Even in their own time, Starcastle was slagged as a Yes-clone but these days with a whole genre of neo-prog and entire labels such as Magna Carta devoted to clone-bands, it seems acceptable to finally give this band some credit as a great prog band. Of course they were Yes clones, but they were so darned GOOD at it that it's hard to think of that as a minus.
On this, their second album, Starcastle shrugged off the last vestige of originality from the debut, the atmospheric instrumentals, and aimed for nothing less than 100% Yes. They nearly succeeded too. Still, neither guitarist could touch Steve Howe, and while Jon Anderson could hardly be called a belter, Terry Lutrell makes him sound like Louie Armstrong! In other words, the vocals are more than a bit wimpy. As on the other Starcastle albums, the real star is keyboardist Herb Schildt who was one of the most underrated prog keyboardists and turns in terrific performances all over the band's catalogue.
Fountains of Light is a rather short recording even by vinyl standards, but the length is just perfect as each song blends nicely into the next so that while this isn't a concept album, it still has that conceptual "togetherness" that the best of 70's art-rock featured. Nobody makes this type of record anymore, mainly because it's almost impossible to sustain through the hour-or-more length of CD's these days. Classic prog fans should definitely check out this band's first three albums, with this one recommended as the first to get.
Consumer note: this is a CD-R and like many CD-R's I find that the volume needs to be turned up even on good systems. The cover scan is poorly done and an affront to the original artwork, done by the same guy who did several Kansas covers. The trimming almost cuts off the lyrics at the far right of the inside cover as well, and I could have made a better back cover than this on my home computer. Still, this is about the only way you're going to find this CD and it's worth the inconvenience since it's such a good record.