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Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness  CD (album) cover

BEWARE OF DARKNESS

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 365 ratings

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LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars This is the follow-up to what is in my opinion a masterpiece of moden prog, Spock's Beard's debut album The Light. After that tour-de-force of music I sure had high expectations about the rest of the bands output. Next in line in the discography is Beware of Darkness with its seven songs, compared to the four found on The Light. Two of these range over ten minutes in length. Assuming that short song length and acessibility is only two sides of the same coin is generally a bad idea, but in the case of Beware of Darkness, this is for once a valid statement.

The title song starts the album in a typical Spock's Beard kind of way: lots of prominent bass work. A moody passage with crisp guitar chords in the background leads to the mellow part where the vocals begin. Neil isn't an amazing singer, but he sings with great emotion and warmth, something that I like, but I also realise that others might consider this particular style as AOR-ish. And AOR-influences are quite abundant here, vocally as well as musically. Polished, accesible parts with pretty standard song structure. A prime example on this album is Waste Away. Radio-friendly is a word I hate using, but that one song is just that. Just as a word of warning to those of you who fear it like a vampire fears the sun.

But of course there's more to find here! Walking on the Wind has some serious Kansas-influences and The Doorway rivals most of the songs found on their debut. About a minute of charged piano interludes a gritty distorted guitar riff and the beautiful 'refrain'. Triumphant sounds from the keys. More piano. Aha, acoustic guitar. Nice. Great instrumental part. Wait, variation on main theme with flute-ish keys. Acoustic again. Solo this time. And then it goes on and on. This is how I want it. Spock's Beard at their best and thus also music at its best. More highlights includes many of the 16 minutes of Time Has Come and parts of Thoughts. Some of the vocal arrangement on that one will surprise you.

Atogether an accomplished piece of music, not as exciting and brim-filled with energy as the last one. Unfortunately. Still almost 4 stars for me. 3,5 stars. Mostly excellent, but non-essential is a way of putting it. If you're having trouble with aforementioned accessibility, make it 3 stars. Still good!

//LinusW

LinusW | 3/5 |

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