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Album Review

There are two types of music lovers: those who like medleys and those who abhor them. The Mexican progressive rock group Cast carries a heavy load of compositions in its bags and, in order to cram a little more music for the fans, they often resort to the medley strategy when playing live. One must admit that they do it more elegantly than other acts in this field and that the result, as illustrated by two of the key tracks on Castalia, is worth a lot more than Genesis' infamous 1990s cut-and-pastes. This live set was recorded in Italy on July 1, 2000. It offers a good panoramic snapshot of the band's talent and catalog. "Hidden Poems" could almost feel like a Quidam song (if it was sang by a Polish female vocalist, that is). Not the most energetic number to open a live album, it stays pretty close to the original. A pretty ordinary ballad sung in Spanish, "Simple Things" reminds you that Cast is and will remain a neo-prog band in the tradition of early Marillion and IQ. Fans will get excited by the very strong renditions of "Revealing Sigss of Love" (arguably one of the group's best songs) and the "Reality or Misanthropy Medley" (comically misspelled "misantrophy" in the booklet). Sound quality is not always perfect: Alfonso Vidales' keyboards literally erupt a couple of times and when things get softer one car hear some echo. Castalia is a good live album without surprises. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Castalia, Cast
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