Cast - Vigesimus

Kev Rowland, Cast - Vigesimus

Back in the Nineties I became aware of Mexican band Cast (this is pre-internet remember), and from somewhere I was sent the first four albums to review. They blew me away, and I then managed to get in touch with the band who sent me their current album ‘Beyond Reality’. I loved their music but somehow lost contact again, and the next album I heard was 2017’s ‘Power and Outcome’, which I gave top marks. Now I have in front of me their last album, ‘Vigesimus’, and it took me a while to get it to the player. The reason for that is I always have way too much music on my plate to review, and I know there is every likelihood that a new Cast album will become a problem in that I will just keep playing it to the detriment of everything else I have to listen to.

As soon as it started, I knew I was in trouble, as it was clear from the very beginning that this was yet another superb piece of work from the guys. Formed in 1978 by keyboard player Alfonso Vidales, he is still there as is drummer Antonio Bringas who has been involved since before the debut album. It is the same line-up as the last album, with the band completed by Bobby Vidales (vocals), Lupita Acuña (vocals), Claudio Cordero (guitars), Roberto Izzo (violin) and Carlos Humarán (bass, backing vocals). Together they create a symphonic crossover progressive sound which is huge, and this time also brings in multiple theatrical elements, and I found myself being reminded of some of Clive Nolan’s work.

There are those who may argue that some of the sounds they use can be somewhat dated, but I find the combination of those keyboards with the stunning guitar quite sensational. The vocals are superb, with all lyrics in English – btw, it is really nice in these days of digital downloads to actually hold a physical CD and be able to read the lyrics in the nice booklet. As with many of Cast’s albums, the artwork is also essential. There is no doubt that these guys have been top of the Mexican prog tree for many years, and I still find it strange that they are not more widely known in Europe, as they are producing prog which is vital, exciting, and incredibly dynamic. The interplay between the electric violin, keyboards and guitars on “The Unknown Wise Advice” is a sheer delight, and the album is well worth seeking out for that track alone!

If the name Cast is new to you, and you enjoy driving symphonic prog with elements of theatricality all wrapped up with great vocals, arrangements and musicianship then you need it investigate this immediately, if not sooner.

MLWZ album na 15-lecie