Cast are a powerful band from Mexico who are well known throughout Latin America and the World, recognized and reviewed on progressive outlets in North America and Europe for many years. They are prolific with 20 albums released over 30 years and they deliver with each new recording, Power and Outcome being no exception.
The title itself is an important and relevant one today, many countries adopting populist, “home first” stances whilst adopting leaders who exert tighter controls over freedom and decision making. The album questions the outcomes that we can expect from this use (misuse?) of power, and that is something that we should all be asking. It’s a great title for an album full of thematic questions.
From the massive theatrical instrumental wonder that is Rules of the Desert right through to the closing notes of Dialect for the 21st Century, Power and Outcome provides many reasons why all of us, as citizens of the world, need to understand that we are the power, and we should be careful about who we elect as leaders of our nations and states.
Rules of the Desert is one of the best tracks on this or any other album this year and a fine introduction. The title track Power and Outcome helps to lay out the choices we make when we give power to others. The two parts of Details provide many exciting improvisational instrumental wonders for all to enjoy.
Through Stained Glass is a Yes/Starcastle–like wonderland of high notes and intricate synth, guitar and drum interplay, the violin from Italian Roberto Izzo only adds cream to the mix. Bobby Vidales’ vocals are similar to Jon Anderson of Yes, although with a less high range. The deeper bass sounding Illusions and Tribulations helps to punctuate the outcomes of our choices, the keyboards, lead electric guitar and magic from the rhythm section having an inspirational, lifting sensation that is amazing. Likewise, the inspired keyboard work on The Gathering is just stunning.
Conquest is a moving electric guitar piece with great support from the other instrumentalists and symphonic orchestration. Full Circle is a vocal–driven track with great string support, full of discussion about the ability of one vote to make a difference. Dialect for the 21st Century is the symphonic closer that is required to close this complex and exciting new release from a truly great band.
Savour every note, string, beat, word, and key of this extraordinary release. It is currently at the top of my list of favorite albums of the year.
01. Rules of the Desert (Instrumental) (11:35)
02. Power and Outcome (7:25)
– a) Circle Spins (5:47)
– b) Start Again (Instrumental) (8:43)
04. Through Stained Glass (8:46)
05. Illusions and Tribulations (9:27)
06. The Gathering (8:16)
07. Conquest (Instrumental) (3:30)
08. Full Circle (1:57)
09. Dialect for the 21st Century (5:16)
Total Time –
Alfonso Vidales – Keyboards
Antonio Bringas – Drums
Claudio Codero – Lead Guitar
Bobby Vidales – Vocals
Lupita Acuna – Vocals
Roberto Izzo – Violin
Carlos Humaran – Bass
Record Label: Progressive Promotion Records
Country of Origin: Mexico
Date of Release: 7th March 2017