Cast “Angels and Demons”

Perjalanan Bogor – jakarta Sabtu malam, sepulang dari memfasilitasi workshop di Novotel Bogor, saya ditemani oleh musik prog tulen dari Cast (Mexico) bertajuk “Angels and Demons”. Saya teringat sekali saat itu sering kumpul sama temen2 yang kemudian mendirikan IPS yaitu Andy Julias, Bowo Neo (karen gila bener sama band Neo prog) dan Suryorimba. Dari mereka inilah saya tahu ada band prog gila ini … Begitu saya diberi tahu dan mendengarkan sampler nya, saya langsung order 10 keping CD semua album Cast saat itu dari situs Cranium. Saya kagum sekali ternyata di tahun tersebut yakni 1998 ternyata musik prog masih berkembang subur, buktinya ada band satu ini.

Dari sepuluh keping album yang saya order, menurut saya “Angels and Demons” adalah yang paling kuweren musiknya. lagu pembuka Initiation yang berdurasi 7 menit adalah benar-benar instrumental symphonic rock yang dahzyat dengan permainan batteria (drums) yang sungguh mengagumkan dari Antonio Bringas. Dia main drums bener2 beringas sesuai namanya. Lagu pembuka ini memang diawali dengan gebugan drums dinamis ala Phil Collins namun dengan pukulan muawanteb njegreg pol! Pasti Anda akan kagum dah mendengarkan bagaimana si Bringas ini benar benar beringas dalam memainkan stick dan juga menggebug bass drums. Luar biasa dah! Permainan kibornya juga muwanteb sekali. Praktis selama tujuh menit tak terasa sekali bahwa musik instrumental ini begitu menggugah.

Selain Initiation, lagu ketiga Reality or Misantrophy? bener2 lagu symphonic prog yang maha dahzyat terutama dengan komposisi dan struktur lagu yang dahzyat dilengkapi dengan permainan gitar Hernandez yang merupakan perbaduan langsung Howe dan Hackett. Permain gitarnya bener2 lincah baik ketika mengiringi vokal maupun saat meluncurkan solo nya. Yang juga tak kalah dahzyatnya adalah permain kibor berlapis dari Alfonso Vidales. WHOOOAAAA …!! Muanteb tenan rek! Wis ..pokoke grup ini top dah!

Sayangnya di Youtube sangat jarang lagu yang diupload dari album ini kecuali yang ini:

Album ini amat sangat layak dikoleksi meski kualitas rekaman CD nya tak begitu prima; tapi masih OK banget…

cover_136914102008

 

Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Initiation (7:53) 
2. We Don’t Belong To Heaven (3:08) 
3. Reality Or Misanthropy? (Mix-up) (6:31) 
4. What We See/The Increasing Sorrow Of The Earth (8:54) 
5. Angels And Demons (5:05) 
6. Revealing Signs of Love (13:42) 
7. Fallen Angel (3:18) 
8. Loneliness (10:42) 
9. Fire In The Sky, Fire On Earth (5:25) 
10. White Lies? / Brief Story Of The Freewill (9:07)

Total Time: 72:25

Line-up / Musicians

– Dino Brassea / vocals
– Francisco Hernandez Reyes / guitars
– Luis Alfonso Vidales / keyboards
– Antonio Bringas / drums and percussion
– Rodolfo Gonzalez Quiroz / bass 

 

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I had a unique experience with the band that I only knew it sometime in 1998, after they had existed many years before. It was my prog gurus: Andy Julias, Bowo and Suryorimba who informed me about how great the band was. I did not argue with them as I knew how good their opinions were; and I ordered about 10 albums of the band and 2 solo projects of the keyboardist and guitarist (it’s a great solo album!). When my CDs arrived, “Angels and Demons” blew me! I understand why my friends acknowledge this band. I even purchased the BAJA PROG CD that caught CAST live performance. The early albums of the band were not all excellent. (There was a funny experience happened to my friend who chased the album of CAST in my country and he got the wrong CD which was a group of the same name but from UK – in the vein of pop music….. LOL).The real strengths of this Mexican (not UK) band are on: 1.) their complex and tight music composition, and 2.) the musicianship of Luis Alfonso Vidales (keyboards), Francisco Hernandez Reyes (guitars) and Antonio Bringas (oops ..!! In my language this means “wild” . which serves to be right if I associate this with his dynamic drumming in “Initiation”. Great work, Mr. Bringas!). The album presents a much more complex arrangements and heavier if compared to any other neo progressive band (I believe that this band has been pigeon holed as neo band. I actually disagree with this because, I think, most of their music is complex and heavy in nature).The band dares to open the album with a relatively long instrumental piece with shuffling drums: “Initiation”. This track is relatively complex and it has varieties of shifting tempos, dynamic melodies with howling keyboard sound. Yes, it’s a keyboard- based track but I admire how Antonio Bringas plays his drums and percussion sets. For those of you who never heard of this band might be surprised with the overall quality of this track. Dynamic and marvelous! Especially if you play it LOUDly ..“We Don’t Belong To Heaven” is a relatively mellow track with a nice keyboard intro accompanied by a howling guitar (Hackettian). Good melody with no drumming. This track is well positioned to welcome next beautifully crafted and energetic track: “Reality Or Misanthropy?”. For me personally, this track is a masterpiece. It has a fascinating and speedy keyboard play with great melody on its vocal line. The interlude keyboard solo coupled with dazzling drumming and guitar fills work well in a perfect harmony. The melody of this track is really deep, touchy and memorable. This track BLOWS me! (The other Mexican version of this track under “Laguna de Volcanes” double CD compilation is even better. It has flute in the interlude). This is the kind of music that any band who plays in the vein of GENESIS should look like.

The title track “Angels And Demons” is an instrumental piece heavily influenced by classical music. This track is merely used to demonstrate how powerful the keyboard player is. I guess. It’s too dominant really. “Revealing Signs of Love” is a long track with beautiful melody and excellent keyboard and piano plays combined with guitar fills. The piano reaches its highest at minutes 6:57 and they keyboard’s nicest play is at minute 10:31. What an amazing music these guys have made!! For me personally, from minute 10:31 onwards is the part that creates great climax for this track.

“White Lies? / Brief Story Of The Freewill” is my all-time favorite. It has melodic vocal at opening section with excellent howling guitar, accentuated by TULL-like flute sound and dynamic bass lines. What a great opening! The structure of this track is unusual as it has vocal at the opening part but the rest and longer part of the track is purely an instrumental piece with shifting tempos and powerful articulation of multi instruments: keyboard, piano, flute. The Hackettian guitar play at interlude is really nice when it is combined with piano and dazzling bass. No one would argue that this track is a masterpiece and the best composition that CAST has ever produced! I have a habit of repeating this track 3 or 4 times. It’s very enjoyable and very uplifting. Unfortunately, the sonic quality of the CD is not excellent.

The downsides of this album are: 1. Poor production quality. It happens to almost all of CAST albums (I have 10 albums of CAST with same poor quality). Even, I purchased the “Laguna de Volcanes” in CDR format (but, it’s original! Because I purchased it direct from the band couple years ago). It’s a pity, such a great music is not well supported by proper packaging. 2. Almost all compositions in this album are excellent. BUT it’s very boring since there is too much keyboard sound here and there in almost similar (or even the same) style. In the middle of the disc you will find that the nice keyboard play is becoming a boring stuff because the keyboard player is overdoing it. He’s kind like “abusing” his skills to dominate the music. Nothing wrong, isn’t it? But .. it’s damn boring, my friend. He should let the Hackettian guitarist plays more roles in melody and solo during interlude. Bring down your “ego” Mr. Poncho ..

To conclude my review: I give 5 star rating for musicianship, composition and performance. However, due to poor production and packaging and boring musical stuff, I give an overall of 4.45 star. I think it’s fair enough. – Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

 

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#1955) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2004

 

11 Responses to “Cast “Angels and Demons””

  1. cosmic_eargasm Says:

    Mas GW, thanks info dan review nya di ProgArchive tentang CAST album “Angel and Demons”. Terus terang, dari dulu sy blm sempat nyimak band ini, padahal dulu sempat liat iklannya 1 halaman penuh di majalah Progression dan sering juga masuk artikelnya. Yg paling sy ingat album gambar monster mirip robot itu, lupa judulnya. Beberapa lagu samplernya jg dulu sempat punya, nanti sy cari lg moga msh ada. Btw, sekali order 10 cd lumayan juga ya mas hehehe, tp makin bnyk order memang makin murah sih ongkir nya. Seingat sy jg, album studionya Cast lebih dari 10. Memang top org2 IPS itu, selalu saja up-to-date tentang band2 Prog era baru mana yg layak disimak dan dikoleksi, mana yg tdk.

    Band Neo-Prog/Symphonic Prog era baru yg lain yg asyik menurut sy dan blm sempat dibicarakan ada: JADIS, RPWL, GALLEON, AFTER CRYING, FROST, A.C.T., CARPTREE, QUIDAM, CLEPSYDRA, CASTANARC, SYLVAN, WORLD TRADE, GLASS HAMMER, IZZ, PROTO KAW, CAIRO, CITIZEN CAIN, PINEAPPLE THIEF, CANVAS SOLARIS dll, banyak yg lupa soalnya sy sdh lama sekali nggak nyetel, nyimak dan ngikuti. Tret mas GW ini semakin membangkitkan semangat Prog lg diantara postingan2 kaset djadoel yg sangat marak sekali, tapi hal tsb memang sangat perlu dan penting juga🙂

    *Yang lama dilestarikan, yang baru disayang*

    :::Happy Prog Years 2014 :::

    • Gatot Widayanto Says:

      Iya mas Cosmic … Banyak Cast menelorkan album meski gak semuanya bagus. Namun komposisi mereka cukup rumit dan berat, cenderung ke arah klasik . Coba aja klik youtube di atas, terasa berat dicerna musiknya meski indah.

      ACT dari swedia saya juga suka. Saya sebutnya itu musik jenis cabaret rock mas ….ha ha … JADIS itu band setengah IQ karena bassist dan kibordis nya dulu juga di IQ. Musik Jadis nanggung banget. PINEAPPLE THIEF juga keren.

      Saya jadi ingat SINKADUS yang musiknya unik ….

      Gatot Widayanto

      “Don’t manage – lead change before you have to.” Jack Welch

      • cosmic_eargasm Says:

        Benar mas, Jadis memang agak2 nanggung, tp sy suka nuansa musiknya, walo blm dengar semua album2nya, begitu jg dgn RPWL yg nanggung tp sy suka jg. A.C.T. trmsk easy listnening, tp kok sy suka ya dari 4 albumnya (kalo tdk salah albumnya ada 5 atau 6). Castanarc cukup kental aroma Yes nya dgn style vokalnya yg mirip Jon Anderson. Izz modern bgt, tp sy lupa judul2nya, ada 1 albumnya yg sy bagus tp lupa jg judulnya.

        Ada lg Fireballet yg jg asyik. After Crying cukup asyik jg.

        Kalo band2 rilisan Sensory/Laser Edge yg sy suka ada Zero Hour yg nge-ProgMet.

        Thanks info link Youtube nya mas GW.. moga nanti saya bisa play..

  2. hippienov Says:

    Penasaran juga sama band ini tapi jadi agak ragu pas baca kalo mas G bilang band ini komposisinya berat, cenderung ke klasik. Meski aku suka klasik tapi gak semua komposisi klasik bisa aku cerna, ada yang mental terus di kuping, hehehe…

  3. Gatot Widayanto Says:

    Saya sundhul tret ini karena beberapa hari lalu saya terima sms dari mas Dadi yang ternyata suka sekali band Mexico ini setelah saya racuni di progring yang terdahulu …

    Angels and Demons ini salah satu album terbaiknya …Koh Win dijamin ngguweblak kalau mendengarkan album ini!

    Saya lagi mencoba mencerna album baru mereka “Arsis” rilis tahun 2014 ini …

    Monggo dicoba …

  4. dadi Says:

    Selamat malam Mas Gatot,
    Betul mas sudah sebulan ini hampir setiap hari saya menikmati Al Bandaluz, Imaginary Windows, Infinity, Mosaique, Com.union, Art & Arsis. Semuanya hebat mas, terutama Al Bandaluz. Tiga hari ini saya ke Pekalongan sangunya ya cuma Cast ini saja.

    Kalau album Arsis walaupun hampir separo adalah rekam ulang lagu El Puente dari album Al Bandaluz, tapi saya suka track “The Old Travel Book” yang pertama kali dengar saya kira lagu The Flower Kings tapi ternyata bener2 karya Vidales bersaudara.

    Terimakasih mas sudah mengenalkan band Mexico yang luar biasa ini.

    • Gatot Widayanto Says:

      wah …ati2 di jalan mas Dadi …. Sudah lama gak jumpa ya. Seneng juga ternyata masih nengok blog gemblung ….

      Cerita tentang kota Pekalongan dong mas kalau sudah sampe …. Saya pengen ke sana. Katanya batiknya bagus2 ya?

      • Gatot Widayanto Says:

        Wah …salah ngerti tadi bacanya buru2. Kirain mas Dadi dalam perjalanan ke Pekalongan. Rupanya sudah di Pekalongan 3 hari ….
        Selamat nge Cast mas ….

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