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CAST

Symphonic Prog • Mexico


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Cast picture
Cast biography
Founded in Mexicali, Mexico in 1978 - Still active as of 2017

Due to the lack of support from the Governments who see art as a way to get more taxes or private industry who prefer to invest in foreign acts, and the difficulties to reach the USA or British markets, it's unusual for a Latin American band to have a long and prolific career, but 31 years and 15 studio albums make of CAST from Mexico, one of the exceptions to this rule.

The story of CAST begins in 1978 when the first golden era of Progressive Rock was agonizing, when the Keyboardist Alfonso Vidales had the idea of creating a Rock band that blended Symphonic passages in order to keep his beloved Prog alive.

Very little information can be found about the first 16 years of their existence, until 1994 when "Landing in a Serious Mind" is self released, an album that presents us a serious Symphonic band with an original sound, maybe the only problem is the strong accent when singing in English.

1994 and 1995 are years of great activity for CAST, the band releases 5 albums, the already mentioned, "Sound of Imagination", "Third Call", "Endless Sounds" and "Four Aces", what makes me think this material was recorded during the previous years.

After two more albums and three years, the band signs with Musea for the release of "Imaginary Window" in 1999, an album that shows us a band that leaves behind the few Neo Prog leanings to embrace fully the Symphonic genre

The years keep passing and still in 2009, the band is preparing a new album that will be called "Cast Arte" and knowing the band is, we have CAST for several years more.

Being such a prolific band, it's hard to define a unique style, because the have evolved through the decades, performing Baroque, Medieval, Ethnic, Fusion, etc, but always keeping the unique sound in which we can here references from ELP, GENESIS and several more bands, but to be precise, I believe it's more the sound of the 70's rather than a direct influence from any band.

No Prog collection is complete without a least three or four albums of this Mexican band who defied time and won.

:::Iván Melgar Morey - Perú:::

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CAST discography


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

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

3.05 | 32 ratings
Landing In A Serious Mind
1994
3.13 | 39 ratings
Sounds Of Imagination
1994
3.51 | 38 ratings
Third Call
1994
2.95 | 42 ratings
Four Aces
1995
3.48 | 49 ratings
Endless Signs
1995
3.62 | 60 ratings
Beyond Reality
1996
3.75 | 76 ratings
Angels And Demons
1997
3.70 | 68 ratings
Imaginary Window
1999
3.39 | 42 ratings
Legacy
2000
3.24 | 28 ratings
Infinity
2002
3.75 | 63 ratings
Al-Bandaluz
2003
3.40 | 48 ratings
Nimbus
2004
3.36 | 42 ratings
Mosaïque
2006
3.53 | 64 ratings
Com.Unión
2007
3.91 | 108 ratings
Originallis
2008
3.74 | 89 ratings
Art
2011
3.95 | 117 ratings
Arsis
2014
3.86 | 103 ratings
Vida
2015
3.95 | 186 ratings
Power And Outcome
2017
4.19 | 127 ratings
Vigesimus
2021

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

3.62 | 20 ratings
A Live Experience
1999
4.26 | 28 ratings
Castalia
2000
4.80 | 5 ratings
Sinfonico Live
2018

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

4.50 | 10 ratings
Sands of Time - Live
2016

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

3.96 | 8 ratings
A View of Cast
1996
3.09 | 11 ratings
Laguna de Volcanes
2000
3.04 | 16 ratings
The Pyramid Of The Rain
2005

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

CAST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by chiang

5 stars "Cast" is my favorite Latin American band. I saw them live maybe 20 years ago, at "Valparaiso University" (long down south, not Indiana but South America). I was teaching a course and they were on tour, 5.000 miles away from home. I was impressed by their performance very much "Yes stile" (barefoot singer dressed in white, and all that stuff). I had never thought of them as a "Yes" like band and I don't think it now. The first Cast album I bought was "Imaginary Window" (1999) and I'm sure the sound of the band, already impressive then, has improved a lot. I'm not going to review every song, because it would be and endless job. They masterfully work the epics and here are 6 of them!! The other songs are also great. Of course, not all the songs are equally good, but they are all of a high standard. "Vigesimus" is their twentieth album) and a must have.
 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars Back in the Nineties I became aware of Mexican band Cast (this is pre-internet remember), and from somewhere I was sent the first four albums to review. They blew me away, and I then managed to get in touch with the band who sent me their current album 'Beyond Reality'. I loved their music but somehow lost contact again, and the next album I heard was 2017's 'Power and Outcome', which I gave top marks. Now I have in front of me their last album, 'Vigesimus', and it took me a while to get it to the player. The reason for that is I always have way too much music on my plate to review, and I know there is every likelihood that a new Cast album will become a problem in that I will just keep playing it to the detriment of everything else I have to listen to.

As soon as it started, I knew I was in trouble, as it was clear from the very beginning that this was yet another superb piece of work from the guys. Formed in 1978 by keyboard player Alfonso Vidales, he is still there as is drummer Antonio Bringas who has been involved since before the debut album. It is the same line-up as the last album, with the band completed by Bobby Vidales (vocals), Lupita Acuña (vocals), Claudio Cordero (guitars), Roberto Izzo (violin) and Carlos Humarán (bass, backing vocals). Together they create a symphonic crossover progressive sound which is huge, and this time also brings in multiple theatrical elements, and I found myself being reminded of some of Clive Nolan's work.

There are those who may argue that some of the sounds they use can be somewhat dated, but I find the combination of those keyboards with the stunning guitar quite sensational. The vocals are superb, with all lyrics in English ? btw, it is really nice in these days of digital downloads to actually hold a physical CD and be able to read the lyrics in the nice booklet. As with many of Cast's albums, the artwork is also essential. There is no doubt that these guys have been top of the Mexican prog tree for many years, and I still find it strange that they are not more widely known in Europe, as they are producing prog which is vital, exciting, and incredibly dynamic. The interplay between the electric violin, keyboards and guitars on "The Unknown Wise Advice" is a sheer delight, and the album is well worth seeking out for that track alone!

If the name Cast is new to you, and you enjoy driving symphonic prog with elements of theatricality all wrapped up with great vocals, arrangements and musicianship then you need it investigate this immediately, if not sooner.

 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Another solid release from one of the world's most prolific, creative, and accomplished symphonic rockers.

1. "Ortni" (5:31) nice instrumental (8.75/10)

2. "Black Ashes and Black Boxes" (6:18) nice piano intro and effected vocal. The rest of the band then picks up the same driving riff from the piano to build a hard-driving song from. Vocalist Bobby Vidales is so talented! I wish the music didn't sound so tired and hard-pressed. (8.67/10)

3. "The Unknown Wise Advice" (9:43) The first 4:45 sounds like an American Christian rocker. When things click into third gear and the guitars start to show it gets better. Is Cast the ghost of Neal Morse-era Spock's Beard? (16.5/20)

4. "Another Light" (3:40) More rote prog but still, it's at such a higher level than 95% of the other bands out there. A band that, when riding on fumes, still rides higher, faster, and smoother than most everybody else. (8.67/10)

5. "Manley" (5:16) a jazzy, spy-thriller soundtrack sounding song. Jose Antonio's snare sounds terrible! The complex keyboard and guitar chordal replication of an orchestral sound is excellent--were it not for those dated keyboards! (8.67/10)

6. "Location and Destination" (7:52) built around a folk dance melody, the music smooths out for the vocal section, with keys and violins providing a nice orchestral background and Lupita's background vocals supporting Bobby very nicely. These guys know each other so well! Piano and violin work shines. Relying purely on their intuitional mutual support works really well. I don't get how the final 2:30 wasn't clipped off in the editing room to be called/created as a separate song. Weird! Still, a top three song for me. (13/15)

7. "Crossing" (10:00) excellent plaintive bombastic prog opens this one--nobody does it better: that dynamic classical/theatric prog. I think I'm getting the point here that the instrumentalists had much more music created for this album than Bobby Vidales had for lyrical/story ideas: It's 3:47 before we even have a clue that there's going to be words/vocals. Again, Bobby is such a talented vocalist; too bad he couldn't come up with anything worth singing. The "harp" supported seventh minute is a real highlight for me. (17.25/20)

8. "The March" (7:21) piano and some "strings" support Bobby's vocal--perhaps his best, most sincere and heart-felt on the album. Strings become much more important as we go--as Bobby keeps singing. Great support from Lupita, and from Bobby himself, in the fourth and fifth minutes, respectively. The rock instrument presence builds but never takeover as Bobby sings start to finish with little-to-no break. Wow! (13.25/15)

9. "Contacto" (10:44) an instrumental of nice complexity and superlative performances all around (18.25/20): - i. Primer Acto - consists of two major motifs, two different speeds and styles (one infused with Spanish guitar) - ii. Profundi - at 6:30 we switch back into the first motif at a higher speed with very aggressive lead guitar. Beautiful ninth minute. Instrumental prog does NOT get much better than this. One of the best whole band selections you are going to hear from 2021.

10. "Dredging to the Higher Plane" (10:13) violin and a bailar folklorico dance motif open this before Bobby quickly joins in with one of his finest Broadway-deserving performances in a long--certainly the best of this album. But then he's gone! The pit orchestra plays themes and overtures for the next four minutes straight! When he returns it is with no where near the acrobatic show of the opening minute; more like Javert on Les Mis. Then the musicians in the pit take over again--stretching out in their race to the end. A song with tremendous potential--especially as an album ender--but fails to bring closure satisfactorily. (18/20)

Total Time 76:38

A band that creates top notch music but whose continued use of outdated 1990s computer keyboards makes me often cringe. Both their dedication and their creativity are awe-inspiring, their skills as musicians of the highest caliber; where they seem to come up short is in innovation and adoption of /adaptation to evolving technologies. Masters of melody and great performers, all, it's really hard to downgrade their wonderful music for sounding "dated" and "same ol' same ol'" or "Cast doing what Cast does" because it's at such a higher than others level.

B/four stars; an excellent addition of high quality symphonic prog rock despite sounding at times like the product of a tired A-level band. Recommended.

 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars CAST, known by chance in 2006 thanks to Musea when they had been playing since 1978, released their 20th album! CAST is a symphonic sound added to a basic neo-prog tune tinged with medieval, ethnic, belonging to this distant continent having something to do with it; a little GENESIS and ELP, KANSAS for the violin, a little MARILLION just by the covers and a little prog metal with metallic structures. This twentieth is due to his mentor Alfonso who did not hesitate to leave the instrumentation more important to convey a modern sound, after 43 years, based on the epic, the fantastic and in fact the symphonic. CAST has this hallmark of filling their albums to the maximum and often offering jazzy and alternative experimental tracks.

'Ortni' for an energetic instrumental debut, make way for the good violin if I say KANSAS or SOLSTICE; a twirling theme, a grandiose, hard violin-guitar fight, from violin to synth, a conciliating power and progressive tune, breathtaking title, setting the bar high, followed by "Black Ashes and Black Boxes" sung by Bobby and Lupita for a sustained tune ; oozing energy, a frantic rhythm, the violin behind boosting this flamboyant, fruity and dynamic track; you have to be used to melting pot musical effects to fully appreciate this deluge of notes; the air slowly rises to a basic melody embellished with fresh and airy moments. "The Unknown Wise Advice" and one of the 4 great titles arises with the pride of melodic synths, it goes up keeping the rhythm of the power prog, pause of the piano then it swells,the violins and the guitar solo (Ah a bit of SAGA here) start off on verbal jousting at ARS NOVA; the tempo increases again, goes to semi-oriental tunes, the symphonic remains in place, electronic too, the KANSAS-style violin firmly in place ending in joust with Claudio's immense guitar, the voice on ARENA, in short it is complex and one feels the great instrumental mastery. 'Another Light' short, dark, melancholy, flirting on alternative rock more digestible, less stamped; the voice on an a la FAITHFULL in softer, violin and guitar bringing sounds of enjoyable romantic spleen, rock-pop is here with a short but fruity solo as it should be. 'Manley' for an anachronistic instrumental, violin variation on a jazzy tune, then metal, a little on the land of THERION without voice.An air of suspense, of fear linked to this chopped, aggressive violin which sets off to rave film music, a good refreshing interlude in fact, the drums frantically ensuring this colorful title which changes from the original sound. 'Location and Destination' for an ersatz ' la KANSAS, the voice making me think of MAGIC PIE and KERRS PINK, a good track which stretches but without much progression, more melodic, violin like RONDO VENEZIANO; you have to wait for the guitar solo that tears to have the break that kills, final rhythmic military to have a beautiful sequence of Roberto limit spleen which then makes me melt.the drums frantically ensuring this colorful title which changes from the original sound. 'Location and Destination' for an ersatz ' la KANSAS, the voice making me think of MAGIC PIE and KERRS PINK, a good track which stretches but without much progression, more melodic, violin like RONDO VENEZIANO; you have to wait for the guitar solo that tears to have the break that kills, final rhythmic military to have a beautiful sequence of Roberto limit spleen which then makes me melt.the drums frantically ensuring this colorful title which changes from the original sound. 'Location and Destination' for an ersatz ' la KANSAS, the voice making me think of MAGIC PIE and KERRS PINK, a good track which stretches but without much progression, more melodic, violin like RONDO VENEZIANO; you have to wait for the guitar solo that tears to have the break that kills, final rhythmic military to have a beautiful sequence of Roberto limit spleen which then makes me melt.rhythmic military final to have a beautiful sequence of Roberto limit spleen which then makes me melt.rhythmic military final to have a beautiful sequence of Roberto limit spleen which then makes me melt.

"Crossing" begins on the divine piano, you can feel the epic piece, the cavalcades of horses, in short, a title which makes you react, which takes you wherever your thoughts want it, full of drawers which make the piece very pleasant; after this instrumental interlude (ELP and GENESIS in the crosshairs), it's time for languid vocals, a calm air that will slowly rise in a fruity, jerky crescendo and at the limit of prog power metal, I find DREAM THEATER not for nothing. A flagship title with all the sensitivity and power of CAST, timeless. "The March" with a dark, intimate intro, the moving voice of Bobby on Roberto's violin and daddy's piano amplifying this moment; sweetness of a track which digests with a riff in the background starting, giving a classic metallic impulse, bathed in the romantic,sudden fall that goes out of context. "Contacto" for a centerpiece: symphonic, medieval, romantic, epicurean intro, majestic variation of the violin and keyboards, acoustic addition then it launches into a frantic race where all the instruments go to party, the pride of the guitar boosted; quality, technique, uncompromising progression, the synchronic sound of CAST in fact where everything is piled up to create the best, that's it; master-piece. 'Dredging to the Higher Plane' for a KANSAS-style sound by this twirling violin and its ubiquitous keyboards: it starts with an agreed theme, fruity, energetic and entertaining; the voice halfway through jerks just adds to the developed tune; it starts again in a thunderous way, hold a rhythm which starts on the tango, it becomes more modern like sound,less vintage in fact, with instruments that work to finish the album in the most beautiful way by intoxicating you.

CAST made prog symphonic at CAST, mastering his titles from start to finish; CAST may surprise you given the debauchery of disparate titles and sounds released on this album; very high level, current sound and a wonderful moment that I did not expect so intense; I have to say that it will reach my top potential, a guarantee of quality.

 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars STILL ALIVE AND PROGGING AFTER 40 YEARS!!

In the Nineties I listened to a serie of albums, and witnessed Cast on a Dutch progrock festival. But then I lost the band, this new studio album (#20 since Landing In A Serious Mind from 1994) is my first musical encounter with Cast since the late Nineties, so I was very curious to Cast its latest effort entitled Vigesimus (the successor of Power And Outcome from 2017). Well, during my first listening session I could hardly believe my ears, because in my memory Cast was a fine blend of symphonic rock and Neo-Prog, no more or less. But this 2021 version of Cast blows me away: outstanding musicians and interplay, tastefully arranged compositions (between 3 and 11 minutes) with flowing shifting moods and lots of musical ideas, the Holy Trinity of keyboards, violin and guitar, and what an exciting blend of classical, symphonic rock, jazzrock and Heavy Prog!

The album opens with Ortni, one of the 3 instrumentals. This track showcases the huge progress and skills of this current Cast line-up. The band starts with an exciting up-tempo in a bombastic atmosphere, featuring outstanding interplay between heavy guitar, keyboards and violin. Then the music turns into a slow rhythm with wonderful piano and violin, soon followed by a virtuosic acoustic guitar solo. Then a mid-tempo with propulsive guitar riffs, the amazing interplay is in the vein of the best jazzrock, including swirling violin work. In the end a sumptuous atmosphere, topped with with fat Minimoog synthesizer flights, intense violin, and heavy guitar riffs, welcome to Cast its the New Musical World, wow! The other two instrumentals are also amazing, often Kansas come to my mind. Manley delivers propulsive and dynamic percussion, a bombastic climate, awesome interplay guitar, violin and keyboards, and finally a blistering guitar solo. Contacto features lots of captivating musical climates (alternating between dreamy and bombastic), embellished with intense violin and piano, heavy guitar, sparkling piano, an acoustic guitar solo, romantic work on piano ' and violin play, and halfway a break with Heavy Prog, including a blistering guitar solo. So many thrills, this instrumental part of Cast reminds me of 76-82 jazzrock master Al Di Meola his exciting solo work.

The other seven outstanding and alternating tracks (from dreamy to bombastic) feature strong contributions from a male and a female singer (solo and duo), from warm to powerful, at some moments the use of the vocals brings Ayreon to my mind. Prime mover Alfonse Vidales shines with his varied and tasteful keyboard work: from sparkling Grand piano and orchestral keyboards to flashy Minimoog flights. Alfonso is the leader of Cast but he gives plenty of room to his talented fellow musicians: the classical sound of the violin (from warm to swirling) and the heavy sound of the guitar (from moving to blistering) create lots of tension and dynamics in the music.

What a very tasteful stew of classical, symphonic rock, jazzrock and Heavy Prog, check out!

 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by BlazingProg

5 stars This is the first album I have heard by Cast and it is fantastic. The melodies here are magnificent and each song is written with perfection. This album is definitely a solid contender for the best album of 2021. The keyboards are especially great here. The vocals also shine on almost every track. There is not one bad song on this album & every song perfect or near perfect. My favorite songs on this album would be The Unknown Wise Advice, Location and Destination and Dredging to the Higher Plane. I would recommend this album to anyone who enjoys symphonic prog rock.
 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

4 stars Awesome symphonic, heavy prog album. Cast's 20th album...where have you been all my life? You're my favorite Mexican prog album! That said, Vigesimus doesn't adorn herself with Mexican musical baubles. Truly, I could never guess what country this devilish ditty sprung from. The singer offers no clue. His English enunciation is perfecto.

Bouncing back and forth between dramatic instrumentals and lyrical "what's is life?" songs, Cast never loses focus. Four ten minute mini-epics! We die alone, yet we share a common soul, hurtling toward a future unknown, powered by something delightful, I can't quite fathom, but we'll celebrate with every fiber of our senses, our energy bound up this corrupted flesh. Mature compositions. Melodies abound. Highly recommended. Easily, a top ten 2021 album.

 Vigesimus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.19 | 127 ratings

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Vigesimus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by daisy1

5 stars The 20th album release from Mexican band,Cast,formed by keyboard maestro,Alfonso Vidales,in 1978. Power and Outcome was my album of the year in 2017.They since released Sinfonico live in 2018,and so to Vigesimus in March 2021.Almost 80 minutes of music -10 tracks -4 of which are around 10 minutes long. If you had to compare,I would say early PFM,simply because of the interplay between keyboards,violin and guitar -but Cast have a more symphonic,almost Ayreon-type operatic sound.. Solos are brief and not over extended -the band create more of an orchestrated sound with vocals similar to Power and Outcome. Track 3 The Unknown Wise advise is a representative,complete band sound with brief guitar,keys and a constant violin backing. Manley is an odder track - thinking of ELP but more violin.All in all an excellent album - production is great - I think a contender for best of 2021.
 Sounds Of Imagination by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.13 | 39 ratings

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Sounds Of Imagination
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Cast from Mexico is without doubt one of the most prolific symphonic/neo prog band in last 30 years in this field. As I said before and said again Cast is an under rated band for sure, they participated and revive '90 prog scene by releasing some more then respected albums since then. With all that they have moderate succes to public and I wonder why, their music is passionate, intresting, complex, melodic all the ingredients are here.

Sounds of imagination is the second release issued in 1994 and from this one on they become a prolific band releasing 2 even 3 albums in a year. As previous output this is another fine little Marillion/Genesis inspired music with some mexican prog Nazca or Iconoclasta added in the mix, memorable moments from start to finish. Everything is around of truly top keyboard player Luis Alfonso " Poncho" Vidales, one of the most overlooked keyboard players ever.

The instrumental sections are great, symphonic prog very well melted with some neo prog momenets here and there. I like a lot the bands vintage sound, it was impossible to sound for 1994 year but after a small research everything was clear, the first 7 pieces were recorded in 1985.The keybords were constructed in combination with the rest of the instruments, creating a fine symphonic/neo prog sound. I'm not bothered by the voice like others said, ok the vocal passages are not the main attraction here, but are well sung and has it's moments of beauty. Now the instrumental pieces and instrumental sections are truly great, each musician offers his best moves nice and intresting little pieces with lots of keybords, inventive drums and brilliant guitars. The album goes in this direction from start to finish, plenty of memorable moments, musicianship is top notch so no complains from me. Pieces like Dragon's Attack or lets say A Run In The Rain are more then ok like the rest. The vocal passages are theaterical recalling the best of some french neo prog bands of the era, aswell dutch neo prog.

I was very pleasent surprised about Cast music for many years now, being one of my fav bands ever regardless of genre, 3.5 stars easy for Sounds of imagination. They need a far more more recognition, much better then many well know bands from this realm.

 Landing In A Serious Mind by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.05 | 32 ratings

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Landing In A Serious Mind
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Mexico may not be the most recognized nation on Earth when it comes to the subject of progressive rock but the fact is that dozens of bands have emerged from Latin America's most northern nation in the past decades including bands like Nazca, Cabezas de Cera, Decibel, Nirgal Vallis, Hummus, 0.720 Aleacion and many others. While most of these bands formed in the Mexico City area, the true hub of international influence, others found their way into the genre in the more remote regions. CAST is one of those bands that is from Mexicali which sits on the border with the USA across from California's Imperial Valley which sits west of San Diego.

The band was founded all the way back in 1978 by keyboardist Alfonso Vidales who fell in love with the Anglo sounds of Genesis. With the first lineup the band put together a self-released album called 'Complot' which has all but disappeared into the great annals of time and the 80s would see the band going through various lineups with long time drummer Antonio Bringas joining the cast as well as guitarist / vocalist Francisco Hernandez. flautist / vocalist Dino Brasse and bassist Rodolfo Gonzalez who would all find their way onto the band's true debut album LANDING IN A SERIOUS MIND which wouldn't be released until 1994.

This debut album opened many doors for the band as they received international recognition which landed them an invitation to the Pre-Progfest festival in the Barndall Theater in Los Angeles where mostly European bands performed leaving CAST as the only bona fide version of 'Baja-Prog' on the entire scene from an area much more associated with Tex-Mex and mariachi bands. LANDING IN A SERIOUS MIND sounds like it could've come from anywhere in jolly old England without a lick of Mexican or Spanish cultural identifying features. The lyrics are all in English and the band's sound is primarily based on keyboard rich prog from 70s Genesis as well as the 80s neo-prog scene from the usual suspects such as Marillion, Pallas, IQ and Twelfth Night.

LANDING IN A SERIOUS MIND is a lengthy album for 1994 extending just past the 69 minute mark and is characterized by a strong interplay of keyboards, guitars and vocals and while the band may have been inspired by neo-prog actually delivers more impressive prog twists and turns with crazy time signatures and soloing outbursts which is dominated by Vidales' keyboard skills. Compositionally speaking CAST does sometimes sound a bit too much like early Genesis but the energetic deliveries and angularities actually remind me a bit of the Swiss band Island especially with Hernandez' rather intense vocal style. The album has ten tracks with with only one track hitting the ten minute mark: the eleven minute 'Just Another Way.'

The debut album by CAST is surprisingly a really good one. The band's lengthy existence between its formation and this debut album meant a good decade plus allowed the tightening of the skills needed to compete in the Euro-centric prog world and CAST pulls it off amazingly well. The instrumental interplay is the key to the success of this one with all the musicians finding ways to insert their own personal fills while not derailing the flow. While most tracks are vocal led, there are many instrumental outbreaks that allow a stampeding flow of rock energy to dominate. 'Just Another Way' is a personal favorite as it the melodramatic changes of 'Athens.' While the guitars can adopt a recognizable Steve Hackett soaring effect, they can also be more in the vein of traditional hard rock showing that CAST were adopting heavier rock elements before English neo-prog bands were jumping on board.

In addition to having crafted 20 studio albums since this debut was released in 1994, CAST has also been instrumental in hosting the annual Baja Prog festival in their native Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico which features bands from not only Latin America but from all over the entire globe. While i would probably classify this debut more as neo-prog than symphonic the truth is it really lies somewhere in between, in that gray area where the two someone magically and mysteriously pass the baton but whatever you want to tag this, it is certainly some excellent melodic keyboard led prog that takes 70s Genesis sounds to an alternate universe and in the process sounds like a CAST of seasoned veterans from the very start.

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

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