(All Album Reviews by avestin)
I have heard of Cast before and got curious about them, but never heard more than snippets of their music. I read a few favorable reviews of their previous album, Com.Union but didn't pick it up. So, Originallis is my first proper listen to the music of Cast, this long-time active Mexican band.
And what and album it is!
A double album, this 2008 release is over 90 minutes long, filled with lovely symphonic rock moments, embracing keyboards, powerful lead guitar playing and delightful playing of other instruments such as saxophone, flute and clarinet.
The songs flow into each other naturally, connected and seem to not end.
The music changes mood and pace from a relaxed opening song named after the title of the album to the highly energetic, fun and enthralling instrumental piece that is Pulsar. It is a fantastic piece, emotional and powerful, shifting from a slightly melancholic state to an optimistic and positive mood, always on the move, not giving the listener any rest, but not in an exhausting kind of way; simply it just goes on and on, evolving as it goes on, adding structures and changing instruments as it develops. The sax solo, the use of the female vocalizations, and the rest of this expanded lineup take this track one notch up than it would have been, showing the importance of knowing how to not only construct your song but also how to orchestrate it, "paint" it with ingredients that will take it further on.
There are wonderful melodic lines, filled with passion and which sound powerful thanks to the enhanced lineup and the female vocalization. The balance between the melodic and the complex and dynamic is at a good position, as the switching occurs seamlessly and the result can proudly stand in line with other current great lineups of progressive rock bands.
The male vocals by Alejandro Tornero are delicate and soft, matching the music and melodies and do not overshadow the rich sound of the band and the full gamut of instruments played upon. The female vocalization adds another magical layer to the already thrilling basis and fit very well.
I have also to mention the wonderful artwork of the album, magnificent drawings.
As said above, this is a long album, but for some reason I could get into it quite quickly and surprisingly for an album of this length, already from the second listen. While the music can be complex at times, it is quite accessible and bears a charm hard for me to resist. You may want to use the natural division of the two CD's to have separate listens and make it easier to grasp. If you like current and 90's Italian symphonic prog bands you might recognize some similarities in the style. You may want to use the natural division of the two CD's to have separate listens and make it easier to grasp.
The album mixes very well the wonderful symphonic-prog sound with lush keyboards alongside heavy, almost metal-like guitar solos. If you like symphonic-prog, this is a very worthwhile album to get.
A fantastic album.