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Casino - Casino CD (album) cover





3.62 | 84 ratings

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4 stars This was meant to be some kind of a reunion of the best line-up of Twelfth Night. The reunion thing didn't work out, only ex-vocalist Geoff Mann and the drummer Brian Devoil turned up for this album. Casino is a concept album written by Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena, Strangers on a train) and Geoff Mann who has a great voice sometimes reminding of Peter Hammill. In 1993 Geoff passed away so this is one of the last albums on which he appeared. For years he had been recording rock albums with his bands "A Geoff Mann band" and "The Bond", this album was his long awaited return to the world of progressive rock. Listening to this wonderful album makes you aware that it's a shame the project wasn't able to record a second album. You'll notice influences from Twelfth Night and Marillion. Due to the excellent Gilmourlike guitar playing of Karl Groom, The Wall from Pink Floyd also comes to mind. The other guitarist on the album who's guitar lines do sound even more emotional and melodic, is Sylvain Gouvernaire, known from the French band Arrakeen and Iris. There's also influences from Shadowland and even a bit of Arena but one can expect this as you know Nolan is a key-member of those bands. Throughout the whole album you can hear repetitive percussion and ambient keyboards, a bit like the work of Steve Reich. Maybe this is what makes this album special and original. This is progressive rock as it was meant to be. It progresses from traditional prog rock to a musical adventure with lots of gentle interludes and big outbursts. It needs a few spins till the long album with lots of moods and flavors starts to grow on you. Only "Crap game" and "Stranger" can be played separately, the 5 long epics which are divided in several parts only make sense as part of the album. Once you 've found your way in the concept, you'll discover a very clever and enjoyable prog album. I suppose you could write a book about the subject of the lyrics. The Casino thing could be seen as a symbol for capitalism and the main character could be seen as some kind of Christ who opposes to the system and get thrown out of the casino but maybe everyone hears a different story. One thing is sure : vicar Geoff Mann couldn't do a better statement before he died. And now for the weak spots. Eventhough the album was released in 1992, it suffers from some eighties diseases like predictable bass lines and irritating electronic drums which were frequently used during that era, also the production is sounding rather flat when compared to actual standards. But on the whole, fans of Arena, Shadowland and Twelfth Night should check this one out. Maybe due to the small record label who released the album when it came out, this work of art never earned the recognition it deserved
Fishy | 4/5 |


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