Band: Cast

CD Title: “Com.Union”

Band Website:  

Label: Independent Release

Release Date: 2007


The other day the Fed-ex truck arrived at my door and that could mean only one thing: a new Cast CD. And sure enough the band’s latest offering was in the envelope. The new release entitled Com.Union shows the band in fine form. Although how they find the time to be so creative I’ll never know.  


Cast used to consist of a lineup that was more-or-less constant through the nineties, but lately keyboardist Alfonso Vidales seems quite happy surrounding himself with a more fluid group of performers. None of this by the way has taken away from the band’s creativity. Instead it seems to have sparked them on creatively to greater heights. On Com.Union Vidales works with Antonio Bringas (drums), Claudio Cordero (guitars), Pepe Torres (sax, flute, clarinet, woodwinds), Flavio Miranda (bass), and returning on vocals are Lupita Acuna (percussions) and Dino Brassea (flute).


The 12 compositions on Com.Union were all written by Vidales and arranged by the band. The tracks cover an amazing amount of musical territory from the melodic symphonic feel of track 4 “Elfonia” (11:16), which you would expect, to the  more dissonant aggressive feel of track 3 entitled “Fantasmas y Demonios (6:09). Most of the music is instrumental with five of them having vocals, all sung in Spanish. To my ear it seems that Cast have gracefully evolved into a symphonic progressive rock group that is quite happy to display a strong Spanish or Latin feel to their compositions. Long gone are the days where they could be labeled as “sounding like…(you fill in the band you want here).” Today the music of Cast is proudly its own distinct sound. And in that regard, through the use of certain instruments, but more than anything the way those instruments are played, the Spanish or Latin flavour is readily apparent, perhaps most obviously in track 6 “Damajuana II (4:48). And I can’t help but think this is very good. The music is fresh and alive. Acoustic guitars ring against a backdrop of piano, while electric guitars soar over Hammond organ swells. The flute makes regular appearances; sitar sounds show up as do the reeds and woodwinds. The music has more of an organic feel, the perfect mix of acoustic and electric. More than that each track has it’s own texture, take for example track 5 “Sensacion Arabe” (7:46) which starts out with a wonderfully airy Arabic feel before sliding into a pop-inflected melody that turns out to be quite contagious. There’s even a track “Hogar Dulce Hogar” (3:55) that’s pure Ragtime jazz!


I’ve been a fan of Cast since the early days and it’s been great to see them grow and reinvent themselves over the years. Today the band strikes a more confident musical pose. Their music is their own. The influences have been fully assimilated. For Cast fans or lovers of symphonic prog, especially with a Spanish touch, Com.Union will be a welcome addition to your collection. It may sound like a cliché after so many recordings, but Cast seem to keep getting better with every CD release. Com.Union is a yet another great addition to their catalog. I highly recommend it.