Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

STARCASTLE

Symphonic Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Starcastle picture
Starcastle biography
Founded in Champaign, USA in 1972 - Disbanded in 1987 - Reformed between 1997-2007 and again since 2018

STARCASTLE is a well known USA based band, but sadly they are better known for cloning YES, what is a real shame, because they are talented musicians that could easily be making albums with theirown ideas and style.

The history of Starcastle goes back to 1968, when Steve Hagler (guitar), Mike Castlehorn (Drums) and Paul Tassler (bass guitar) formed ST. JAMES, a cover band that had some success playing in local pubs and bars. Soon after Herb Schildt joined the band and with a keyboardist they were ready for greater things, but tragedy hit them, Mike Castlehorn died in a car accident and was replaced by Steve Tassler.

After years of practicing and writing new material, STARCASTLE released their eponymous debut in 1976, and even when they were cataloged as YES clones, the band was well received in USA and Canada.

Despite having several lineup changes, STARCASTLE managed to release three more albums, "Fountain of Life" (1977), "Citadel" (1977) and the mainstream oriented "Real to Reel" in 1978, after that, the band disbanded, but had several reunions for short periods.

In 2004 the band decided to make a tribute for Gary Stratter who had pancreatic cancer since 2003. They performed together with Gary (this was his last performance with the band). Gary passed away a year later, but not before recording enough material for their last record called "Song of Times" that was released in 2007.

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú

STARCASTLE forum topics / tours, shows & news


STARCASTLE forum topics Create a topic now
STARCASTLE tours, shows & news Post an entries now

STARCASTLE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to STARCASTLE

Buy STARCASTLE Music



More places to buy STARCASTLE music online

STARCASTLE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STARCASTLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 195 ratings
Starcastle
1976
3.38 | 154 ratings
Fountains of Light
1977
2.95 | 101 ratings
Citadel
1977
1.73 | 57 ratings
Real to Reel
1978
3.03 | 72 ratings
Song of Times
2007

STARCASTLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.83 | 16 ratings
Concert Classics
1999
2.53 | 10 ratings
Shine On Brightly
2001

STARCASTLE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

STARCASTLE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.10 | 12 ratings
Chronos
2001
4.00 | 2 ratings
Alchemy
2018

STARCASTLE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 3 ratings
Diamond Song (Deep Is the Light)
1977
4.33 | 3 ratings
Fountains of Light
1977

STARCASTLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Starcastle by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 195 ratings

BUY
Starcastle
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by ElChanclas

3 stars My Highlights - Lady of the lake - Forces - Sunfield - To the fire wind

Before going to specifics I do have a word for this album that I think suits perfectly and will definitely overpower any preconception (because there seems to be a lot) of its content? REFRESHING! This is a positive sounding record full of bright melodies and with just the right tempo to get your day going! Unfortunately this band has been unfairly diagnosed as merely Yes imitators with no originality whatsoever, lack of creativity and late for its genre? luckily I disagree. How many bands sound like Genesis, IQ, Dream Theater, King Crimson, etc? How many guitar duos try to sound like Thin Lizzy or Wishbone Ash and we still love and admire what they do? Is there any American rock or progressive rock band from that period (mid-late 70's) that did not have British prog/rock as a main influence? I'm glad that I haven't dived into YES's catalog yet (its true, I have not? for now) because that means that this musical content is totally new for my ears and its quite beautiful and, as I noted before, very refreshing.

All te synthesizers layers and sin-a-long textures performed by Herb Shildt are simply cast spelling and sound very advanced for the period sometimes bringing the music are towards the 80's rather than late 70's, the guitar harmonies by Stewart and Hagler are so well designed and played, specially on the song Sunfield? I can still listen to them by just closing my eyes, memorable! And Luttrell's vocals? Ok, yes they are quite Anderson-like but still he brings ear worm melodies to the table and give the band that unique pitch and sound, so what's not to like about all these features? fair and tight rhythmic section by Tassler and Strater? This album has been a great discovery (recommended by the SOT youtube channel) and I feel very confortable telling you guys that it will refresh your ears form the very first listen and will make you want to investigate their short but quite strong catalog.

 Starcastle by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 195 ratings

BUY
Starcastle
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars 1976. Progressive rock in Europe is pulling the last, hit hard by radios, disco music and the advent of punk rock; in March, what is considered by many to be the last prog album of the golden age will be released: "Moonmadness" by Camel. But like the concentric circles that slowly spread from a stone thrown into the water (involuntarily prophetic, for those who remember it, "Just take a pebble and cast it to the sea, then watch the ripples that unfold into me ..." ELP) even this type of music finally finds attention overseas, after the long years it took to cross it.

Among the standard-bearers of the genre in the USA - needless to mention the Kansas and Styx pillars - there is a group that, although semi-unknown to most today, in February 1976 gave birth to its first, surprising and homonymous work: the Starcastle. The most common criticism that has been made of this brilliant group, and which is still used as an alibi in moments of laziness of listening, is that - probably - they are very similar to the Yes of the golden age ("The Yes Album", "Close To The Edge"). Well, first of all, try to look like the Yes of the golden age! So, more than a criticism, it seems to me a compliment. But, apart from this, which is a personal opinion in which I expressed a bit of acidity of which I already regret and apologize to the reader, it must be said that the actual similarity of the voice of the singer (this Terry Luttrell, unknown like all the other members), and of some arrangements especially choral at the Yesstile, is only a detail in the huge fresco painted by the Starcastle in this album: there are many more suggestions that give it life, some original, others that draw on better than the various European predecessors.

It is striking how the pompous trademark dimension of the American progressive groups of the second half of the 70s is almost absent. If I hadn't learned this, I would hardly have thought the Starcastle were American. Another strong point of the work, in addition to the impressive technical virtuosity of all the members, both vocally and instrumentally, is certainly the balance. Seven excellent pieces that together form an almost perfect, unitary but complete structure. A record that never drops in tension, in which all the pieces deserve to be listened to. To stand out, if you really don't want to mention all the compositions of the work, are the first three tracks (the beautiful "Lady Of The Lake", "Elliptical Seasons" and "Forces") and "Sunfield". It is fun and evocative to get lost in the choirs "Da da da .." at various and pressing times, scattered and characteristic of the whole album.

Very deserving, unfortunately little known.

 Starcastle by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 195 ratings

BUY
Starcastle
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by Cboi Sandlin

4 stars Honestly I don't get why everyone hates this album so much. Everyone says that they are just Yes clones, but I don't see that here. Admittedly, I do see a big influence from Yes, but certainly it would be silly to say that they are copying them exactly. Terry Lutteral's vocal sound has a much more classic rock sounding voice than Anderson (lead singer of Yes) does, which makes sense when you know that Terry Lutteral used to be in R.E.O Speedwagon. As for the instrumentals, the keyboard does sound a lot like Rick Wakeman, and, admittedly, the bass does also sound a lot like Chris Squire. The drums however, aren't as complex as Alan White or Bill Buford's drums were. This all leads me to the conclusion that Starcastle, though heavily influenced my Yes, have their own sound and flavor just like any other band does. The album itself, is a prog rock gem just as much as any of the classics; I find this album greatly underrated. I would recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of progressive rock, especially Yes fans. This album would make a great addition to any record collection.
 Starcastle by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 195 ratings

BUY
Starcastle
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by Artik

4 stars Very pleasant album. More prog than their second which, although still proggy, contains a bit poprock oriented sound in several songs, but still good. Everybody talks about Starcastle beeing Yes clones. Well, how about no. Of course there are similarities, but along with differences (and not only to Yes, I hear ELP here and there among others influences). Bass sound reminds Squire, but the same can be said about Geddy Lee style and nobody seems to make a big fuss about it, Chris Squire was very influential and his style left mark on many bass players, and Squire wasn't the only one using Rickenbacker then (e.g. Rutheford). Vocal harmonies are often Yes-like, but the Yes themselves hadn't invent them. As You can hear from their Byrds cover on the first album, they had been influenced by others in regard of this. As for the vocals - it doesn't make a big difference for me if Gabriel or Collins sings (sorry) as long as the music is fine, here I can hear obvious differences between the two vocalists. Anderson voice is something special to my ears and I will mistake nobody with him, hence the Starcastle singer differs enough for me to appreciate him on his own. The style of the band is cleaner than Yes, the sound not as rich and dense, less multilayered if not less complex and overall smoothier, sweeter less dramatic. The melodies are nice and arrangements very complicated, and I can't find no three notes in a row stollen from any Yes song :) The band is generaly maybe not as good as Yes but definitely good. Within one genre it's not uncommon that somebody sounds like someone else at times. My suggestion - just enjoy good music, and Starcastle will deliver. Rating: strong 3,5 rounded up to 4.
 Shine On Brightly by STARCASTLE album cover Live, 2001
2.53 | 10 ratings

BUY
Shine On Brightly
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

2 stars I guess I was one of those weird guys in the late 70's who liked Starcastle - a somewhat obscure prog rock band from Illinois in the style of Yes, ELP and Styx (in that order). I bought (and still possess on vinyl) all four of their studio albums. So when I recently saw this live cd at the record store, I thought this would be a nice way to complete my Starcastle collection. Beware....

First of all, this is the same recording as "Concert Classics, Vol. 5" and an earlier Japanese release on the Welcome label titled "Fountains". Secondly, according to the band's own website, this release was never authorized by the band. Thirdly, the recording is sub-par, the mix could be better, and there is very audible tape flutter in two or three spots.

And to top things off, the liner notes claim this recording is from a concert on August 12, 1979 in Boston MA, to promote the "Citadel" cd. Well, this is clearly a post-Citadel concert, judging from the number of songs from that cd that dominate this one. But Citadel came out in late 1977, and Starcastle was already recording their next cd ("Reel to Real") during the late spring of 1978 to release that cd later the same year. Plus, Terry Luttrell and Herb Schildt left the band in late 1978. There was no Starcastle concert in Boston in 1979!

Oh well, the concert probably took place during the Fall of 1977 or that following Winter. I will say that the band sounds tight! The playing is meticulous and very true to the studio versions. Highlights for me are "Forces" and "Lady of the Lake" from their first album. I thought that "Can't Think Twice" and "Could This Be Love" were two of the weaker songs on "Citadel", so I didn't need to hear them performed live. And the only new song here, "Breath and Thunder", goes a bit overboard on the electronics, and short on melody. This cd is for Starcastle completists only.

Other Starcastle info: Recorded during 1975, Starcastle's eponymous first cd is a classic 5-star prog delight: bright, mystical, crystal clear; Emerson/Wakeman keys; thick Chris Squire-like bass lines; Wishbone Ash-like dual guitars; Yes-like vocals, harmonies and lyrics. "Lady of the Lake" is their flagship song - just superb. And the marching, arching bass lick that drives "Elliptical Seasons" is one of the very best bass guitar lines ever laid down. E-V-E-R! Think Yes's "Siberian Khatru" and "Awaken" when you consider this album's overall style.

Recorded during 1976, "Fountains of Light" lost some of the rawer edge of their first cd. Prettier keyboards and bass dominated; guitars were lighter and mixed down. But this is still a 4-star album with great songwriting and musicianship. Their late 1977 release, "Citadel", brought back a better balance of guitars and synths, but shorter, poppier songs were becoming the standard. Still a pretty good cd (3-1/2 stars). They should have stopped there...

The cover to 1978's "Reel to Real" foretold its contents as it featured black and white photographs of the band members in open shirts (or NO shirts!). The sound was stripped down - very little for the keyboard lover here, and the guitars were upfront and rocking. Coincidentally, the sound is very close to REO Speedwagon (Yikes! I know), for whom Terry Luttrell sang initially. It actually is a very good AOR cd, played and sung well - it was just a disappointment to us prog lovers of the band.

O.K., I must end this longest of my reviews! Prog heads, be sure to purchase AT LEAST the first two cd's of Starcastle - you'll be pleasantly surprised! For Starcastle fans who already have the first three cd's, you can skip the live "Shine on Brightly", as well as 1978's "Studcastle"...er, I mean "Reel to Real". ;-)

 Real to Reel by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1978
1.73 | 57 ratings

BUY
Real to Reel
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars 𝗔 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗼𝗳𝘁 𝗥𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝗦𝗼𝗻𝗴𝘀

This album is pretty underrated, it's not prog mind you, but this is a collection of well written and well performed soft rock pieces. I do think that some of the songs aren't good, kind of like when you listen to 'One Eighty' by Ambrosia, some of those soft rock songs just don't work. I think that even though this album isn't prog, and it's more Soft Rock, it still has a bunch of acceptable musical forms that would fit in any prog collection. Soft Rock and Prog are more related than many people give credit to the genre for. Supertramp is a great example of a Prog band with a bunch of Soft Rock elements, and if you are a Supertramp fan, this is an acceptable listen.

 Concert Classics by STARCASTLE album cover Live, 1999
2.83 | 16 ratings

BUY
Concert Classics
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'm not terribly impressed with Concert Classics v.5 - - for two reasons.

First, there's the fact that the much of the singing was re-recorded after the event. I'll admit it: this is a substantial pet peeve of mine, but here Starcastle really overdoes the overdubs. To me, the band (a) claims that this is a record of their live show, and it's really not, and (b) thinks we won't notice.

Anyway, the bigger issue is the quality of the songs. They're not terrible, but they're really nothing special. At first I assumed that the 50 minutes here was cut down from a longer setlist, but at the time this show was recorded (reportedly Boston, August 12th, 1979, but I've begun to seriously doubt that) Starcastle was an opening act, but also played festivals and apparently headlined smaller venues on occasion. They also played at colleges in the Northeast US. Anyway, this seems to be the setlist for a show supporting their 1977 album Citadel, and it's possible that this is their entire set. The first half of the recording is primarily songs from Citadel; among the remaining three songs are two of their best-known ("Lady of the Lake" and "Fountains"). This was probably the point in their career when they in top form, and yet their sound ranges from bland late-1970s AOR to minor-league Yes mimicry.

To be fair, while Concert Classics v.5 isn't a good album, it's not a bad album either; it just doesn't possess anything that sets it apart from other rock albums (except perhaps the excessive use of studio overdubs!).

 Starcastle by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 195 ratings

BUY
Starcastle
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Starcastle was given the distinction early on of being a 'Yes' clone, and listening to the debut album will definitely help you understand why they were called a Yes clone. However, the band was quite talented, and that was definitely proven in this album and the follow up to this album "Fountains of Light". Unfortunately, they were never able to overcome that distinction, and never really hit it big time. But, listening to it now, it is easy to see that if Yes didn't exist, then Starcastle would probably have been better known. Starring Terry Luttrell (formerly of REO Speedwagon), had the vocalist duties, and even his voice had the light, airy sound of Jon Anderson, albeit maybe a bit less dynamic. The first side of the album is the strongest, but if you really sit and listen to it, you will agree that the 2nd side is quite weak.

The debut album has it's flaws, but the more familiar you get with the music, the less you will notice as the happy and complex melodies will start to get into your head, and the next thing you know, you will be reciting the music through your sub consciousness. The album starts off with their longest ever track 'Lady of the Lake' and probably one of their best tracks. The synths almost always have the spotlight on the bands albums, but the guitar really is allowed to shine through more on the debut album than any of them. The main theme in the first track gets returned to several times throughout the song, but there is still a lot of time to develop other themes and riffs through the track, manipulating meters and even including a downtempo section, which will remind one of 'Roundabout', but in a good way. To be able to play this good, the band had to be talented, because they were basically a clone band, but a really good one.

The good thing here is that the other tracks on the first side of the album follow along quite well, and feature memorable riffs and themes that will also become endearing if you stick with the album enough to let them sink in. 'Elliptical Seasons' wakes you right up with a nice synth introduction, and also has a few short intense guitar solos that unfortunately would not get explored as much in later albums. If you started your Starcastle collection with Citadel or Fountains of Light, you might be shocked to hear the solid guitar work here. Also, in this track, the guitar bridges the gaps between themes and melodies and makes everything flow beautifully. 'Forces' continues with bright vocals and synths, the two things that stick out the most in their music. The doot-doots in the vocals will also make you instantly think of clone-city, and the sudden slowing of tempos and the thoughtful sections will also recall early Yes. There is also another rousing guitar solo stuck in between the synth and keyboard flourishes.

You have to keep in mind that they can do the Yes sound quite well, but also remember that they have two people contributing to the keys and two people playing the lead guitar parts. So, Yes was able to do this sound, and perfect it with less musicians devoted to producing their complex sound. Also, another thing that is plain here is that the music isn't quite as complex and developed as Yes. However, the music is still enjoyable if you try to not think about the clone factor.

The 2nd side of the album starts with the short instrumental 'Stargate' that works to bring in the track 'Sunfield'. The vocals in this one come in a bit weak after such a regal beginning. It all gets presented by 'Stargate' with the sonic fortitude of a Yes track, but right at the beginning of 'Sunfield' and the weak vocal, it almost falls flat. However, the synth comes in later to save the day with a good solo. The secondary theme that comes in later has a better melody, but the lyrics get repeated over and over. So, the track overall, comes off a bit weak to me, though the instrumental sections almost save it all. 'To the Fire Wind' has some rousing guitar work spread throughout the vocal sections, but tends to lose a bit of life with the continual use of wordless scat style vocals. Even though there are 4 tracks on the second side, two of them are short and interesting instrumentals, while the other two are longer tracks that aren't quite as memorable as the tracks on the first side. 'Nova' is the final short instrumental that pretty much wraps everything up in a nice way, especially the exciting percussion solo at the beginning.

Overall, it's a decent album, and those interested in Starcastle shouldn't ignore this album, in fact, the first side is quite essential for Starcastle fans. But keep in mind the second side is much weaker. If you can find this album in a discount bin or a 2nd hand record shop, then spend the 5 dollars on it. Otherwise, try to get only the best tracks (1-3, 7) digitally.

 Citadel by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.95 | 101 ratings

BUY
Citadel
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Starcastle was accused of being a "Yes" clone band, and unfortunately, they never rose to the legendary status that they might have deserved if they had been able to continue in the same path they were headed in their first three albums, especially their first. Their debut album sold quite well and was able to get some airplay, but their following albums didn't do as well because of their reputation of being a clone band. But, they were stellar musicians, and if you are looking for a great 70's progressive band that you might have missed, you might want to check out Starcastle. Their music is bright and positive sounding, with a lot of keyboards and synths and great guitar solos.

For their 3rd album, the original line-up was still intact ( and would be for their fourth album also). Lead singer Terry Luttrell was recruited from REO Speedwagon in their early days and he does have a high voice very similar to Jon Anderson's, except it was a little bit weaker and was often supported by the other members of the band, thus a lot of their music had some very nice harmonics, and such is the case on this album. Matthew Stewart and Stephen Hagler shared guitar responsibilities and their style is quite bright and open, and even they were able to sound a bit like Steve Howe at times, but they also had their own distinctive style. On Citadel, their guitars many times can be a little hard to distinguish from the keyboards however, where on their debut album, the differences were more distinctive. Herb Schildt was responsible for most of the keyboards, organs, mellotron and synths, and was definitely a master of the keys. His playing is probably one of the most unique sounds in the band as he didn't really have the same pompous style of Wakeman or Emerson, but definitely came up with some great keyboard riffs that seemed to stand out more than anything in the group's sound. On top of this, Gary Stratter played bass and Stephen Tassler played drums and percussion, and even though they made up a top notch rhythm section that was able to handle the tricky meters and tempo changes quite well, their sound didn't always stand out quite as much because of the bright sound that was always achieved in the mixing of the bands albums, and this album definitely suffers a bit because of that.

This brightness in the sound in Citadel also accounts for the fact that the tracks sound a bit too much alike. At the first several listens, it is difficult to pick out much of a diverse personality between the songs. It takes several listens to begin to pick out the different melodies and traits of each song. Citadel was the first Starcastle album I owned, and even though I generally liked the sound, it took me a few years to finally get familiar with the songs, because I also felt it all sounded too much the same. Once I did get familiar with the music though, I started to appreciate it more, and the things that weren't so obvious started to become quite amazing to me. While it is true that the album is not as good as the first two, it is still quite excellent once your familiarity with it grows. Nothing on here matches the genius of "Lady of the Lake" or other tracks on the debut album, but they are still very progressive and fun to listen to, especially if you are craving something different to listen to from that era. On Citadel, there are some standout tracks that are quite good including "Shine on Brightly", "Wings of White" and "Evening Wind" which are the most progressive tracks here. The record company had also started to penetrate the band's sound on this album however and was able to convince the band to do a couple of more radio friendly songs like "Can't Think Twice" and "Could This Be Love?", neither of which really was successful from a single or radio friendly point of view. Still, I think this is a valiant effort for the band and it might be just the right thing to fill that 70's symphonic prog hole that you might be feeling. I know, once I became familiar with the music, that it brought me a lot of enjoyment back in the day when dinosaurs were the main mode of travel and Fred Flintstone was a likeable, state-of-the-art kind of a guy and not the current US Attorney General.

After this album, Starcastle was able to release one more album that was an almost complete sell out. After that, they went into hiding until after the current decade started. I admit I never heard their album released in 2007 "Song of Times" and someday I might break down and hear it, but as far as the 70s were concerned, this was the last great album by a great band.

 Starcastle by STARCASTLE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.21 | 195 ratings

BUY
Starcastle
Starcastle Symphonic Prog

Review by thesimilitudeofprog

3 stars STARCASTLE is a well known USA based band, but sadly they are better known for cloning YES, what is a real shame, because they are talented musicians.Two major elements give rise to this praise or accusation (depending on the critic): Gary Strater's bass tone is unmistakably similar to that of Chris Squire, and Terry Luttrell sounds uncannily like Jon Anderson at many points. But I hear many other influences here, namely ELP, Camel, and Gentle Giant. In addition, there's some highly original compositions present really worth hearing.

Opening the album is the 10-mins+ Lady Of The Lake. Right away, you'll check to see if you haven't misplaced a Yes disc inside a Starcastle sleeve. Lady of the Lake seems to be the song they are best known for and is the most creative and engaging song on the album. The guitar playing is more than sufficient. Herb Schildt's organ solo sounds much more like what Kieth Emerson did on Tarkus or Pictures at an Exhibition than anything Rick Wakeman or Tony Kaye ever did. The light atmospheric section is very similar to parts of Close to the Edge. "Elliptical Seasons" That twelve-string acoustic introduction may easily be compared to "And You and I," but the rest of the song moves toward a funk-driven direction.. The synthesizer lead, reminds me of Peter Bardens of Camel. "Forces," is another Yes-like extravaganza of multiple sections, tempos, and solos, with fanciful synths, twiddling guitars, and Gary Strater once again performing thrilling acrobatics on his bass guitar. "Stargate" A synth-dominated instrumental which serves as an intro to Sunfield. "Sunfield" The vocals here are a tad embarrassing. They sound out of place, poorly mixed, and spouting goofy lyrics. Otherwise, the music is stellar, with more fantastic keyboard and bass carrying on. Schildt is the clear star here, giving his synthesizer a workout. The guitars both take a more submissive role, similar in vein of Gentle Giant. "To The Fire Wind," the final vocal composition, is another appropriate vehicle for Strater to display his Rickenbacker mastery, his fingers not stopping for one second as the tune blazes along in a Prog-Rock frenzy of spectacular keys, guitars, and harmonies. Once again, any Yes fan who adores the Fragile era of the group but is also unfamiliar with Starcastle should seek out this album as soon as humanly possible. The album ends with "Nova," another short instrumental piece that clearly displays the chops of each musician in the band's line-up. Sadly, the strong bass is lacking on this track. In fact, the only two tracks here that approach mediocrity are "Stargate" and "Nova", and both of those selections are comparatively brief instrumentals that are best approached as intros/outros for the surrounding tracks.

On a closing note, as I mentioned earlier, there are moments where Starcastle can sound like a bit of a Yes clone. Though this is not an over-frequent occurrence, it is understandable to make that comparison during some moments. Still, it does not hinder the album to such a point to where Starcastle is a complete "copycat". This album is a stand-out listen and should be recommended, especially to fans of the older 1960's-70's Prog. rock era. Starcastle should be commended as the effort put into this album clearly shows. Kick back and listen to an album that truly deserves recognition. Good, but non-essential.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.