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Starcastle - Song of Times CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.03 | 73 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Ah, Starcastle. Is there a more bastardized band around? I think not. When I read that their new album was available for purchase I jumped on it. Now, I'm not this crazy Starcastle ultimate fan, but something inside me told me to buy it post haste. I don't know why and I didn't know what to expect. The only thing I knew was that original bassist Gary Strater had passed away during the making of this album and I remembered how Chris Squire-like his bass playing was. Right off the bat the first thing you hear is Starter's wonderful thump thumping bass. But, unfortunately it only pops up here and there throughout the album. His playing is my favorite parts of the album. Sure, the singing harmonies are back but again they are here and there. What I hear most is a mix between their "Citadel" album and some more modern prog ala prog metal. Don't get me wrong, it's not a shredfest, not even close. But Al Lewis's vocals don't compare to Terry Luttrell's Jon Anderson sounding vocals. Lewis's voice is more rocking, not angelic. There are songs such as "All For The Thunder" where the old vocal harmonies pop up, sounding almost Crosby, Stills and Nash-like, but alas it's one of the few. "Babylon" has the proggiest moment about half way through and boy I wish there were more moments like it. Keyboards and guitars are done by committee, I mean look at the list of people playing instruments! Jeez! The title track is a sweet ballad about Gary Strater but again it's nothing to write home about. All in all, it's a decent comeback, but it won't conjer up memories of their best days back in the mid to late 70's. To me it sounds like an older band trying really hard to sound more modern prog-wise but falling flat. There are some moments that remind me of the good ole days but not many. Some may say that the original band plagarized the sounds of YES. Okay, I'll give you that. But boy oh boy, they did it better than anyone. I'll take old Starcastle anyday over latter day YES. I'll take latter day YES over latter day Starcastle. I do hope they take another stab at it. Keep the multi-harmonies but stay away from the lite- metal. 2.5 stars!
NJprogfan | 3/5 |


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