Fireworks

Cast - 'Power And Outcome' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/01/89/de/cast-power-and-outcome-2-1517257195.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 29, 2018    
 
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A really solid old-school Symphonic Prog album.

Cast are a new name to me, but as I've since discovered they are some twenty-plus albums into a thirty year career. So plenty of catching up to do! The band hail from Mexico but include members that come from both Chile and Italy, so a real United Nations flavour to the group. 'Power And Outcome' is a grand affair indeed, with some lofty lyrical ideas as well as some quite stunning playing.

The mainly instrumental opener 'Rules Of The Desert' really does lay down the template for what is to follow. It's intricate, and in places quite dense, but always with a lively tempo and a subtle blend of guitars and keys; it, of course, has the obligatory time changes! The title track, with its use of violin, will (most likely) bring up comparisons with Kansas, and you wouldn't be far off the mark either. In terms of other influences, it's fairly easy to spot them, with nods to the likes of seventies Genesis as well as Spock's Beard. The two-part 'Details' really does let the band spread their ideas and it is without doubt the centrepiece of the whole album; a Symphonic Prog delight.

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It would be easy for me to say that the quality dips a little as the album progresses but in all honesty I can't. Everything here is tight and right on the money, and songs such as 'Illusions And Tribulations' and 'Full Circle' tick all the boxes for me, both are sumptuous affairs and display a maturity that befits a band with such a long pedigree. The vocals are also worthy of mention too, and they are never a distraction from the instrumentation, something that, on occasions, I find with albums such as this; they can be too "wordy" and get in the way somewhat, but not here, the balance has been nicely struck. Production wise, the album is big and rich giving it all an air of grandeur.

A new band for me yes, but one that has delivered a really solid old-school Symphonic Prog album. It's definitely an album that will be getting repeated plays. All I need to do now is to get cracking on that back catalogue of theirs!

Malcolm Smith

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