Exposé Online banner

Cast — Al-Bandaluz
((Not on label) no#, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Al-Bandaluz Cover art

By this time, many readers will know what to expect from Mexico's Cast: complex, keyboard-heavy neo-progressive with lots of odd meters. They've stuck to that for what seems like twenty or thirty albums in the last ten years, so maybe we shouldn't expect much different. The bad news is that this new double CD stays within that established format. The good news comes in two parts. First is that they do what they do very well. They have this style down, and few bands can top them at their game. The other part of the good news is that their sound is given a little twist, partly due to some personnel changes. Keys man Alfonso Vidales is still in charge, but guitarist Carlos Humarán has a more aggressive style on electric that gives the music an added punch. Lead vocals are still handled by former guitarist Francisco Hernández, with Vidales and Humarán backing him up. The new rhythm section of Kiko King (drums) and Flavio Jiménez (bass) handle the elaborate arrangements and meter changes with fluid grace, even if their playing rarely jumps out and grabs attention. Fans of lush keyboard work will find much to love here, as the arrangements load up an embarrassment of riches, maybe even too much at times. Piano, organ, and string sounds dominate, with lots of other synths as well, and if I have one complaint it would be to wish for more moments of quiet and simplicity.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Cast, Alfonso Vidales

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tom Heasley & Toss Panos - Passages – For those who admire purely timbral musics, Tom Heasley and Toss Panos have put together more than an hour of inventive, often original work based wholly on the tuba and percussion. Original because...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues