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Spock's Beard - Snow CD (album) cover

SNOW

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 504 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I had some reservations giving Snow 5 stars-- it's staggering length, overtly Xtian finale, and lulls in a few of the later songs do erk me somewhat-- but I do not exaggerate when saying that this album has the ability to send powerful imagery and emotions to this listener with each spin, and that the songwriting and playing utterly blows away the band's peers; no one comes close.

To start, let me say that the concept is cliché to the point of bordering on insipid-- it's like a cross between Lambs Lie Down and that move Powder (neither of which were very good in my opinion); however, the Beard presents its material through various points of views and narrative styles, making the story almost secondary to the music and themes-- which is where the goods really lay. The band simply plays more exciting, creatively and expressively here than ever before. Morse's singing and lyrics soar with emotion; Morse's guitar-work is unstoppable; Okumoto's organs add textures and tones seemingly left out on previous albums; and the rhythm section lays an impressive foundation of light/dark contrasts throughout (Meros cooling things down a bit helping a lot!)-- D'Virgilio adding some nice vocal moments as well. The various characters of the story bring with them memorable, catchy, and dynamic melodies, adding more variety to this extended piece of music than any of the band's other albums.

The finished product is simply outstanding songs which elicits uplifting and gloomy emotions. Solitary Soul's crushing tenderness, Devil's Got My Throat's" roar, I'm the Guy's" sinister brooding, and Wind at My Back's" ability to lift one of their feet with felicity.

The God stuff is thankfully pushed into the realm of the allegorical (except for a single explicit reference in I Will Go), and although the you in Wind in Back is almost certainly God, the lyrics are just ambiguous enough not to come off as preachy.

Outstanding.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 5/5 |

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