The Los Angeles-based Cassle was a heavy rock band that was formed in 1979 by Terry and Parker and issued an EP in 1983. Midnight Fantasy was issued by Azra Records (Dark Angel, etc.), but the recording was financed by the band. The label also issued a 7” single of the track. Midnight Fantasy was actually a song about a trip through Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction!
Terry Martel ex-drummer of the Aldo Nova band and numerous others came and went. While Bones was mainly the band’s keyboard player he would take over the bass duties as members came and went. Ed Roberts had originally replaced Joe Gima.
The band was approached by Shadow Kingdom Records to re-release some of its music. This album, called Cassle, was issued in 2011.
CASSLE - Same - SHADOW KINGDOM
If someone had reviewed this album and recordings back when it was first composed, recorded and released circa 1983 he would have likely described the music as “dated” and “from a decade past.” That is right. The album sounds and feels like it originates from the '70s and no amount of heavy metal-ism from the band or label is going to negate how Cassle is merely a heavy rock band and not a good one at that. Bands, rarely, if ever admit to being sub-par and acknowledge that occasionally the reason a group does not 'make it' is just a sheer lack of quality. This would have been the issue with these Californians. Back to the music, Cassle’s compilation of an old EP, later material and live songs culled from a show in Anaheim, California is one part Judas Priest circa 1974, namely the cloned Priest riff off the band’s pride and joy Midnight Fantasy, two parts Rush, namely the entire song and strumming of My New Flame, two parts Meat Loaf, two parts hippie music and three parts pomp rock to the extreme. Brett Holloman might be the only singer in recorded history that sounds worse talking than when he is singing. Unfortunately, half the songs are laden with his chatter - yes, he is just providing voice-over for the music. Speaking of which, the pompous music is laden with keyboards and weak riffs that did not even get the luxury of a good sound. This last fact can easily be forgiven given the group’s means and facility.
Simply put, some music was meant to stay underground and Cassle’s brand of pomp and lack of circumstance is nothing to write home about. Whether the label signed the band for this issuing of old material due to an element of pure and simple nostalgia with a disregard for quality is for Shadow Kingdom to take in. It is this writer’s contention that there must be at least 10,000 current and hungry bands seeking a deal that could have benefited from the resource.
The album’s cover artwork is quite metallically impressive. Too bad the music is nowhere near as good as King Diamond. - Ali “The Metallian”