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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

4 stars I've had about three weeks with this Beard album and it's certainly a very good listen. The opening track has a very strong central melody, as did the opener on Octane, but the arrangement is less convincing. I wonder why the second lovely tune in this song (Alan's Steve Howe style solo near the end of the track) is not further developed. If those two tunes could have been welded together more convincingly the whole track could have been even better. Skeletons at the Feast is quite fun with its 11/8 time, but the link with the next sections seem artificial. Again, some great ideas but somehow not pieced together as well as they would have been three or four years ago. I find the straight rocker tracks okay, but nothing out of the ordinary. Older Spocks albums had very little filler. The final epic does not hang together well for me, but has some great moments anf some great playing along the way. The jazz fusion direction is an interesting one for the future maybe.

I enjoy the vocals on this album. Nick seems more and more confident and I always enjoy his drumming. Nick doesn't do the exciting Mike Portnoy thing, but he grooves well and does enough interesting and subtle snare work to keep drum fans happy. Dave and Alan play some great stuff, but I am less impressed with Ryo who can be lyrical on the piano, agressive on the Hammond, but not as flashy as I would like!

This is a very good album: prog which is quite easy on the ears, but lacking the flair, panache, originality of the Neal era material. As Dave once said in an interview, Neal bursts with musical ideas, whereas the other guys have to work harder to extract rather fewer ideas.


| 4/5 |


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