Cast — Power and Outcome
((Not on label) , 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-06-07
Seems like it’s been a while since the last release by this outstanding Mexican symphonic prog band, but after further investigation, apparently a couple releases came out in the last few years that I wasn’t even aware of (Arsis, from 2013, featuring three long tracks including the half hour instrumental "La Iliada", and Vida from 2015, mostly a reworking of early Cast material by the current version of the band), so fast forward from Cast Art (the last one I’m familiar with from 2011) and here we are in 2017 with Power and Outcome. Every new album by Cast is always full of great surprises, and this one definitely has more than its share, from the amazing eleven-plus minute opening instrumental (save a couple measures of whispered lyrics) “Rules of the Desert” to the closer “Dialect for the 21st Century,” mostly instrumental again, with some thoughtful lyrics by Rene Vidales who penned most of the album’s English lyrics. The band now features seven members, with bandleader, keyboardist, and composer of all ten tracks Alfonso Vidales, his son Bobby Vidales as lead singer, wife Lupita sings additional vocals and chorus, long-time drummer Antonio Bringas, guitarist Claudio Cordero, who turns in some amazing solos throughout, and returning guitarist-turned-bassist Carlos Humaran, who hasn’t played on a Cast album since 2006’s Mosaique. The newcomer to this lineup is violinist Roberto Izzo, replacing departing saxophonist / flutist Pepe Torres, giving the band a somewhat revised sound without the woodwinds. But through their entire career, Cast has has always featured a revolving door of great musicians and singers, some leaving for a period and then returning, and there’s no reason to think the changes will stop here. Alfonso Vidales is a masterful composer, and throughout Power and Outcome the ten tracks bear this fact out, with numerous instrumental sections of remarkable brilliance, great melodies throughout, and band arrangements that suit the moment perfectly. The now prominent violin is constantly intertwining with keyboards and guitar, giving their sound a fresh new face. The many vocal passages, which tend to be secondary to the many instrumental passages, do provide a solid link to the Cast of 22 previous albums. Here’s to a great band that continues to re-invent itself.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more