Starcastle
Starcastle


4.5
superb

Review

by CaptainHadouken USER (22 Reviews)
March 27th, 2013 | 166 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Spacey Progressive rock at it's best.

During 1976, Progressive rock was at an all time high. Acts such as Yes and Rush had done well, while out of Illinois, another emergence came to be, and thus we enter Starcastle. They released this album in early 1976. It had a great response, however, many individuals seemed to think Starcastle was simply a Yes clone. After listening to Fragile, I do hear the similarities. With that said, it does not change the outlook on a fantastic, and often overlooked treasure of an album.


1976 Starcastle line-up:

Terry Luttrell - Lead vocals
Stephen Hagler - Guitar, piano, Electric piano, vocals
Matthew Stewart - Guitar, slide guitar, electric sitar, vocals
Herb Schildt - Organ, synthesizers, electric piano
Gary Strater - Bass guitar, clavinet, vocals
Stephen Tassler - Drums, percussion, vocals



Listening to Starcastle triggers a nostalgic feeling. The album has a very light-hearted approach. If one would describe what this sounds like, the best words to go with would be "Happy-progressive". Instrument wise, the musicians are all very talented at what they do. The opening "fast-picking" and bass line in Lady of the lake would be a good display of that. The Ten minute opening Lady of the Lake certainly also helps the listener get a feel of what Starcastle sounds like. Within the same opening track, Starcastle utilizes synthesizers, organs and other various effects to give a very spacey feel to it. These are well timed in the song, as to prevent an overburdening of too many sounds during any one part. Outside the amazing opening track, this album has much more to offer.


During the nearly 40 minutes of music on this album, Starcastle showcases amazing musicianship throughout the album. Whether it be the funky bass and guitar displayed within Elliptical Seasons and Forces, the space odyssey like Stargate instrumental piece, or the very contemporary, yet technical Sunfields, Starcastle displays some diversity, while at the same time, sticking to their style. The guitar and synthesizer moments within To the Fire wind are also another highlight of the album to be mentioned. The crooning vocals within the album are all very majestic and sound like a perfect fit. The whole album vocals-wise could has no one stand-out moment, but instead just a solid-performance for vocals.

Another thing to be loved is being able to identify the many sounds and techniques displayed within Starcastle. It sounds very clear and everything is balanced in terms of sound, as no one instrument or effect seems to overplay the other. This Well-balanced production allows the listener to purely enjoy every section, note, key and chord within Starcastle.

On a closing note, as I mentioned earlier, there are moments where Starcastle can sound like a bit of a Yes clone. Though this is not an over-frequent occurrence, it is understandable to make that comparison during some moments. Still, it does not hinder the album to such a point to where Starcastle is a complete "copycat". This album is a stand-out listen and should be recommended, especially to fans of the older 1960's-70's Prog. rock era. Starcastle should be commended as the effort put into this album clearly shows. Kick back and listen to an album that truly deserves recognition.

Recommended tracks

Lady of the lake
Forces
Stargate
Sunfields



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainHadouken
March 27th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lady of the Lake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtWnDnlaaI0
Elliptical seasons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3u6GL8suyM
Stargate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du0uQpw1X30

Here are some of the tracks. Couldnt find a full album stream yet.


Hep Kat
March 27th 2013


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

P/

CaptainHadouken
March 27th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet.

manosg
March 27th 2013


6078 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Need to listen to this. Damn, the 70s are filled with prog gems. Great review, pos.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

FiveLeavesLeft
March 27th 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

maximum \P/

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2013


11349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome that this has a review now, album slays hard.

Digging: No Joy - Wait to Pleasure

KILL
March 27th 2013


71782 Comments


its like yes but not :D

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

CaptainHadouken
March 27th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yup still working to see if there a full stream for people who havent heard it yet though. I just ended up buying it cause its that good.

osmark86
March 27th 2013


4084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ if Yes and Kansas collided

Digging: Schammasch - Contradiction

osmark86
March 27th 2013


4084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's on spotify for all people who have it.

CaptainHadouken
March 27th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice, and the kansas/yes combo is a pretty good point. Kinda leans more towards yes though.

Mad.
March 27th 2013


3825 Comments


Spacey Progressive rock at it's best.

its*

CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2013


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg
omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg
omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg

pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos
pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos
pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos pos

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2013


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

few fixes:

'Starcastle showcases amazing and musicianship throughout the album.'

*lose 'and'

'the Space odyssey like Stargate instrumental piece'

*'space' does not need to be capitalized

'The rifting within To the Fire wind is also another highlight of the album to be mentioned, on both the guitar and synthesizer platforms.'

*not sure what you meant by 'rifting'. An explanation there would look more appropriate. Did you mean 'riffing'?

'Many songs could be named as standout moments for vocals really.'

*this sentence didn't make too much sense. You could remove it entirely or re-word.

'to such a point to where Starcastle is a complete "Copycat".'

*'copycat' does not need to be capitalized

Overall great review sir and super awesome that you rev'd this album! Keep up the great work.

Jethro42
March 27th 2013


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. Fountains of Light has a good reputation too, according to Prog Archives.

wacknizzle
March 27th 2013


13225 Comments


Great review, just added this album to my spotify library yesterday. Really looking forward to jamming it now.

Digging: Dioramic - Supra

foxblood
March 27th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh shi

CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2013


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

same


CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2013


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

bump rumpz

CaptainHadouken
March 28th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Word, thanks for the point outs Capt. D. Still always come up short even when i proof-read these. I had the review wrote for a day or two but the internet here went down. Had to copy and paste it to save it lol.



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