Exposé Online banner

Cast — Power and Outcome
((Not on label) , 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-06-07

Power and Outcome Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Cast, Alfonso Vidales

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Residents - Demons Dance Alone – The last studio album from the Residents was Wormwood, back in 1998. In my review of that album (in #17) I remarked that parts of it were relatively accessible, at least from a Residents standpoint....  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues