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Citadel

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Album Review

The group's third album, reissued on CD by Tennessee-based Renaissance Records in 1999, is another Yes-like affair, Herb Schildt's keyboards dominating the sound in the best sub-Rick Wakeman manner while Steve Tassler's drumming holds the band's sound together. Terry Luttrell can't quite hit Jon Anderson's high notes, but coupled with the backup singing by Tassler, bassist Gary Strater, and guitarists Matt Stewart and Steve Hagler, the Yes illusion is maintained, especially when Hagler's angular lead playing comes in, as on "Shadows of Song." "Change in Time" is the best of the Yes-style numbers here, a driving little tune with gorgeous choruses and soaring synthesizer breaks. The two most interesting numbers, however, are "Can't Think Twice" and "Could This Be Love," serious attempts at catchy Top 40-type tunes that reconsider the group's whole progressive sound, and which hold the group's talents in check in service of an unchallenging AM approach. They're refreshing, although not why people who were buying the band's stuff were spending their money.

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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Citadel, Starcastle
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