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Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 373 ratings

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The Progmatist
4 stars If I can do anything in this review, it is to congratulate the band and to recommend this to anyone who has ever liked anything the Beard has ever done. Coming off of the excellent Octane quasi-concept album, this self-titled release is a testament to the band's originality and power. It always seems as if the follow up release to a concept album is anticlimactic, but the band was able to avoid this with this CD. Instead of trying to work off of the orchestral sound of Octane, the band has gone with a much smaller sound here. If Octane conjured images of the band playing in front of an orchestra, then this album brings forth pictures of the band jamming together in a small studio.

Honestly, "On a Perfect Day" is one of the best Beard openers they've ever put out. This song has a little bit of everything: pure rock power, emotional Hackett-esque soloing, and epic keyboard/mellotron playing. The highlight for me, though, is "With Your Kiss." This song takes the listener on a musical and lyrical journey through the emotions of a fallen relationship. The transition between the first and second major sections of the song has to be heard to be appreciated. Lyrics like, "Just when I thought I knew everything. Just when I thought I had it all going on" send chills down my spine everytime as they're backed with gothic mellotron and electronic sounds.

I really feel the musicianship should be highlighted in this review. This is not the most complex Beard album. In fact, I would argue that it's probably the most accesibile. But at the same time, I feel that Nick's drumming and vocals may be at their best. And I'm convinced that Alan's guitar playing is his best so far. We here classical sauce, powerful rock solos, heavy riffs, and the Hackett- esque simplicity mentioned before. All in all, this album is one of the biggest surprises of the year. A few flatter songs keep this from a five star rating, but it's as close as it can be for what it is: a great Beard album.

The Progmatist | 4/5 |


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