino consists of only six tracks, four of which are over ten minutes in length. Several tracks include extended "soundscapes" with pieces of conversation, sampled sounds of slot machines, etc. further reminding me of Pink Floyd. Some of these bridge passages are perhaps slightly too long, but they do help to tell the story and set the mood. The only song here that I don't really like is Stranger which sticks out like The Proles on Rick Wakeman's 1984 album to which it even bears a slight resemblance in style! This song doesn't really fit in on the album.

Despite some minor flaws, Casino tells a quite intelligent story by quite intelligent means. Like all of Clive Nolan's projects Casino is a first-class production; very well made and sonically faultless. Also, like most other Nolan projects it tends to grow on you with each listen. I used to rate this with three stars, but over a long period of time I have returned to this album many times and at some point I decided to raise the rating to four stars.

Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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