Band: Cast

CD Title: “Originallis”

Band Website:  www.castlives.com  

Label: Independent Release

Release Date: 2008

 

Don’t ask me how they do it, but I never cease to be amazed at not only the amount of music Cast create but the quality as well. In between their day jobs and the mammoth task of staging BajaProg, the band still finds the time to release an album every year it seems. And as I say they keep setting a higher benchmark for themselves, taking their identifiable sound into more mature areas and even throwing in ample amounts of musical experimentation. On Originallis Alfonso Vidales (keyboards) works with Antonio Bringas (drums), Claudio Cordero (guitars), Pepe Torres (sax, flute, clarinet, woodwinds), Flavio Miranda (bass), and on vocals are Lupita Acuna (percussions) and Alejandro Tornero. Cast alumni Franisco Hernandez and Dino Brassea are called upon to provide vocals on the track “Medley I” (12:24) which as the name implies is a selection of tracks from the Cast catalog.

 

The 2 discs include some 15 compositions many of which are on the longer side, although many of the others segue into one another making it seem like they’re actually longer than they really are. While there are a number of vocal tracks it must be said there are plenty of longer instrumental segments and compositions where the band gets to display their musical prowess and tight performance style. Without describing each and every track, let me just say that the more I listened to the music on these two CDs, the more convinced I became that this is the best work Cast has ever done. The melodies are pure, the recurring musical motifs are powerful, hair-raising in fact, the arrangements provide depth and perhaps best of all these are all great songs be they ten-minutes long or three-minutes in length. Over the years Cast have really developed a trade-mark sound and style that is in full bloom here. Their music will change musical time and tempo many times over but they make great use of recurring themes, allowing their music to grow grander and more majestic. Then they’ll fly off in a busy, almost jazzy direction with everyone lending their musical abilities to make the song just jump off the disc. In addition the mix of male and female vocals is another element that makes the music so varied. I was hooked right off the bat as the title track “Originallis” (4:20) slides right into the instrumental “Pulsar” (10:01). In fact I’d say that “Pulsar” has become my favorite individual piece of music. I love the way it has that recurring march-like section that’s followed with a ‘pregnant pause’ that keeps getting more and more pronounced each time you hear it.

 

Readers of my work will know that I am an unabashed Cast fan! And just when I think I’ve heard their best stuff they surprise me with yet another moving and dynamic release. Originallis is just that kind of a record, perhaps their grandest yet. I have no idea how they can keep up the pace writing so much music. Symphonic prog fans will love this record. I know I did and so I highly recommend Originallis.

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