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

SPOCK'S BEARD

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 278 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

eddietrooper
3 stars After the first enthusiastic reviews of this album submitted during the first days after the release, I wonder if I am the only one to think that this is not the masterpiece it's expected to be. The main problem with this album is that ther first and second track are so brilliant that they create great expectations, but the listener may be disappointed after that, as the rest of the album doesn't live up to that expectations. That said, I consider this as a good album, on the same level as Octane, but definitely weaker than any Morse-era SB album. And it's a pity: On A Perfect Day is the best and more progressive track they have released since the Morse era, with a stunning powerful beginning, great vocal melody and quality singing from Nick,and interesting arrangements. The instrumental Skeletons At The Feast begins with an exciting heavy Hammond line in an odd time signature and crazy guitarwork from Alan, then the piece suddenly evolves into a Flower Kings-like synth tune and at the end it enters into a modern King Crimson-influenced atmosphere. Very enjoyable. After this one we have some straight forward hard rock tracks (Is This Love and Wherever You Stand) which are OK with a certain Deep Purple style provided by Ryo's Hammond, but nothing special really; a repetitive but forgettable and uninteresting Alan's song (Sometimes They Stay...) and some melodic and atmospheric slow songs (All That's Left, With Your Kiss and Hereafter" which are also OK but not brilliant, although the mini epic With Your Kiss has some interesting instrumental moments and great guitar playing. After all that songs, the "great epic" of the album, As Far As The Mind Can See, comes finally. Well, I don't dislike any of the four the parts of the suite, in fact there are very good ideas here and there, The "Here's A Man" part has a really interesting rythm with great drumming and outstanding bass lines and some fantastic Hammond playing, and the "They Know We Know" part is rather catchy, but I think that these four tracks would work better as individual songs, and I don't see the relationship between them from a musical point of view. It seems that they were forced to make a multi-part epic and they decided to put these four different compositions together but it wasn't necessary really, and they doesn't flow properly as a single piece. As for the last track, Rearranged, it's also a good but not great song, as many of the others. Maybe this is their best effort without Neal Morse, I'm not sure, but if only they could keep the quality of the best tracks on the whole album we would be able to dream of returning to the masterpieces of the golden era of SB. At the moment I'm afraid that these Spock's Beard are only capable of making good but non-essential releases.
eddietrooper | 3/5 |

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