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


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.34 | 365 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Ok, so it's been long enough since the departure of Neal not to think of Spock's Beard as "Neal Morse's former band" and instead taking it as a different thing. Still, we are here in this progressive rock forum reviewing prog albums, so what happens when we begin to doubt that what we're listening to is really prog rock? Don't intend to get into the lifelong question of what's prog and what's not, but listening to Spock's latest album I cannot help but think that the band's style has steered away far too long from what I'd personally like to hear from them.

As someone else has pointed out, the album's first two tracks are in my opinion, by far, the best. "On a Perfect Day" brings back shades of the extraordinary The Ballet of the Impact/Of the Beauty of it All melody from Octane (an album that I enjoyed a LOT, I might add); and "Skeletons at the Feast" has the band reaching for a Dream Theater/Liquid Tension Experiment frenzy that might go a little too far at the end but has the kind of energy that makes you think Gosh, this album will be great.

And then a voice shouts: "It's not!"... when right away we get a 3-minute all-too-simple rocker, and the "What was that?" feeling kicks in. The rest of the album is uneven; we get the obligatory "epic" (As far as the Mind Can See) and once again (as it was the case with "A Flash Before my Eyes" which nevertheless carried some great songs inside) it's a just a bunch of pop songs mildly linked together, making me think if the guys just feel pressured to take some songs and glue them together because they HAVE TO release an epic. Listening to it, it doesn't feel like they have their hearts into the epic style anymore, so why pretend?

Before this review gets too negative a feeling, check my rating. The album IS ok, but... do we expect "ok" from these guys? "Feel Euphoria" was disappointing, and then "Octane" kind of got my hopes back, as even the simple pop or rock songs kinda worked. Here, I fear they've settled for a simple-rock approach that I can't say it's bad, but it's just not what I expect from what I can still call a great prog band. So if "ok" is enough for you, give it a try. If you wanna keep away from nostalgia and not get back to the Morse (Neal, that is) era, try "Octane". And if something closer to "old-school" prog is what you expect (sort of like I do), let's just wait for Neal's next prog beast.

Guillermizzimo | 3/5 |


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