Cast - Castalia

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4399.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:05:00

Castalia was recorded in July 2000 and released in 2001, and represents a third live release from Mexico's Cast, following A View Of Cast (1996) and A Live Experience (1999).

I've remarked before that I think vocalist Dino Brassea sounds like Marillion's Steve Hogarth, especially on some of the higher notes ? though I'm not complaining. Interestingly enough, it is actually of another "neo-prog" icon Clive Nolan that I think of during the mid-length epic "Hidden Poems" (from 1995's Endless Signs. I'd have to go back to the original CD to see if this were always the case. I mention this because if this is the first review of Cast you've read, this will give you some idea of where Cast's head is at. Of course, one must add in a trilling flute and classical touches to get the full picture. While this is the reviewer's cop-out, imagine a prog/neo-prog hybrid of "classic bands" ? all well done.

Their set included two medleys, one of material from their then most recent release Legacy, the other from their 1997 release Angels & Demons, making a medley out of "Reality Or Misanthropy." Rounding out the rest of their set are a couple of tracks from 1999's Imaginary Window ("Moving Universe" and "Simple Things," here sung in Spanish) and 1995's Endless Signs ("Hidden Poems" as mentioned) as well as one additional track from Angels? and to lead off the set, "Introduction."

What mars this release is not the performance, which, while not stellar, is fairly good. The band does seem a little loose, however. Whether it is was due to the relaxed atmosphere of the concert or some other factor is hard to say. What puts this album in the average category is the production. The sound is inconsistent, where the vocals are as if they are beneath a veil while the keyboards rise up out of the mix as if they are sitting behind your ear ? hearing the rest of the instruments is hit and miss. Your experience may vary slightly, based on your particular stereo/headphone set up, but does wish for a brighter sound mix. It's hard to be critical of a live release that doesn't seem to have been overly reprocessed in a studio (too pristine and one begins to debut it's "live" status), but having heard a number of live releases from others? I desire a little more in the production department. One thing I do like about live releases, especially those recorded out-of-doors, is that the music is allowed a lot of space ? filling the night air ? and this does do that (though I suspect this concert started late afternoon or dusk). But, it sounds like a good time was had on the part of both audience and band, and maybe, in that end, that's what matters. That and it does make me want to go back and give the back catalog another spin.

Introduction (4:20) / Hidden Poems (9:20) / Legacy Medley (12:20) / Simple Things (4:00) / Revealing Signs Of Love (7:00) / Reality Or Misatrophy Medley ? Initiation, Echoes, After All (17:15) / Moving Universe (9:30)

Antonio Bringas - drums
Dino Brassea - vocals, flute
Rodolfo Gonzalez - bass
Francisco Hernandez - guitar, vocals
Alfonso Vidales ? keyboards

Landing In A Serious Mind (1993)
Sounds of Imagination (1994)
Third Call (1994)
Four Aces (1995)
Endless Signs (1995)
Beyond Reality (1996)
A View of Cast - Live (1996)
Angels and Demons (1997)
Imaginary Window (1999)
A Live Experience (1999)
Legacy (2000)
Lagunas De Volcanos (2000)
Castalia (2001)
Infinity (2002)
Al-Bandaluz (2003)
Nimbus (2004)
The Pyramid Of The Rain (2005)
Mosaïque (2006)
Com.union (2007)
Originallis (2008)
Art (2011)
Arsis (2014)
Vida (2015)
Power And Outcome (2017)

Sands Of Time Live (BR) (2016)
Sinfonico Live (BR) (2018)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin MX

Added: September 8th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 721
Language: english


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