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Fountains of Light

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Album Review

Listening to this album is always a strange experience for any Yes fan. Clearly Starcastle are following Yes. But did Yes then follow Starcastle? Probably not...but released a year before Yes' Tormato, this album's thin synth sound and electric timbre seem to foretell Yes' fate, even as it mimics the polyrhythms and vocal phrasings of Yes from years gone by. Still, the album has its own charms, largely due to the tight unison work of the rhythm section: Stephen Tasster's cascading tom fills in "Fountains" and Gary Strater's supple bass behind the delicate opening of "Portraits" are both marvelous. Herb Schildt's synth sounds, on the other hand, haven't always aged well. Still, he leads the band into some rousing instrumentals in the latter halves of "True to the Light" and "Diamond Song."

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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Fountains of Light, Starcastle
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