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Castanarc - Burnt Offerings CD (album) cover




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Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars This music continues to confuse me since I've get to know it. It's soft neo-prog I suppose (nothing synthy like Pendragon, or dark as Arena), but there's something absolutely unique. Each song is started by... well, intro, ranging from about 10-30 seconds. Directly first one is crazy enough to make me interested in. But music itself is weak. Too shallow to be special and too influences by era from which this albums emerges (oh yeah, I'm another one who hates sound of 80's, so be it then).

3(-), Pleasant melodies, there's no dispute in it, but not much on this release. Maybe their other ones are better.

Report this review (#258302)
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars By the end of 84' Duty and Kirkland left Castanarc and the remaining trio decided to carry on by writing new material.Without any financial income they were forced to perform on jam sessions and in 1986 they signed a new contract with RCA's branch label Cue Rain, which would re-issue ''Journey to the East'' with an extra track.In 1988 a first attempt on re-reaching the public was made through the offering of a limited cassette entitled ''Burnt offerings'', which contained previously unreleased material plus reworked songs.

The familiar style of Castanarc is still present, a dreamy and lyrical Neo Prog with GENESIS and PINK FLOYD influences, although delivered in a much more personal way.The album contains the first ever song written by Holiday and Powell, ''Timespan'', which is pretty similar to late-70's GENESIS with poppy tunes surrounded by theatrical vocals and elaborate breaks.''Taliesin'' is another piece dating from Castanarc's early days, closer to British Folk Rock with sensitive vocals and acoustic guitars along with some surprising violin.The mid-80's tracks, recorded during the group's transitional period, are coming in an ambiental mood with spacey keyboards, expressive narrations and orchestral textures in a vey calm and atmospheric enviroment.The closest piece to Castanarc's debut is the very PENDRAGON-like ''When doves become eagles'', a smooth lyrical song with romantic vocal lines, mellow drums and discreet synthesizers.

The same compilation of songs was reissued on CD ten years later on Khepra Records with an alternative, remix version of the classic track ''Peyote'' from Castanarc's debut (included also in the original cassette) plus two songs in demo versions from the later Castanarc albums, ''From shadows'' and ''The dream''.

This is an album rather serving the scope of re-defining a group returning from its darkest period than a regular work by a band and, if seen as so, it is an interesting, archival effort.Propably an excess to be part of anyone's collection, but lovers of Neo Prog, die-hard Prog archivists and, of course, Castanarc followers will be rewarded by its atmospheric tunes, if purchasing...2.5 stars.

Report this review (#1066151)
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 | Review Permalink

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