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Cast - Power And Outcome CD (album) cover

POWER AND OUTCOME

Cast

Symphonic Prog


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rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars

The first song "Rules of the Desert" starts the album in such uptempo mood and with a punchy style that I thought it was another band. This song is instrumental and the presence of the violin that will be constant throughout the album add a little touch to the music. The second song "Power and Outcome" bring back the vocals and reassure me that it's still the Cast traditional style. The band is back with his style of symphonic music with piano and classical arrangements. The vocals remind me of some Neo-Prog bands of the 80's and 90's which fortunately is not ruining the talented songwriting. The third track is a beautiful and peaceful ballad. "Start Again" is another instrumental track taking us back to the first song tempo but this time the guitar is taking his spot with the keyboards of Louis Alfonso Vidales. The song shows some impressive instrumental parts where the guitar is left lose in some exquisite solos. "Illusions and Tribulations" is another great track and the best way to enjoy the vocals when the music is quieter. This is a strong album of the band with some Genesis and Kansas influences that will please a bunch of Progressive Rock fans.

Report this review (#1704403)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2017 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars The last album I reviewed from the Mexican prog masters was 'Beyond Reality', more than twenty years ago, so when I saw this pop out of the envelope I had a huge smile on my face. I have lost touch with the guys and the many albums they have released in the intervening period, but I know that I used to like them and was sure that I would enjoy this. It wasn't too long afterwards, that I was telling everyone who would listen that this was a masterpiece, and I found that those who had already heard it were saying the same thing. The comment I had back from one reviewer I value very highly was that as soon as he first started playing it the only decision he had to make was whether it was a 4* album or a 5* album. I knew exactly what he meant, except that it was only halfway through the first listen that I was convinced that here was an album that not only deserved a 5* rating, but I knew that I was going to fall in love with it even more every time I played it, and that has turned out to be just the case.

This release is a "review killer" in the sense that it prevents me from listening to all the other albums I should be playing as it is just so good in every single aspect. The majority of this is instrumental, as there is just no room for vocals, but the two singers (Bobby Vidales and Lupita Ancuna) make their presence felt when they have the opportunity. It's just that when there are maestros such as those on display, then there just isn't always the place or time for that element. They even start with an instrumental that is nearly twelve minuts long, I mena, is this prog or what? With three lead melody instruments in guitar, violin and keyboards, there is an incredibly amount going on, but they rarely really show off. One of the exceptions to that is guitarist Caludio Cudero who tears his instrument to pieces and shreds like a lunatic in "Ilusions and Tribulations"; yet this is also a thoughtful number with some great emotive vocals and beautiful repetitive piano motifs.

This is an album that has made me incredibly excited, wanting to shout to the rooftops that the band I knew and loved in the Nineties have released a stunning album, yet it is tinged with disappointment that I lost contact for so long, and what are the albums like that I have missed out on! This is definitely going to be a contender for my personal album of the year as for me this majestically sums up just about everything I love about prog music. It is powerful yet melodic, full of instrumental brilliance and simplicity, layered and complex yet also is full of space and plenty of room for everyone to breathe and show just what they can do.

This is a stunning album, and to my ears is essential. Nothing more, nothing less.

Report this review (#1708272)
Posted Thursday, April 6, 2017 | Review Permalink
aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars Very bombastic and majestic symphonic prog straight out of the 70s but with modern arrangements delivered by Cast in their 19th (!) studio album. Strong references to classical music, guitars often verging on neo-classical themes and riffs and a very strong violin presence in Roberto Izzo sort of complete the puzzle. In the more than 70 minutes of this album, the music is very diverse, at times overfilled with complex structures, relentless soloing and changing of speeds and themes, almost a cinematic approach to dragons, queens and castles. The album cover points to that sort of thematography with clear references to Genesis (is that Peter Gabriel?) and Marillion.

The strongest references are to Kansas and especially their earlier works. Cast are not afraid to experiment with extended song structures and this pays off to a very inspired and majestic outcome - the lengthy opener ''Rules of the Desert'' is a great example of this. Musically and lyrically there is not much that I can pick upon, apart from the vocals and vocal lines. The effort to over-express themselves leads to vocal lines that sound to me slightly out of tune with the music, while the accent and the way of singing can put the listener off from enjoying the full grandiose of the compositions. There is something here that does not quite match and is difficult to figure out, but definitely an area for improvement in order to produce a truly memorable output.

Other than this, ''Power and Outcome'' is an orgasm of melodies and structures, a 70-min Song for America or Cheyenne Anthem missing the catchy vocals and refrains. The musicianship needs to be discovered even if you don't enjoy the full spectre as I did.

3.5 stars

Report this review (#1727055)
Posted Saturday, May 27, 2017 | Review Permalink

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