Starcastle - Song Of Times

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Prog Rock Records
Catalog Number: PRR380
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:17:00

In my search for new additions to my CD collection, one of the things I look for is the classic bands. So I was pretty excited to receive the Starcastle album Song Of Times, since they were said to be one of the most respected prog rock bands from the 70s. Well, if that doesn't raise expectations... The band released four albums in the mid and late 70s and toured with all the well-known rock/pop bands from the 80s. Their last album was released in 1978, so it took the band almost 30 years to get a follow up out :-)

A sad note, though, is that bass player and driving force behind the band, Gary Strater, passed away in 2004. However, the work on Song Of Times was already under way, hence he is present on the album, as are all other original Starcastle members.

Eagerly, I put the disc in my player and pressed play... Now, it could be my expectations were too high or in the wrong direction... for I was a bit disappointed with what I heard. Opening track "Red Season" really sounded like a 70s track, and I found the production to be from that time as well. Honestly said, I expected a modern sounding classic prog sound. The first thing that came to my mind was Yes. I'll probably not be the first to say this, but mainly the vocals, and in lesser way also the bass sound, is quite similar to Yes.

The overall sound of the album is quite nice. The songs are melodic and some are quite catchy, like "Babylon," which really sticks to you. One of the songs I like is "Love Is The Only Place," since it has a nice keyboard intro and I kinda miss the keys a bit throughout the album. Plenty of guitars, though, with two guitarists on board. And the rhythm section of Strater/Tassler is quite good. I like Strater's somewhat funky bass play at times.

Overall Song Of Times is an enjoyable album and it is beyond doubt they are first class musicians. Unfortunately the production and the dominating Yes sound ruins it for me. I think the fans of Yes and those who don?t mind this influence will enjoy this album very much.

Red Season / Babylon / Song Of Times / Islands / Faces Of Change / Love Is The Only Place / Master Machine / All For The Thunder / Children Believe

Al Lewis - vocals
Gary Strater - bass, keyboards
Matt Stewart - guitar, sitar
Bruce Botts - guitar
Steve Tassler - drums
Herb Schildt - keyboards
John O'Hara - keyboards
Neal Robinson - keyboards

Starcastle (1976)
Fountains of Light (1976)
Citadel (1977)
Real to Reel (1978)
Chronos I (2001)
Songs of Time (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: May 25th 2007
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 2870
Language: english


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