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CAST

Symphonic Prog • Mexico


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Cast biography
Due to the lack of support from the Governments who see art as a way to get more taxes or private industry who prefer to invest in foreign acts, and the difficulties to reach the USA or British markets, it's unusual for a Latin American band to have a long and prolific career, but 31 years and 15 studio albums make of CAST from Mexico, one of the exceptions to this rule.

The story of CAST begins in 1978 when the first golden era of Progressive Rock was agonizing, when the Keyboardist Alfonso Vidales had the idea of creating a Rock band that blended Symphonic passages in order to keep his beloved Prog alive.

Very little information can be found about the first 16 years of their existence, until 1994 when "Landing in a Serious Mind" is self released, an album that presents us a serious Symphonic band with an original sound, maybe the only problem is the strong accent when singing in English.

1994 and 1995 are years of great activity for CAST, the band releases 5 albums, the already mentioned, "Sound of Imagination", "Third Call", "Endless Sounds" and "Four Aces", what makes me think this material was recorded during the previous years.

After two more albums and three years, the band signs with Musea for the release of "Imaginary Window" in 1999, an album that shows us a band that leaves behind the few Neo Prog leanings to embrace fully the Symphonic genre

The years keep passing and still in 2009, the band is preparing a new album that will be called "Cast Arte" and knowing the band is, we have CAST for several years more.

Being such a prolific band, it's hard to define a unique style, because the have evolved through the decades, performing Baroque, Medieval, Ethnic, Fusion, etc, but always keeping the unique sound in which we can here references from ELP, GENESIS and several more bands, but to be precise, I believe it's more the sound of the 70's rather than a direct influence from any band.

No Prog collection is complete without a least three or four albums of this Mexican band who defied time and won.

:::Iván Melgar Morey - Perú:::

Cast official website

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CAST discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CAST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.87 | 28 ratings
Landing In A Serious Mind
1994
3.24 | 35 ratings
Sounds Of Imagination
1994
3.51 | 34 ratings
Third Call
1994
2.94 | 35 ratings
Four Aces
1995
3.47 | 42 ratings
Endless Signs
1995
3.60 | 53 ratings
Beyond Reality
1996
3.72 | 60 ratings
Angels And Demons
1997
3.70 | 58 ratings
Imaginary Window
1999
3.35 | 37 ratings
Legacy
2000
3.15 | 22 ratings
Infinity
2002
3.70 | 53 ratings
Al-Bandaluz
2003
3.38 | 42 ratings
Nimbus
2004
3.30 | 35 ratings
Mosaïque
2006
3.52 | 56 ratings
Com.Unión
2007
3.98 | 89 ratings
Originallis
2008
3.73 | 78 ratings
Art
2011
3.96 | 97 ratings
Arsis
2014
3.90 | 85 ratings
Vida
2015
3.91 | 121 ratings
Power And Outcome
2017

CAST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 16 ratings
A Live Experience
1999
4.32 | 22 ratings
Castalia
2000

CAST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.86 | 7 ratings
Sands of Time Live
2016

CAST Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 8 ratings
A View of Cast
1996
3.09 | 10 ratings
Laguna de Volcanes
2000
3.04 | 16 ratings
The Pyramid Of The Rain
2005

CAST Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CAST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Power And Outcome by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 121 ratings

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Power And Outcome
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Review originally published in www.therocktologist.com

The legend continues!

I love reviewing prog, but I definitively love reviewing albums from Mexican bands (I am Mexican) whose talent should be noticed even in the furthest frontiers. One of those bands is Cast, a legendary band with over 30 years of belonging to this amazing musical realm that gives us a lot of satisfaction. Cast has a prolific discography with some line-up changes but with an intact symphonic prog spirit, which can be appreciated in this new 2017 release Power and Outcome, an album I like a lot and that comprises a magnificent line-up in which Carlos Humar'n returns to the band on bass, along with the inclusion of violin-maestro Roberto Izzo. In this album I noticed also singer Bobby Vidales much more comfortable and with a mature voice, and of course, Alfonso Vidales continues creating amazing compositions with the sum of the talents of Antonio Bringas on drums, Claudio Cordero on guitar and Lupita Acu'a on backing vocals.

I recently could see them live and I must say this line-up knows the business, I mean, they are friends and family, so what they share in concert is as great as in studio, their current live sound is amazing, which is why I am really happy to know they are touring and happy to know I will see them again soon in Chicago, when the Progtoberfest takes place. Well, this new album is very solid, maybe a bit long, it has a symphonic tendency for the likes of people who love old school prog and neo-prog. It features 10 songs and a running time of 70 minutes.

The album opens with the bombastic 'Rules of the Desert', a 12-minute epic in which Vidales and co. take us to a wonderful journey of first class instrumental prog, there are some vocals whispered, though, but not sang yet. Cordero's guitar offers its first solo at minute two; he's been a crucial member of Cast this new millennium. Izzo and his violin has also been a wonderful addition to the band, adding classical, jazzy and even metal nuances to this symphonic prog feast. Keyboards are outstanding as usual, Alfonso Vidales is a first-class keyboard player and composer, believe me. The title track comes next. 'Power and Outcome' brings vocals for the first time, Bobby Vidales as I mentioned earlier, is now a very mature singer, his voice produces loads of nuances and emotions, of course, the music might guide its strength, but his voice is a very good instrument on Cast's music.

A two-part suite entitled 'Details' comes next. First 'Circle Spins' brings a soft and tender sound, maybe a bit pop- oriented. After the first bombastic tracks they made a considerable change with this first part of the track, which is a bit weaker. Its second part is 'Start Again', is instrumental and much faster and elaborate than its predecessor, here we can find the perfect synergy between strings and drums. It is much more powerful and enjoyable, without a doubt. 'Through Stained Glass' is a great song where their potential is shown every single minute. Both, the instrumental and vocal passages are great, once again I point out the violin's participation because it is something we weren't use to enjoy in Cast's music, so its addition has hit the nail.

One of the best tracks has to be the amazing 'Illusions and Tribulations', almost 10 minutes of authentic progressive rock in which all the instruments play an important role. As you can imagine, it brings a salad of sounds and a diversity of changes that let our mind play and picture different passages. The first half of the song is completely instrumental, then it slows down and vocals appear and a new passage is created for like 3 minutes, then the last part becomes more emotional and when it finishes you will have a smile on your face, I assure you. You will not take a deep breath because 'The Gathering' starts right away with a fast spirit and believe me, that spirit prevails the whole track, so be ready for another bombastic symphonic episode here.

'Conquest' is a very visual track, I mean, it sounds like a soundtrack of some film so one can imagine different things while the music speaks. This is a nice short instrumental song. Another short one is 'Full Circle', piano and vocals are here first, then the other instruments join little by little, creating a nice soft atmosphere that leads to 'Dialect for the 21st Century', the last song of the album, a very good track to finish an extraordinary, lengthy but solid album by Cast. Not to be missed.

Enjoy it!

 Power And Outcome by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 121 ratings

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Power And Outcome
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Very bombastic and majestic symphonic prog straight out of the 70s but with modern arrangements delivered by Cast in their 19th (!) studio album. Strong references to classical music, guitars often verging on neo-classical themes and riffs and a very strong violin presence in Roberto Izzo sort of complete the puzzle. In the more than 70 minutes of this album, the music is very diverse, at times overfilled with complex structures, relentless soloing and changing of speeds and themes, almost a cinematic approach to dragons, queens and castles. The album cover points to that sort of thematography with clear references to Genesis (is that Peter Gabriel?) and Marillion.

The strongest references are to Kansas and especially their earlier works. Cast are not afraid to experiment with extended song structures and this pays off to a very inspired and majestic outcome - the lengthy opener ''Rules of the Desert'' is a great example of this. Musically and lyrically there is not much that I can pick upon, apart from the vocals and vocal lines. The effort to over-express themselves leads to vocal lines that sound to me slightly out of tune with the music, while the accent and the way of singing can put the listener off from enjoying the full grandiose of the compositions. There is something here that does not quite match and is difficult to figure out, but definitely an area for improvement in order to produce a truly memorable output.

Other than this, ''Power and Outcome'' is an orgasm of melodies and structures, a 70-min Song for America or Cheyenne Anthem missing the catchy vocals and refrains. The musicianship needs to be discovered even if you don't enjoy the full spectre as I did.

3.5 stars

 Power And Outcome by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 121 ratings

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Power And Outcome
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars The last album I reviewed from the Mexican prog masters was 'Beyond Reality', more than twenty years ago, so when I saw this pop out of the envelope I had a huge smile on my face. I have lost touch with the guys and the many albums they have released in the intervening period, but I know that I used to like them and was sure that I would enjoy this. It wasn't too long afterwards, that I was telling everyone who would listen that this was a masterpiece, and I found that those who had already heard it were saying the same thing. The comment I had back from one reviewer I value very highly was that as soon as he first started playing it the only decision he had to make was whether it was a 4* album or a 5* album. I knew exactly what he meant, except that it was only halfway through the first listen that I was convinced that here was an album that not only deserved a 5* rating, but I knew that I was going to fall in love with it even more every time I played it, and that has turned out to be just the case.

This release is a "review killer" in the sense that it prevents me from listening to all the other albums I should be playing as it is just so good in every single aspect. The majority of this is instrumental, as there is just no room for vocals, but the two singers (Bobby Vidales and Lupita Ancuna) make their presence felt when they have the opportunity. It's just that when there are maestros such as those on display, then there just isn't always the place or time for that element. They even start with an instrumental that is nearly twelve minuts long, I mena, is this prog or what? With three lead melody instruments in guitar, violin and keyboards, there is an incredibly amount going on, but they rarely really show off. One of the exceptions to that is guitarist Caludio Cudero who tears his instrument to pieces and shreds like a lunatic in "Ilusions and Tribulations"; yet this is also a thoughtful number with some great emotive vocals and beautiful repetitive piano motifs.

This is an album that has made me incredibly excited, wanting to shout to the rooftops that the band I knew and loved in the Nineties have released a stunning album, yet it is tinged with disappointment that I lost contact for so long, and what are the albums like that I have missed out on! This is definitely going to be a contender for my personal album of the year as for me this majestically sums up just about everything I love about prog music. It is powerful yet melodic, full of instrumental brilliance and simplicity, layered and complex yet also is full of space and plenty of room for everyone to breathe and show just what they can do.

This is a stunning album, and to my ears is essential. Nothing more, nothing less.

 Power And Outcome by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 121 ratings

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Power And Outcome
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars

The first song "Rules of the Desert" starts the album in such uptempo mood and with a punchy style that I thought it was another band. This song is instrumental and the presence of the violin that will be constant throughout the album add a little touch to the music. The second song "Power and Outcome" bring back the vocals and reassure me that it's still the Cast traditional style. The band is back with his style of symphonic music with piano and classical arrangements. The vocals remind me of some Neo-Prog bands of the 80's and 90's which fortunately is not ruining the talented songwriting. The third track is a beautiful and peaceful ballad. "Start Again" is another instrumental track taking us back to the first song tempo but this time the guitar is taking his spot with the keyboards of Louis Alfonso Vidales. The song shows some impressive instrumental parts where the guitar is left lose in some exquisite solos. "Illusions and Tribulations" is another great track and the best way to enjoy the vocals when the music is quieter. This is a strong album of the band with some Genesis and Kansas influences that will please a bunch of Progressive Rock fans.

 The Pyramid Of The Rain by CAST album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.04 | 16 ratings

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The Pyramid Of The Rain
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Progresearcher

2 stars Cast is one of the best contemporary progressive rock bands - along with French TV, Garden Wall, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson and Opeth, to name just a few. I have all the official studio releases by Cast (received them directly from the band - for review), and I must note one should have a high IQ to dig most of the albums they released in the new millenium, especially "Al-Bandaluz", "Nimbus" and "Mosaique", all of which are underrated here. Well, this is not a review actually, even though I have heard "Pyramid Of The Rain". The point is that this is a compilation which, according to (band leader) Alfonso Vidales, was never sent out as a promo. Why it is placed among the band's full-fledged studio albums is completely beyond me. In other words, it should be removed from that section.
 Vida by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 85 ratings

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Vida
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Mexican band CAST is among the more senior bands still active on the progressive rock scene today, with a history going back to the late '70s and a recording history that started in 1985. Since 1993 Cast has released new material at a steady pace, the band having almost two dozen albums in their discography as of 2016. "Vida" is their most recent studio recording, self-released by the band in 2015.

For those with an interest in vintage era symphonic progressive rock, Cast comes across as a band one should take note of, if you're not already familiar with this veteran band. Those with a particular fondness for well-developed, keyboard-dominated compositions should have a field day with this album, and those with a special affection for violin and keyboards, used in tight interaction within such a framework should most likely find this CD to be an inspired one. This is a quality album for those with a preference for melodic and harmony-oriented vintage symphonic progressive rock

 Endless Signs by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.47 | 42 ratings

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Endless Signs
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars When I wrote my first review here in PA in August 16, 2009 (review #231937), the chosen band was the Mexican CAST, and my reasons for this choice at that time was my perplexity on perceived which, this fantastic band was so underrated . This rejection or indifference by the prog fans ( I think) is due by the low record and mixing quality in some of their albuns. But this isn't the case of "Endless Signs" 1995, a superb albun, and in my humble opinion one of the best releases from that year in the same level as for instance "Back in the World of Adventures" from TFK and "As the World" by ECHOLYN, another great albuns from that year. In my vision this is the moment of their career in which the sound of CAST reaches (for the first time) his plenitude, after the almost "without-energy" first album "Landing in a Serious Mind", their first approach into real progressive "land" in "Sounds of Imagination" and their worst records (in terms of recording and mixing process) - "Third Call" and "Four Aces" ( both very good albums , but with a terrible sound quality). Well... returning to object of this review , in "Endless Signs" ,CAST starts the disk with the first track "Signs of Future" in a melancholic" atmosphere" which makes the track acquire a certain "air" of introduction, where appears detached the vocals with a soft melody conducted by keyboards and electric guitar. The second track "Hidden Poems" shows a clearly overture like a "erupition" and assault the listener with a nervous rhythmic section side to side with a "saltatory" acoustic piano and almost crying guitar, soon the theme turn into a heavy-prog theme open the way to one fantastic lyrics which leads the track to a martial melody whit a pulsating bass guitar and after this moment isn't more possible resist to a involving instrumentation with guitar/keyboards duos and about 4 min 36 sec emerges the climax of music whem electric Guitar/ keyboards medlodic counterpoint "against" a broken beat conduction of bass and drums and retakes the initial "eruption" theme and his sequence closing the track in superb way. The Third track "Spirit of Man" is another martial theme, however more calm and slow, but also captivating, specially in their middle section where besides the keyboards prominence I want detach the great guitar melodie and the fantastic drums. Other remarkable tracks as track 6 "Allow Me" a very beautiful ballad and the last track "Nostrabamus", an instrumental track , which recall in certain moments musical passages from other previous tracks (mainly of track 3 "Spirit of Man") and closes the album with the initial theme from secound track "Hidden Poems". My rate is 5 stars !!!
 Vida by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 85 ratings

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Vida
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars Another great work by this old and so accurate Mexican band .

While symphonic prog super groups fall in the temptation of adecuation to the present times (Genesis ,Yes, Rush, ELP..etc....)..this guys maintain in a classic inspirited and very well performed symphonic prog rock .

Maybe the last 4 albums were not so good(nevertheless near 4 stars), but I think we always have to be grateful for Cast, s quality music .

This album has very nice songs ,original and so well played songs. A strong work of synthesisers ,strong vocals ...a symphonic prog that in every song takes your fully attention

All long and very well structured songs .

So long live to Cast ...maybe the best Latin-American prog rock band ...(Sagrado Coracao...near....and Nexus too)

For these days a masterpiece of symphonic prog rock

 Arsis by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 97 ratings

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Arsis
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Mexican band CAST was formed back towards the end of the '70s, although it would take them a good decade and then some before they started to record and release their material. Ever since their debut album appeared in 1993, they have been an active recording unit, as well as a live band, and to date they have a grand total of 23 full-length recordings to their name. "Arsis" appeared in 2014, self-released by the band.

"Arsis" comes across as a strong and well developed production by a veteran band that is very much aware of what they want to accomplish and how to go about doing so. Symphonic progressive rock is the style explored, with a distinct foundation on piano motifs and with a sound, style and especially approach that makes this a production I feel should have a strong appeal to fans of Camel, and then those who enjoy the band's earlier albums first and foremost.

 Endless Signs by CAST album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.47 | 42 ratings

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Endless Signs
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The show at the pre-Progfest Festival at Barnsdall Theater made only good to Cast, not only their performance was satisfactory, but they also managed to hit big time sells on the running ''Four aces'' album and their next work ''Endless signs''.Self-produced by the band, this marked the fifth full-length album by Cast in a 2-year period!

I am dissapointed to say that the bulk of recording sessions and written tracks did not end up to a really strong album this time.They haven't moved an inch from a refined symphonic-oriented and occasionally melodic Symphonic Rock, I think that the front covers with the main figure of jester just say it all regarding the direction of the group, but the music sounds not that inspiring as on the last few albums.Nevertheless, it would be a statistical error to release so many albums in a limited time with all of the being equally good.The tracks are pretty long with plenty of different segments and mood changes, influenced by GENESIS, MARILLION and the likes, featuring lots of guitar and keyboard fests, but I am afraid that the material is rather forgettable, especially the two longer pieces, the title-track and ''Spirit of man'', seem like the weakest links on this CD.Production was never Cast's strongest point, but with the music being just above average, it certainly hurts the consistency of the album.Latter pieces do include some very good moments, on par with Cast's best efforts on the previous albums, like the romantic and more Neo Prog-flavored ''Allow me'', the dramatic ''Mayday'' with the huge organ waves, while ''Hidden poems'' excels through the first bunch of tracks, being heavily Classical-oriented and containing some good switches between different themes.

Not a bad album, but one of the less interesting works on Cast's repertoire.The talent is there as always, it has not been translated though into really satisfying compositions on ''Endless signs''.Anyway, Neo Prog and Symphonic Rock buffs will apprecaie some of the contained material...2.5 stars.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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