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Starcastle - Song of Times CD (album) cover

SONG OF TIMES

Starcastle

 

Symphonic Prog

3.03 | 73 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Strange destiny for this band. They were performing "Yes" music in 1976, almost disbanded in 1979, reformed in 2001 thanks to their bass player Gary Strater. Their "clone" image was also glued to them thanks to their music of course but above all due the similarities on the lead vocals (although only to be noticed on the the low tone notes) of Terry Luttrell.

Gary (RIP) died in September 2004 but had finished all his parts for this album, so I guess that it can be considered as a tribute to his memory. Each original member is featured on this album, but bizarrely, Terry Luttrell ("the voice" on their seventies albums) is only holding the lead vocals on one track ("All For The Thunder"). I really wonder why. Or maybe that "Starcastle" was willing to sound a bit less "Yes" ? Because, Al Lewis is far to get this special tone of voice.

Anyway, the outstanding sound of the bass is still here; and that's the best we'll get from this album. Because in terms of compositions, I'm afraid that we aren't going to break any record. Unfortunately. "Love Is The Only Place" is the best example. A sub-par Crosby, Stills & Nash song. Poor to say the least. And a song like "Master Machine" is as difficult to digest.

Most of the songs are quite boring. The opener, trying to sound as "Parallels" is particularly annoying. "Babylon" has only a short great keys break, but for most of it it is pretty unbearable. At times it turns out melodic ("Song Of Times", "Faces Of Change").

We'll get the &Y&I-like one with "Islands" and a bombastic but average "All For The Thunder". Still, my fave here : good rhythm and nice guitar breaks. Vocals as we know them thanks to Terry. Again, great bass playing, but even Chris Squire will mention how much he liked it : so there is no wonder if even the master say so. The closing number hesitates with nice vocal harmonies (the best part) and heavy sounds (best to be avoided).

I really wouldn't recommend this work. Stick to "Fountains" or to their "Chronos I" compilation. Two stars for this one.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |

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