Reviewed by DBSilver on 08 Oct 2002
Steve Tassler (best known as the former drummer for the American prog-band Starcastle) delivers his first solo recording and demonstrates that he is more of a musician than merely being the drummer for the American prog-band Starcastle. For nearly 20 years he has been silent in the musical world having completed medical school and becoming Doctor Tassler. But whatever his skills as a man of medicine, he was not able to cure the musical bug that had earlier infected him.
Alive Beyond Recognition represents collection of ideas that have been brewing over the past decades mixed with the technology to do it all by himself. Tassler plays all the instruments showing some serious skills at each and delivering music that is true to the sound of earlier prog days. This does not sound like Starcastle although you will hear Starcastle in it. You may also hear sounds that remind you of Eddie Jobson from the UK period as well as some Styx.
I can gush a lot of compliments in the direction of this album - from the fine performances on a variety of instruments to the surprisingly strong vocals. That said - I was not taken by many of the songs except for the instrumental Aeons Arrival. It's just one of those things where it all sounded fine but after numerous spins over quite a few weeks, nothing really does it for me. Where it does certainly have a leg up over so many other one-man-shows that have passed through my CD player over the past years is that this guy is a dummer - and synth/programmed drums do not drag this recording down.
While I cannot describe a personal rapture with this album, let me say that it does wet my appetite for a new StarCastle CD which may find it's way in release before the end of the year. Tassler deserves praise for his talents and musicianship as well as for his performances here. Where once I may have been so-so about the reformation and re-recording of another 70's prog band, Tassler's return to the fold and the energy and promise present in this CD get's me very excited over the future prospects for both Tassler and for the band from which he earned his notoriety.