Fusion, Symphonic, Technical
"With a relatively stable line-up, Cast now traces its way with certainty and offers us with "Vigesimus" a new nugget of technical and flamboyant symphonic rock."
TONYB (04.06.2021)  
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For more than 40 years, Alfonso Vidales has kept Cast alive and kicking, for what must be one of the first South American progressive rock bands to have crossed the ocean to come and enchant our ears. And if their first album was only released in 1994, the Mexican band, which has become a small family business over the years, has been present ever since, to the point of offering us their twentieth studio album with "Vigesimus".

Centered around the keyboards of its master, Cast's style has always been forged around a technical and flamboyant symphonic rock. "Power and Outcome", the band's previous opus released in 2017, was no exception to the rule, offering many melodic keyboards parts formidable of imagination. From this point of view, "Vigesimus" continues in this way, but with a superior energy.

Throughout the 76 minutes divided into ten compositions, the Mexicans lead us in a crazy saraband of varied melodic themes, carried by keyboards that fill the atmosphere with changing sounds, and interspersed with dynamic instrumental projections inviting all the instruments. Despite the length of the album, it is impossible to get bored as the listener's attention is constantly solicited by a new theme, a new solo or a guitar or violin riff. Rather mixed in the background, the rhythm section ensures a flawless support, despite the discretion of the bass in the sound space. And if there was a (very small) reproach to formulate, it would come from this production which too often relegates these two instruments to the background.

The different musicians have an irreproachable technique and the setting of the different structures is simply perfect. In addition to the maestro of the keyboards who has nothing to envy to the British masters of the genre such as Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson, the rest of the troop is also amazing and knows how to emphasize itself in good way. Special mention to Claudio Cordero who regularly manages to get his guitar out of the profusion of keyboards to deliver us some magnificent solos. And let's not forget also the violin of Roberto Izzo whose duet with the guitar in 'The Unknown Wide Advise' is simply amazing.

Of course, Bobby Vidales' voice, sometimes a little bit hoarse, can surprise a bit, especially in the quietest parts (first parts of 'The Unknown Wide Advise' or of 'The March'). On the other hand, it is a formidable asset as soon as the intensity increases, and Cast does not deprive himself of it on this album, even going so far as to invite a little double pedal on some passages. Far from being satisfied with this symphonism tinged with neo-prog, Cast also ventures on the paths of fusion, with 'Manley', an aggressive instrumental with a tortured rhythmic placed in the middle of the album as a parenthesis intended to better appreciate the superb melodies of 'Location and Destination', a new track overflowing with imagination and stringing together themes. It is obviously impossible to detail each track, each theme of "Vigesimus", an opus which will require many attentive listenings for a complete impregnation. Nevertheless, the catch is immediate and each passage in the player guarantees a total plenitude.

If in the past Cast has sometimes blown hot and cold on some of its productions, it seems that the band, having a relative stability of line-up, is now making its way with certainty. And the quality of this new album, four years after its formidable predecessor, confirms all the maturity of a formation that only the geographical distance seems to prevent from playing in first division.

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01. Ortni - 05:31
02. Black Ashes And Black Boxes - 06:18
03. The Unknown Wise Advise - 09:43
04. Another Light - 3:40
05. Manley - 05:16
06. Location And Destination - 07:52
07. Crossing - 10:00
08. The March - 07:21
09. Contacto - 10:44
10. Dredging To The Higher Plane - 10:13

Alfonso Vidales: Claviers
Antonio Bringas: Batterie
Bobby Vidales: Chant
Carlos Humaran: Basse
Claudio Cordero: Guitares
Lupita Acuña: Chant
Roberto Izzo: Violon
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