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Spock's Beard - Snow CD (album) cover

SNOW

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 522 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Equality 7-2521
2 stars I'm not much of a Spock's Beard fan by any means, but since this was acclaimed so highly by so many I decided to pick it up. When an album is called the modern The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway that is (at least to me) a very, very high acclaim. So the first thing that set me off was that this is nothing like The Lamb musically. I see where the comparisons come with concept and more so the circumstances under which it was developed. I would like to stress the point that it's similar to The Lamb much more in inception than in its music. Sure there are parts throughout the album that are plucked from Genesis. However, they're no more common than the various parts you'll hear plucked from Yes, Kansas, and Gentle Giant. Usually this itself would be a large area of complaint for me, but what if that were all the album consisted of I would probably enjoy it more. Besides what's lifted from previous prog bands I see no prog here. Instead I hear a lot of poppy hard rock riffs with some Hammond organ thrown over them. There's such a strong AOR/Hard Rock/Pop element on this album that I can't help but be turned off. When these elements are spliced into the prog it's not so bad, but more often than not they stand by themselves. The strength of the pop element really surprised me. I'd heard The Light before this and while I didn't enjoy it, I wasn't annoyed by lengthy poppy sections. I can't say the same about Snow.

Asides from Neal's vocals which I find monotonous and dry, I notice a significant improvement in the playing of the band members from their beginning. Alan has found a tone which I can enjoy and when playing prog I find him enjoyable. The drumming is solid and the various keyboards are by far the most enjoyable aspect on the music, excluding the times they go off the deep end. If all the non-prog fat of the album was trimmed and this condensed into a single album I could see myself really enjoying its instrumental excursions despite the influences on the sleeve playing. However, as it stands I wouldn't recommend this to prog-fans.

I don't want to be misconstrued as having some personal vendetta against Spock's Beard, or leading a crusade to lower their ratings. I just want to warn prog-fans about to buy this expecting unadulterated prog which this certainly isn't. Even in it's proggiest moments I see very little originality. I own this album because of an absence of reviews enumerating this fact; I hope to change that so it doesn't happen to others. For those who don't mind this style and can put up with a bad vocalist Snow will be worth your money, even if you have to utilize the skip button on your cd player a few times.

Equality 7-2521 | 2/5 |

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