Exposé Online banner

Cast — Beyond Reality
((Not on label) no#, 1996, CD)

by Mike Ohman, 1997-02-01:

Beyond Reality Cover art

Can a band really improve exponentially? Cast proves that it may just be possible. I found it hard to believe that they could do much better than their last album, Endless Signs, but their latest really does improve upon it a good deal. Much of the neo-ish tendencies of earlier albums ("Allow Me" and the like) have been jettisoned in favor of a more full-bodied symphonic sound. As always, Alfonso Vidales' rich, classically-influenced keyboard work anchors the album through the four tracks, three of which are quite long and brimming over with moods and colors. Also included as a bonus track, a cover of the old Camel tune "Another Night," a rather loose interpretation of the original; only the vocal melody hasn't been tampered with, yet it's a very strong, not to mention imaginative, version. If their next album is better than this, my head may explode.


by Mike McLatchey, 1997-02-01:

If anything, Cast are at least one of the best when it comes to promoting and marketing their music. A hundred "progressive" bands could learn a lot from the way they do things as they've made quite a name for themselves, especially considering how unremarkable and thrown together their early albums are. Fortunately their talent now seems to be quickly catching up to their marketing drive. Cast is of the neo-progressive school roughly in the Pendragon / Marillion vein with an arsenal of metallic digital synth patches guaranteed to leave the analog synthesist cut to a million pieces. Talentwise theres no problem (although vocalists like these reproduce like amoebas), the drummer has lot of interesting riffs and fills oddly like Iconoclasta, and ignoring some of the tones the keys player is also a definite strong point. Musically there’s a lot to offer the symphoprog aficionado; lots of emotionally charged instrumental sections, nice guitar work, odd meters and all along the way you're thinking with a bit of tweaking these guys will be on their way to a masterpiece. Cast are proof that neo-prog doesn't have to be poppy and whiny — good music is good music.


by Mike Grimes, 1997-02-01:

Cast has released some of the more interesting neo-progressive music in the past few years. In many ways, Beyond Reality is similar to last year's Endless Sings. The strong Trick of the Tail era Genesis overtones both compositionally and in guitar and keyboard sounds and styles, the fuzz guitar solo tone as the exclusive guitar timbre, the occasionally Steve Hogarth sounding vocals, the long instrumental sections, the harmony guitar and keyboard lines — all these traits are reminiscent of past Cast releases. However, Beyond Reality is no mere rehash or clone of the group's previous material. Many of the tunes have more complexity, diversity, and go in different directions than the band has shown before. Nearly all of the songs are primarily in either 5, 6, or 7 time signatures (especially 5) or some alternating combination thereof. It is pleasantly surprising to hear more meter changes in their music. The time changes help to keep the long sans-vocal passages flowing and interesting. Cast stretches out more tonally on this album than ever before too by periodically jumping into different modes (Lydian, etc.), not simply sticking with the standard major and minor. Patrons of neo-prog should enjoy Cast. Beyond Reality is evidence that they are getting better with each album.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 11 , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Dino Brassea, Cast, Alfonso Vidales

More info

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Govea - Danza Urbana – This Mexican trio is led by keyboard wizard Salvador Govea, who also handles most of the compositions and arrangements. He is joined by bassist Luis Arturo Guerrero and drummer Victor Baldovinos, the...  (2011) » Read more

Nick Kizirnis - Into the Loud – If you ever wondered what's up in Dayton, Ohio, Nick Kizirnis may be able to offer some clues with his first solo release Into the Loud. A veteran of numerous other Dayton area bands (Cage,...  (2007) » Read more

Kryptästhesie - No Age – I’m not going to get into any generalizations about whether Italian bands can be any good at psychedelia – certainly examples can be found at all levels of quality. This release from...  (2002) » Read more

Luciano Basso - Voci – Languishing in obscurity for a decade and a half, Vinyl Magic did well to reissue this near-classic by keyboardist Luciano Basso. With a six-piece lineup also featuring violin, drums, electric bass,...  (1995) » Read more

Philharmonie - Rage – Perhaps a bit of history is in order. Philharmonie began in the late 80s as strictly a guitar trio, led by former Shylock guitarist Frederic L'Epée. Their first album, Beau Soleil, was a...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues