This prolific Mexican progressive rock band has been together since 1978 but their first release was not until 1994. I had not listened to this band before their new album Originallis. This is a double CD set with a tremendous amount of music to absorb. Upon my first listen it was clear that these are some fabulous musicians who have put together a very listenable yet intricate album. There are a variety of instruments used including saxophone, flute and clarinet played by Pepe Torres and trumpet provided by guest musician Jose David Guillen Monje. The music is well executed and if I were to give it a label I think the neo progressive tag would fit, although with a heavy classical influence. There are a myriad of keyboards used, courtesy of Alfonso Vidales, creating plenty of symphonic elements for us prog heads to digest. Guitar, played by Claudio Cordero, is also prominent with lots of delicate and heavy passages found throughout. Vocals (in Spanish) are provided by Alejandro Tornero and Lupita Acuna, both having pleasing voices making them easy to listen to.
With this album, as is the case with many progressive releases, I recommend listening to the album in one sitting to get maximum enjoyment as many of the songs blend together, some rather seamlessly. There is too much music to give a run down of every song but I will touch on a few highlights. The album's first song, "Originallis", has an excellent beginning with plenty of keyboards and some nice electric guitar reminding me of something IQ might perform. A pleasant piano melody runs through the song creating a classical atmosphere. "Pulsar" is a prog rock tour de force featuring the exceptional drumming of Antonio Bringas. His drum fills and tempo changes are a definite highlight. This is just good melodic progressive rock and all the instruments are given the necessary room to shine. "Lagrimas de helio", the first cd's longest song, features excellent drum work, fluid guitar runs, some nice flute and saxophone and plenty of tempo changes all incorporated in a nice hummable melody. This is pretty intricate stuff but is surprisingly accessible. This is not an easy feat for any band, but Cast really has a knack for mixing melody and complexity.
The album's last and longest song, "Medley 1", ends the album on a high note. This epic has a little bit of everything and the band's playing reaches a fever pitch at times creating some of the heaviest music on the album, although there are quieter moments as well. The music takes plenty of twists and turns and makes for an exciting listen. Flute is very prominent, but all the instruments really get a work-out.
So there you have it folks. This is a well-rounded, classic-sounding, progressive rock disc that should have fans of symphonic rock salivating at the mouth. With so much going on musically it never sounds boring and there is something new to be heard even after repeated listens. Highly recommended.
1) Originallis (4:20)
2) Pulsar (10:01)
3) Lagrimas de hielo (10:00)
4) Fuego y humo (7:55)
5) Vientos de guerra (4:27)
6) Tierra, honor y libertad (4:18)
7) Furia, traicion y gloria (7:50)
1) De Nuevo (:08)
2) Renacer (9:23)
3) Llanto de octubre (2:41)
4) Aqui y ahora (4:59)
5) Al final la luz que llama (3:06)
6) Ecos del pasado (3:22)
7) Todo es un don (8:18)
8) Medley 1 (12:24)