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CAST

Symphonic Prog • Mexico


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Cast picture
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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OH CAPTAIN! 1958 Original Broadway Cast Tony Randall EX/EX Columbia OL 5280 USA US $14.22 Buy It Now 31m 37s
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More places to buy CAST music online Buy CAST & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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CAST shows & tickets


  • Cast at The Institute, Birmingham on 14 Dec 2014
  • Cast at Fleece, Bristol on 15 Dec 2014
  • Cast at Electric Brixton, London on 18 Dec 2014
  • Cast at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on 19 Dec 2014

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)

2.82 | 17 ratings
Landing In A Serious Mind
1994
3.20 | 21 ratings
Sounds of Imagination
1994
3.49 | 21 ratings
Third Call
1994
3.58 | 23 ratings
Endless Signs
1995
2.85 | 20 ratings
Four Aces
1995
3.53 | 45 ratings
Beyond Reality
1996
3.66 | 47 ratings
Angels and Demons
1997
3.64 | 46 ratings
Imaginary Window
1999
3.31 | 22 ratings
Legacy
2000
3.13 | 10 ratings
Infinity
2002
3.59 | 38 ratings
Al-Bandaluz
2003
3.28 | 24 ratings
Nimbus
2004
3.80 | 5 ratings
Pyramid Of The Rain
2005
3.18 | 20 ratings
Mosaïque
2006
3.51 | 40 ratings
Com.Union
2007
3.97 | 61 ratings
Originallis
2008
3.66 | 68 ratings
Art
2011
3.56 | 41 ratings
Arsis
2014

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

3.53 | 15 ratings
A Live Experience
1999
4.26 | 15 ratings
Castalia
2000

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

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
A View of Cast
1996
3.06 | 8 ratings
Laguna de Volcanes
2000

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

CAST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Third Call by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.49 | 21 ratings

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Third Call
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The dynamic entry of Cast in professional discography continues with the ''Third call'', another album released in 1994.This time the band displays four compositions from 1989, in one of the rare opportunities the band had to move on to some proper recordings of its material (without the presence of Dino Brassea), and four more pieces, which were composed during 94'.It was also the third private release by the band, which still failed to attract any interest from the major Prog labels.

First half of the album is captured by the old material of the group.It is a nice combination of dynamic Neo Prog and 80's-suffering Symphonic Rock with lots of keyboard textures and melodic lines, a bit similar to Italian bands such as CALLIOPE, SITHONIA or ATON'S, with emphasis on symphonic themes, sensitive English vocals and discreet electric guitars.There are evident AOR flavors is some pompous keyboard ideas and a tendency towards incosistent, melodramatic singing by Francisco Hernadez, but the arrangements are pretty strong, especially during the 15-min. long ''Door of the world'', which passes through some complex structures and even contains some nice organ parts.Unfortunately the sound quality is rather mediocre, lowering the true value of the compositions.The second half of ''Third call'', now with the addition of Dino Brassea on vocals, is more convincing and solid.It reminds me often of the Greek band APOCALYPSIS, refining their GENESIS influence in updated forms of synth/piano-drenched Symphonic Rock with plenty of interesting melodies, bombastic keyboard waves and flashy synthesizer flights.Guitars have now a more consistent role, although the material remains mostly keyboard-driven with a touch of E.L.P./RICK WAKEMAN in the more complicated passages and a certain level of quality regarding the compositions.Long, instrumental parts with symphonic references and energetic moves guarantee a pretty nice result.

Pitty, because the band still walked silently during the time, failing to be discovered by the scouting of the European, American or Japanese market.Solid Neo/Symphonic Prog with excellent keyboard work and evident vintage blinks.Recommended.

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 Sounds of Imagination by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.20 | 21 ratings

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Sounds of Imagination
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1994 another self-released work from Cast appeared, entitled ''Sounds of Imagination'', containing a full hour of Neo/Symphonic Rock music.This fact strengthened the rumor that the material of the band's first albums was actually compositions written during Cast's long absence from discography between the years 1978 and 1994.

While ''Sounds of Imagination'' holds strong similarities with the band's debut ''Landing in a Serious Mind'', the tracks are more conveincing and definitely fully symphonic-oriented, containing nice arrangements, proggy breaks and fine instrumental themes.Again GENESIS and MARILLION are the most obvious influences and the album offers twelve satisfying compositions with great keyboard parts and sufficient guitar work.A few of them still present a bit of AOR-oriented vibes in the vein of SAGA, especially in the synth parts, but even these are exposed with a very symphonic and grandiose approach.The vocals of Dino Brassea are theatrical, expressive and intense, much in the vein of FISH, and the music offers some really interesting moments, based on smooth TONY BANKS-like organ themes, careful guitar melodies, deep synthesizers.And while the album lacks any kind of monster compositions, the truth is that all of them are far from weak and often even flirt with the top-notch level.

Great second round by Cast.Smooth and well-developed Neo/Symphonic Prog with emphasis on keyboards, an album of decent value for all fans of the style.Warmly recommended.

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 Angels and Demons by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.66 | 47 ratings

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Angels and Demons
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The worthy follow up of previous album Beyond reality is the 1997 release Angels and demons. I quite like a lot this band, with rich sound , complex arrangements and perfect musicianship makes, at least for me, Cast atruly great band that needs a far mor exposure to the public. Angels and demons keeps the symphonic prog tradition of previous album, with some simply amazing instrumental sections and instrumental pieces aswell. The opening track again an instrumental one Initiation is a true gem of a piece. Symphinic/neo prog like in old good time, vintage sound, nice , smooth and virtuosic passges where the keybords are the main attraction. The album goes in this direction with no weak moments, only top notch performance. The highlight besides opening track is Revealing Signs of Love, 13 min of sheer beauty. 4 stars again, simply said I like a lot Cast, is not only one of the front prog rock bands from Mexico but can be considerate one of the great symphonic prog bands world wide, with each album they become better and better. I can only recommend Cast music and for sure I will buy more albums from their catalogue because I was simply pleasent surprised by their music.

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 Beyond Reality by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.53 | 45 ratings

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Beyond Reality
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Cast is one of the most prolific and why not intresting symphonic/neo prog band Mexico ever had in last 20 years. Releasing almost every year an album since 1994, even 2 albums a year Cast proves that they know from the start how to make good music and offering some very worthy albums. I considered Cast to me little under rated, really thay participat to the revive of prog rock music in the'90's and with all that they had only moderate succes world wide. One of their better albums from the catalogue and since I've first spin it one of my fav from them is Beyond reality from 1996. From the excellent cover art to the music Cast did a great job here. The instrumental sections are great, symphonic prog very well melted with some neo momenets here and there. I like a lot the vintage sound of the album, how keybords were constructed in combination with the rest of the instruments, no weak parts for me here. 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 just to be checked the opening track Introduction, what a 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. They did also a Camel cover Another Night who sounds pretty ok in this context. So 4 pieces only divided in smaller parts, but worthy every second. I was very pleasent surprised about Cast music, even I know them for quite some years only now I had the time to make a proper review of this excellent band. 4 stars easy in same league with their next album aswell very good Angels and demons. They need more recognition, much better them many well know bands from this realm.

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 Imaginary Window by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.64 | 46 ratings

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Imaginary Window
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Tormato

4 stars CAST "IMAGINARY WINDOW"

IMO the best prog album from a Mexican band, IMAGINARY WINDOW makes me proud of being Mexican too. "Moving Universe", instrumental, with a nice flute work, starts joyfully, full of happiness, with a glorious feeling of plenty, and then changes to a dynamic symphonic prog rock, then to a psychespace hypnotic blues very intense. It continues changing and changing, masterfully, brilliantly, virtuosic, like the best progressive bands of the world!.

"Alter Ego" has vocals and flute too. All the singing in the album is in English with a good accent, so don´t worry about the language. This is more like a heavy neoprog song.

"A Blossom in the Spring" is a slow symphonic prog song that sounds a little like GENESIS or better, like the slow songs of AD INFINITUM or PFM.

"Dawn" is a dynamic instrumental prog song with many tempo changes, syncopated time signatures, well, you know, very proggy.

"Simple Things" (it´s not Carol King's song of the same name) sounds like those piano slow songs by ELP excepting for the voice. A very pretty song. It has so many chords in it that it also sounds like GENESIS.

"Snail" is like classical music, sweet and tender.

"Around and Around" begins fast and complex. It reminds me of the fast passages of "A Passion Play". After that, with the voice, the song changes to something like THE FLOWER KINGS, or something. A lot of changes, very symphonic, very progressive.

"Dessert Rainbows", the shortest song, is a keyboards only piece, with a MOZART feeling on it, that combines baroque, classical and jazzy moods.

"Cotton Dreams" starts like the JETHRO TULL of the recent times, and then it turns into a pastoral (not sure what it means, hope I'm not wrong) soft song, like soft MARILLION or AD INFINITUM.

I don't have enough words to describe "Imaginary Window" or "Where's the Light". All I can say is that those are epic, long songs, 100% symphonic prog of the first class, with every single thing you can expect from an excellent prog band. They're amaaaaazzziiing!!!

Well that's it. I tried to be objective, not emotional. And I've never been a fanboy of CAST, but this album is breathtaking. I'm still surprised. I didn't know that we had this caliber of music in my country!

Four round stars!

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 A Live Experience by CAST album cover Live, 1999
3.53 | 15 ratings

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A Live Experience
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This was the first live album released by CAST and it's a double released in 1999.The songs are taken from their first 6 albums and it's really a compilation live recording as we get live tracks from many different years and events. Most of the music does come from "ProgDay" an event held in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

The first 5 tracks are from that 1998 concert and it totals in at around 42 minutes. Most of the songs featured from that event were from their "Beyond Reality" album.The final track from that event given here is a drum solo. I'm not big on these but I enjoyed this one.Next up is "Run In The Rain" recorded at an event in Mexico. A laid back tune for the most part with lots of piano. Disc One ends with another "ProgDay" concert track from Chapel Hill but this one's from 1996. An almost 20 minutes tune called "Echoes", no not that one ! This one is a ride. Great track.

Disc Two is more varied I suppose with 10 tracks from concerts as far away as Quebec, Canada to Panama as well as Spain, including concert tracks from the USA and Mexico. My favourite song on this recording is "Static Dreams" from their "Third Call" album recorded in California in 1997. I like the atmosphere with flute and other sounds early on.The tempo picks up and I like the vocals here the best of all the songs.The guitar cries out after 7 minutes.

Certainly if your a fan of CAST this is a must as it will give you live versions of many of their excellent early tunes. I didn't enjoy this as much as I did some of their later studio albums but it's a good release.

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 Nimbus by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.28 | 24 ratings

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Nimbus
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars CAST added a sixth member for this album in the form of a flute / sax / clarinet player. Once again we get a long one clocking in at 79 minutes. These guys seem to have an endless supply of ideas and great music.The problem for me once again is that it's too long, and like Zowie Ziggy mentions, if you could drop a few tracks this would be a four star album. Still like every album by them i've heard there is some outstanding music to be enjoyed. Both English and Spanish vocals on this one.

"Ladrona De Suenos (Part I)" is a top three track. An interesting tune with almost operatic vocals early on. I like when the sound picks up before 3 1/2 minutes. "The 911 Suite Part I" opens with atmosphere as fragile vocals join in. Piano after 2 minutes when the vocals stop. It's still pastoral until it kicks in before 4 minutes.Vocals a minute later.This is good. It settles after 8 minutes with reserved vocals before kicking back in late. "The 911 Suite Part II" is an uptempo instrumental. "The 911 Suite Part III" has the same sound they just slow it down some. "Volando En Uno Mismo" is a top three. A jazzy mode here with flute. It picks up after a minute with the guitar out front. It settles back again with flute leading as contrasts continue. "Suicio Nino Bien Part I" is pastoral with vocals. It picks up after 2 minutes but the tempo continues to change. "Suicio Nino Bien Part II" has some prominant horns part way through.

"Dias De Col Y Lux" has some female vocals this time but male vocals too. Flute and piano help out early. "Ladrona De Suenos Part II" features some atmosphere with laid back vocals and keys. "Ladrona De Suenos Part III" kicks in right away as spoken words then sax join in. Flute 2 1/2 minutes in. "Un Siglo De Invierno Part I" is mellow with flute and bass to start. Drums after a minute then it kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes. Nice. Guitar comes to the fore after 4 minutes. "On La Cueva Y El Bosque" has a classical vibe before turning Celtic then back to classical. Not a fan. "Reunion 2003" opens with acoustic guitar,percussion and flute. Piano then vocals follow. "Bojarasca" is mellow while the closer "Extension" is also a pleasant track with some nice guitar and horns.

Another good album that fails to get that 4 star rating. 3.5 stars.

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 Al-Bandaluz by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.59 | 38 ratings

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Al-Bandaluz
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. All of CAST's album are well done and this is no exception, in fact it's one of the better recordings i've heard from them.This is a double album which doesn't exactly thrill me, but at least each disc is under 50 minutes.

"Viajero Inmovil" has this drum / keyboard intro that is fairly aggressive as sax joins in. Killer sound here. It changes completely though 1 1/2 minutes in when it settles.The tempo does continue to shift though. Good tune. "Jerezcali (Pueblo De Dos Mundos)" has an orchestral vibe as sounds also pulse. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes then the piano leads followed by vocals. It does get fuller as vocals continue. Synths swirl after 6 minutes. "Encrucijada" is a long 17 1/2 minute instrumental. Piano to start then it turns heavier quickly. Horns before 2 minutes start to come and go. It settles with piano before 8 minutes then it picks up again with piano still leading. It's heavier again before 13 minutes. "Lamento Del Gato" is fairly powerful to start then it settles back some after 2 minutes. It settles even more after 3 1/2 minutes then reserved vocals join in. Flute too.Good song. "Damajuana" is an instrumental that ends disc one. Piano melodies to start then flute and a beat arrive before a minute. Other sounds join in. Not a bad track.

Disc Two begins with "Vionto".This is mellow with fragile vocals, flute, piano and a beat. "El Puente" opens with piano and a beat. Guitar starts to lead before 3 minutes then it backs off some as keyboards and drums help out. Piano only before 6 1/2 minuites then reserved vocals join in. It does pick up but the tempo continues to shift. Some prominant vocal melodies come and go late then soaring guitar ends it. "La Bellesta" is piano only really until around 4 minutes when the flute and vocals help out. "Ensamble Al-Maya" opens with percussion as guitar joins in. It's heavier around 3 1/2 minutes. "Ansia, Angustia Desesperacion" is a fairly powerful instrumental song to end the recording. It does settle 4 1/2 minutes in then the guitar comes in as it picks back up.

This is a really good recording and in my opinion one of their best.

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 Infinity by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.13 | 10 ratings

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Infinity
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This isn't as good as the "Angels And Demons" album released five years earlier but it has it's moments. My main problem is how loud the drums are mixed into the sound. Way too outfront much of the time.

"Castopolis" builds then settles in.The guitar solos for a while then the flute leads 3 minutes in.The guitar is back late. "Movieland" is keyboard led and the tempo picks up around 3 minutes followed by guitar.Vocals 6 minutes in for the first time. "Yuridia" opens with piano and atmosphere as fragile vocals join in.This is cool. "Never Expect Them To Smile" is the longest song at around 14 minutes. Piano and guitar lead early as reserved vocals join in. Drums around 2 minutes but way too loud. Otherwise I really like this.Guitar takes the lead before 8 minutes. It settles with piano 9 1/2 minutes in then builds.

"Infinity" builds quickly with ripping guitar and powerful drums. It does settle back.Vocals after 3 minutes. It settles right down late to end it. "Nature's Way" is vocal led with lots of keys too. A fuller sound before 1 1/2 minutes with some lead guitar. "Illusion" is mellow to start then it changes after 1 1/2 minutes and the vocals join in. I like this except for the drums. A good instrumental section comes in late to end it. "Nightmare" opens with fragile vocals and keyboards.This has an almost haunting atmosphere. It does pick up though. "October Winds" is an ethnic Folk-like track. A good beat with flute starts to lead at one point. Not a bad track.

Barely 3 stars for me.

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 Angels and Demons by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.66 | 47 ratings

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Angels and Demons
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars CAST have been quite prolific since their debut album in 1994, releasing something like 16 studio albums during that time.They have to be the most well known Mexican Symphonic Prog band. I know they had a hand in the Baja Prog festival as well as playing in it numerous times.These guys are good, I was quite impressed instrumentally especially when they let loose.This particular album is a little long at around 74 minutes, in fact cut it to 50 minutes of the best material here and I give it 4 stars.

"Imitation" has a temendous drum intro before everyone else joins in as we get this impressive instrumental display. "We Don't Belong To Heaven" is a short keyboard and vocal led track. "Reality Or Misanthropy ? (Mixup)" sounds good with the guitar soloing in the background as the vocals lead with keys,bass and drums. An intense instrumental section takes over around 3 1/2 minutes.The vocals are back before 6 minutes. "What We See / The Increasing Sorrow Of The Earth" puts the focus on the vocals early and the tempo picks up before 3 minutes but it does shift often here. A classical flavour before 6 minutes. "Angels And Demons" opens with piano and there is a classical flavour on this one too.

"Revealing Signs Of Love" is a vocal track. Synths do solo after 2 1/2 minutes followed by guitar. A great sound after 6 1/2 minutes as we get another intense instrumental display to the end. "Fallen Angel" features piano and drums that standout.Synths join in but there are lots of sounds here in this Classical sounding tune. "Loneliness" opens with piano,vocals and guitar. Good sound. A calm with piano after 3 1/2 minutes but then everyone joins in. Some Oldfield-like guitar follows. "Fire In The Sky Fire In The Earth" opens with piano and classical vibe. Aboe too. A beautiful instrumental. "White Lies? Brief Story Of Freewill" reminds me of Phideaux vocally.Vocals stop and drums take over. Back to the original soundscape 2 minutes in with vocals. An excellent instrumental section follows to the end. So good.

3.5 stars for this one.

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