Exposé Online banner

Cast — Beyond Reality
(Bandcamp no#, 1996, CD / DL)

by Mike Grimes, 1997-02-01:

Beyond Reality Cover art

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.


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 Ohman, 1997-02-01:

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.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 11 , 1996 releases

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

More info

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Friesengeist, Part 1 – As soon as I submerge the opening of the first track “Ballade” of Part 1 I’m hooked. It’s this wistful folk mood of accordion, piano, and vocal melody which touches a nerve...  (2006) » Read more

Noetics - Delayed Back – Delayed Back is a set of eleven electronica / dub / jazz / trance instrumentals by Noetics from Germany. Noetics is Ole Ohlendorf (keyboards and synths), Christian Schmidt (percussion), Christoph...  (2011) » Read more

Bill Rieflin - Birth of a Giant & Rieflin / Fripp / Gunn - The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior – For most of us not up on the hip, modern pop world, Bill Rieflin was the drummer for Ministry, a type of gothic downer band known for their stark imagery. What you probably wouldn't suspect is...  (2000) » Read more

Present - High Infidelity – Have Present evolved from Univers Zero to Art Zoyd? Well, not quite, although Dominic Ntoumos' trumpet strongly reminds me of Gerard Hourbette's approach on Art Zoyd's early albums such as...  (2001) » Read more

Eskalation - Different Music for Bassoon, Wind Synthesizer and Sampled Percussion – First the cheap shot: My initial reaction to this music was, “Different.” I’ve heard a fair amount of electronic music, and none of it sounded much like this. There are elements of...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues