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Starcastle

Starcastle

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Album Review

A good first effort by a band very much in Yes' orbit — as when "Elliptical Seasons" shows Lutrell's uncanny mastery of Anderson's vocal style — this debut also shows the less complex electric timbre and thinner production that typified American progressive rock by such practicioners as Kansas. The album leads off with the wonderfully sprawling song that broke them on local radio in the hometown of Champaign, the ten-minute Moogs and Merlin epic, "Lady of the Lake." The closing instrumental, "Nova," also gives the band's very tight rhythm section a chance to shine, with Tassler opening the piece with a brief but effective solo. Though later releases would show the band was capable of better work, it's a decent enough debut and an interesting curio for fans of American progressive rock.

Biography

Formed: 1972 in Champaign, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Starcastle (along with Styx, Fireballet, and Kansas) were part of a belated stateside response to British progressive rock. With Gary Strater's melodic bass lines, Herb Schildt's Moog runs, and Terry Luttrell's sometimes precious vocals, the band was clearly modeled from Yes, particularly in its first two releases. While Starcastle usually came out the worse for such comparisons, there were genuine moments of fine, intricate musicianship. Citadel (1977) showed some musical growth away from their...
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Starcastle, Starcastle
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