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4 stars I have heard of Cast before and got curious about them, but never heard more than snippets of their music. I read a few favourable reviews of their previous album, Com.Union but didn't pick it up. So, Originallis is my first proper listen to the music of Cast, this long-time active Mexican band.

And what and album it is!

A double album, this 2008 release is over 90 minutes long, filled with lovely symphonic rock moments, embracing keyboards, powerful lead guitar playing and delightful playing of other instruments such as saxophone, flute and clarinet.

The songs flow into each other naturally, connected and seem to not end. The music changes mood and pace from a relaxed opening song named after the title of the album to the highly energetic, fun and enthralling instrumental piece that is Pulsar. It is a fantastic piece, emotional and powerful, shifting from a slightly melancholic state to an optimistic and positive mood, always on the move, not giving the listener any rest, but not in an exhausting kind of way; simply it just goes on and on, evolving as it goes on, adding structures and changing instruments as it develops. The sax solo, the use of the female vocalizations, and the rest of this expanded lineup take this track one notch up than it would have been, showing the importance of knowing how to not only construct your song but also how to orchestrate it, "paint" it with ingredients that will take it further on.

There are wonderful melodic lines, filled with passion and which sound powerful thanks to the enhanced lineup and the female vocalization. The balance between the melodic and the complex and dynamic is at a good position, as the switching occurs seamlessly and the result can proudly stand in line with other current great lineups of progressive rock bands. The male vocals by Alejandro Tornero are delicate and soft, matching the music and melodies and do not overshadow the rich sound of the band and the full gamut of instruments played upon. The female vocals and vocalization adds another magical layer to the already thrilling basis and fit very well.

I have also to mention the wonderful artwork of the album, magnificent drawings that are a delight to look at while listening to the music.

As said above, this is a long album, but for some reason I could get into it quite quickly and surprisingly for an album of this length, already from the second listen. While the music can be complex at times, it is quite accessible and bears a charm hard for me to resist. You may want to use the natural division of the two cd's to have separate listens and make it easier to grasp. If you like current and 90's Italian symphonic prog bands you might recognize some similarities in the style.

The album mixes very well the wonderful symphonic-prog sound with lush keyboards alongside heavy, almost metal-like guitar solos. If you like symphonic-prog that travels between the soft and heavy the tender and powerful, this is a very worthwhile album to get. A fantastic album.

Report this review (#182697)
Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars As it s name say very Originallis

This is one of the best Cast albums.

Very complex, it shows in all its splendour the virtuosity of all their musicians.

I think that with this album they show they are completely alive .

Cast is the symphonic rock band of these days. The new Emerson,Lake and Palmer because of the virtuosity of their musicians and the complexity of their music, but also and of course in the music issue the Genesis,Yes and Pink Floyd influences are clear.

I have alwyas,nevertheless, miss good vocals and i think is the weakest thing in Cast.

With the incorporation of Mexican folk influences ,this album is very pleasant to hear.

4 afforded stars

Report this review (#196466)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Is Cast the western hemisphere's answer to The Flower Kings ?

If their other albums sounds like this album, the answer is a definate yes to that question. This double album is very much in the Roine Stolt mould, but not a copycat.

The ninety minutes here takes us from Genesis via Yes, King Crimson, Kaipa and ELP to today's retro symphonic prog scene. Magic Pie and Flower Kings is references. The Tangent to springs to mind. In other words; this double CD is a very tasty symphonic prog smorgasboard.

I guess you will now have sniffed out the type of music we find here. Long keyboard runs over some superb melodies. Some klarinet, saxophones and flutes can also be found here as snacky details. The vocals are superb. It helps that those are sung in Spanish. A language I do not understand, but the vocals in itself is like an extra instrument. Superb stuff. The superb sound is a mix of neo-prog and old symphonic prog.

My only gripe with this album is that is may feel a bit sameness after a while. Ninety minutes is a long time and I am afraid the band may have bitten over more than they, and I, can chew/swallow. But the music is very beautiful and it seriously impresses me. I am on the search for more albums from this band. Cast is a criminally ignored band and they deserve more recognition from my fellow progheads. This album is as good as any The Flower Kings albums and it can be compared to both Retropolis and Flower Power. It is that good.

4 stars

Report this review (#251722)
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I hadn't heard any Cast prior to listening to Originallis - I knew of them mostly as an extremely prolific Mexican band who hit the scene in the mid-1990s with the feat of releasing five albums in the space of two years. Nobody can accusing them of lacking a work ethic - but does this rapid release schedule mean a lack of editing and care?

Well, apparently not - at least, not on the strength of Originallis. Many acts would struggle to knock out a 90 minute album of all-new music a mere year after their latest release without stuffing it here and there with filler, or belabouring the point to the extent that the 90 minutes drag out. If anything, Orignallis does the opposite, with its musical journeys keeping up my attention to the end and its running time flying by like a breeze.

What you get here is largely pleasant symphonic prog with strong instrumental performances and the occasional pastoral touch, played in a style distinctive to Cast but with a broad range of influences from the major bands of the 1970s to more local scenes. Not a classic, but far from an embarrassment.

Report this review (#1891544)
Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2018 | Review Permalink

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