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CAST

Symphonic Prog • Mexico


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Cast biography
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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Saturday Night Fever [London Cast] (Original Soundtrack - 1999) USD $3.83 [0 bids]
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Andrew Lloyd Webber - Aspects of Love [Original Cast Recording] (2 CD 1989) USD $2.54 [0 bids]
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SEALED ELMER BERNSTEIN: Cast A Giant Shadow Soundtrack LP UNITED ARTISTS US 1966 USD $20.69 Buy It Now 2h 4m
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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)

2.84 | 25 ratings
Landing In A Serious Mind
1994
3.20 | 32 ratings
Sounds Of Imagination
1994
3.51 | 31 ratings
Third Call
1994
2.92 | 32 ratings
Four Aces
1995
3.47 | 39 ratings
Endless Signs
1995
3.59 | 51 ratings
Beyond Reality
1996
3.71 | 57 ratings
Angels And Demons
1997
3.70 | 55 ratings
Imaginary Window
1999
3.35 | 33 ratings
Legacy
2000
3.16 | 20 ratings
Infinity
2002
3.70 | 51 ratings
Al-Bandaluz
2003
3.38 | 39 ratings
Nimbus
2004
3.31 | 32 ratings
Mosaïque
2006
3.52 | 53 ratings
Com.Unión
2007
3.96 | 85 ratings
Originallis
2008
3.72 | 75 ratings
Art
2011
3.94 | 94 ratings
Arsis
2014
3.90 | 79 ratings
Vida
2015
4.17 | 55 ratings
Power And Outcome
2017

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

3.63 | 14 ratings
A Live Experience
1999
4.33 | 19 ratings
Castalia
2000

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

4.80 | 5 ratings
Sands of Time Live
2016

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

4.00 | 4 ratings
A View of Cast
1996
3.06 | 8 ratings
Laguna de Volcanes
2000
2.96 | 14 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
 Power And Outcome by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.17 | 55 ratings

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Power And Outcome
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by 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.

 Power And Outcome by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.17 | 55 ratings

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Power And Outcome
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by 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.

 The Pyramid Of The Rain by CAST album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
2.96 | 14 ratings

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The Pyramid Of The Rain
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Progresearcher

2 stars Cast is one of the best contemporary progressive rock bands - along with French TV, Garden Wall, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson and Opeth, to name just a few. I have all the official studio releases by Cast (received them directly from the band - for review), and I must note one should have a high IQ to dig most of the albums they released in the new millenium, especially "Al-Bandaluz", "Nimbus" and "Mosaique", all of which are underrated here. Well, this is not a review actually, even though I have heard "Pyramid Of The Rain". The point is that this is a compilation which, according to (band leader) Alfonso Vidales, was never sent out as a promo. Why it is placed among the band's full-fledged studio albums is completely beyond me. In other words, it should be removed from that section.
 Vida by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 79 ratings

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Vida
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Mexican band CAST is among the more senior bands still active on the progressive rock scene today, with a history going back to the late '70s and a recording history that started in 1985. Since 1993 Cast has released new material at a steady pace, the band having almost two dozen albums in their discography as of 2016. "Vida" is their most recent studio recording, self-released by the band in 2015.

For those with an interest in vintage era symphonic progressive rock, Cast comes across as a band one should take note of, if you're not already familiar with this veteran band. Those with a particular fondness for well-developed, keyboard-dominated compositions should have a field day with this album, and those with a special affection for violin and keyboards, used in tight interaction within such a framework should most likely find this CD to be an inspired one. This is a quality album for those with a preference for melodic and harmony-oriented vintage symphonic progressive rock

 Endless Signs by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.47 | 39 ratings

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Endless Signs
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars When I wrote my first review here in PA in August 16, 2009 (review #231937), the chosen band was the Mexican CAST, and my reasons for this choice at that time was my perplexity on perceived which, this fantastic band was so underrated . This rejection or indifference by the prog fans ( I think) is due by the low record and mixing quality in some of their albuns. But this isn't the case of "Endless Signs" 1995, a superb albun, and in my humble opinion one of the best releases from that year in the same level as for instance "Back in the World of Adventures" from TFK and "As the World" by ECHOLYN, another great albuns from that year. In my vision this is the moment of their career in which the sound of CAST reaches (for the first time) his plenitude, after the almost "without-energy" first album "Landing in a Serious Mind", their first approach into real progressive "land" in "Sounds of Imagination" and their worst records (in terms of recording and mixing process) - "Third Call" and "Four Aces" ( both very good albums , but with a terrible sound quality). Well... returning to object of this review , in "Endless Signs" ,CAST starts the disk with the first track "Signs of Future" in a melancholic" atmosphere" which makes the track acquire a certain "air" of introduction, where appears detached the vocals with a soft melody conducted by keyboards and electric guitar. The second track "Hidden Poems" shows a clearly overture like a "erupition" and assault the listener with a nervous rhythmic section side to side with a "saltatory" acoustic piano and almost crying guitar, soon the theme turn into a heavy-prog theme open the way to one fantastic lyrics which leads the track to a martial melody whit a pulsating bass guitar and after this moment isn't more possible resist to a involving instrumentation with guitar/keyboards duos and about 4 min 36 sec emerges the climax of music whem electric Guitar/ keyboards medlodic counterpoint "against" a broken beat conduction of bass and drums and retakes the initial "eruption" theme and his sequence closing the track in superb way. The Third track "Spirit of Man" is another martial theme, however more calm and slow, but also captivating, specially in their middle section where besides the keyboards prominence I want detach the great guitar melodie and the fantastic drums. Other remarkable tracks as track 6 "Allow Me" a very beautiful ballad and the last track "Nostrabamus", an instrumental track , which recall in certain moments musical passages from other previous tracks (mainly of track 3 "Spirit of Man") and closes the album with the initial theme from secound track "Hidden Poems". My rate is 5 stars !!!
 Vida by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 79 ratings

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Vida
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars Another great work by this old and so accurate Mexican band .

While symphonic prog super groups fall in the temptation of adecuation to the present times (Genesis ,Yes, Rush, ELP..etc....)..this guys maintain in a classic inspirited and very well performed symphonic prog rock .

Maybe the last 4 albums were not so good(nevertheless near 4 stars), but I think we always have to be grateful for Cast, s quality music .

This album has very nice songs ,original and so well played songs. A strong work of synthesisers ,strong vocals ...a symphonic prog that in every song takes your fully attention

All long and very well structured songs .

So long live to Cast ...maybe the best Latin-American prog rock band ...(Sagrado Coracao...near....and Nexus too)

For these days a masterpiece of symphonic prog rock

 Arsis by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.94 | 94 ratings

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Arsis
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Mexican band CAST was formed back towards the end of the '70s, although it would take them a good decade and then some before they started to record and release their material. Ever since their debut album appeared in 1993, they have been an active recording unit, as well as a live band, and to date they have a grand total of 23 full-length recordings to their name. "Arsis" appeared in 2014, self-released by the band.

"Arsis" comes across as a strong and well developed production by a veteran band that is very much aware of what they want to accomplish and how to go about doing so. Symphonic progressive rock is the style explored, with a distinct foundation on piano motifs and with a sound, style and especially approach that makes this a production I feel should have a strong appeal to fans of Camel, and then those who enjoy the band's earlier albums first and foremost.

 Endless Signs by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.47 | 39 ratings

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Endless Signs
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The show at the pre-Progfest Festival at Barnsdall Theater made only good to Cast, not only their performance was satisfactory, but they also managed to hit big time sells on the running ''Four aces'' album and their next work ''Endless signs''.Self-produced by the band, this marked the fifth full-length album by Cast in a 2-year period!

I am dissapointed to say that the bulk of recording sessions and written tracks did not end up to a really strong album this time.They haven't moved an inch from a refined symphonic-oriented and occasionally melodic Symphonic Rock, I think that the front covers with the main figure of jester just say it all regarding the direction of the group, but the music sounds not that inspiring as on the last few albums.Nevertheless, it would be a statistical error to release so many albums in a limited time with all of the being equally good.The tracks are pretty long with plenty of different segments and mood changes, influenced by GENESIS, MARILLION and the likes, featuring lots of guitar and keyboard fests, but I am afraid that the material is rather forgettable, especially the two longer pieces, the title-track and ''Spirit of man'', seem like the weakest links on this CD.Production was never Cast's strongest point, but with the music being just above average, it certainly hurts the consistency of the album.Latter pieces do include some very good moments, on par with Cast's best efforts on the previous albums, like the romantic and more Neo Prog-flavored ''Allow me'', the dramatic ''Mayday'' with the huge organ waves, while ''Hidden poems'' excels through the first bunch of tracks, being heavily Classical-oriented and containing some good switches between different themes.

Not a bad album, but one of the less interesting works on Cast's repertoire.The talent is there as always, it has not been translated though into really satisfying compositions on ''Endless signs''.Anyway, Neo Prog and Symphonic Rock buffs will apprecaie some of the contained material...2.5 stars.

 Art by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.72 | 75 ratings

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Art
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Cast's musicianship is beyond competent- it has to be to keep up with so many demanding passages that come back-to-back and rarely let up. A number of these compositions are harried displays of technique, which, though impressive, should ideally come in bursts. The vocals have that slippery Neo-Prog texture that appeal to some but not others. Overall, this is a fine symphonic album, one that could have been stronger with some pruning that would have enabled the brightest moments to shine a little more.

"Duction from the Intro" Wasting no time, Cast plaits a medley of jarring instrumental passages together, pairing strident lead guitar with various wind instruments, walking a tightrope between symphonic and heavy jazz,

"A Night of Candles" / "Our Many Hands" Where that introductory piece was a commendable exercise in controlled chaos, this one comes from all directions, with the drummer in particular sounding unsure of what should happen when; in places it's all far too busy.

"Handing a Challenge" An abrupt change of pace, this piece is a peppy blend of jaunty symphonic music and tacky jazz. The dramatic vocals ring out over swirling keyboard and crunchy guitar riffing.

"Equal Strokes" The hectic pace is hard to follow, again with the snare receiving a lot of attention. The bass pops nicely from time to time, and the keyboardist offers both a fast synthesizer solo and a whirling organ workout, the latter of which is marred by overwhelming, ghostly vocalizations.

"Between the Face and the Mask / Reprise" The opus moves right into another busy movement, with the guitarist and the flautist sharing the spotlight in between the keyboardist's thematic recitations. This instrumental feast demonstrates a high level of sophistication. The vocal section of the song does not appeal to me, again because of the barrage of activity all crammed together, which continues on during a squealing, shredding guitar solo.

"Return to Same" In stark contrast to all that has come before, "Return to Same" begins with confident piano, darker vocals, and woodwind accompaniment. In some ways, it reminds me of one of the many "filler" tracks on an album from The Flower Kings, but at times it sounds like something from Ritual's "The Hemulic Voluntary Band," which appeals to me.

"Ojales" Following the respite of "Return to Same," Cast returns to the heavy commotion of before. Electric guitar and saxophone take turns, with the latter exploring more exotic phrases.

"Selajo" Another restless instrumental, this one is less memorable than many of the other works found on the album, but it does contain some satisfying keyboard passages.

"Intrada" After an explosive beginning, the listener is treated to light flute, piano, and energetic guitar and synthesizer. As a whole, the grand atmosphere of the piece is like that found on a Proto-Kaw album.

"Less Complicated / The Rescue" Immediate vocals, low and sinister, pulse over softer music before that music transforms into what could be rousing battle music for progressive rock fans. The keyboard passages are reminiscent of classic Genesis, while the uplifting vocal section brings IQ to mind.

"More Complicated" Another heavy instrumental, this time chock full of staccato and demanding snare work, "More Complicated" consists of several rapid-fire sections that, after the excess of the previous tracks, feels like overkill.

"In Front of My Eyes" One more peaceful section introduces the vocalist again. The heartening melodic themes of this piece serve as a highlight of the album, although further instrumental gymnastics occur.

"Pyrolamb" The final track is a semi-metal addendum that comes across as unnecessary and unnecessarily flashy.

 Al-Bandaluz by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.70 | 51 ratings

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Al-Bandaluz
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars The beginning of a new stage.

From Al-Bandaluz, Cast became a stable and homogeneous band, IMHO. Strange, when you consider that this is the 11th studio album. It is also true that "Angels and Demons" is a callable work, as well as some parts of the good "Imaginary Windows", especially the fabulous 'Moving Universe' .

While Alfonso Vidales remains the principal mentor and leader, the arrival of Carlos Humarán (guitars and vocals), Kiko King (Drums), José 'Pepe' Torres (Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinet, Kena) and Flavio Miranda Jimenez (Bass ), gives way to a different musical product, slicker and more original than before. Adding some indigenous touches and originating in music and especially in the lyric. Becoming one of the most important bands of symphonic rock from Latin America.

Music never loses dynamic and lively way. Great instrumental virtues are perceived and contains captive jewelry, El Puente (central section is reproduced in formidable 'Arsis'), Viento, La Ballesta, Viajero Inmóvil, Encrucijada and Damajuana. Some instrumental parts are not so memorable; plus added some touches of Jazz-Rock, which do not set too well. Some people accuse Cast of lack of originality, may have some truth, but I find no active similar group for so long in the scene, especially by its Latin distinctive.

Although there would be some personnel changes in the future; most of his subsequent works are significant and worthy of being considered.

I mention some Latin artists who deserve to be in ProgArchives I think: Vox Dei (La Biblia), Astor Piazzolla (Libertango, Zero Hour) and Rodolfo Mederos (Generacion Cero).

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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