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Starcastle - Fountains of Light  CD (album) cover

FOUNTAINS OF LIGHT

Starcastle

 

Symphonic Prog

3.48 | 93 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars With their debut album, progressive rock band Starcastle established themselves as the 'American answer to Yes', and Fountains of Light further validates that title. Released just a year after Starcastle, Fountains of Light sees the band pursuing more or less the same style of cheery symphonic prog, except with more of an AOR edge this time around. This is still first and foremost a progressive rock album, however, and most of the AOR tendencies tend to lie solely in the keyboard tones. Even though Starcastle branched out slightly since their 1976 debut, Fountains of Light is still, for better or worse, a Yes cloning exercise. In terms of late seventies' American progressive rock, there aren't too many albums better than this - by today's standards, however, Fountains of Light stands as largely unessential.

Fountains of Light sounds pretty much the same as the previous Starcastle album, although it seems like there's a bit more of an influence from Styx and Kansas this time around. Terry Luttrell still sounds uncannily Jon Anderson, and the instrumentation still borrows heavily from Yes, but the more vast synthesizer palette and distinct guitar style does make this album a bit different from its predecessor. Although Starcastle was still a long way away from finding their own sound, Fountains of Light is possibly a bit more distinct than their debut. With that said, the fiery songwriting of the first album is toned down a bit, and Fountains of Light generally sounds a bit more 'tame' than their debut. The downplayed organ playing really takes something away from Starcastle's sound - this, in combination with the generally less memorable songwriting, makes Fountains of Light feel a bit inferior to Starcastle.

Although Fountains of Light lacks a true sense of originality and is a bit less interesting than Starcastle, that isn't to say that this album isn't good. The epic "Fountains" may actually be my favorite Starcastle tune, and the musicianship and production are both beyond excellent. This is a competent, if largely non-essential, progressive rock effort that Yes fans in particular should enjoy. 3 stars are warranted.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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