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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 810 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In my opinion this is the perfect SPOCK'S BEARD album. It sounds to me like it's more mature than past records, maybe not as dynamic as "The Light" or "Beware Of Darkness" but overall better. I would even go as far to say that this is the best album I have heard that involves Neal Morse. Hey they even kept the time down to 63 1/2 minutes. They thank Greg Walker and Mike Portnoy in the liner notes.

"At The End Of The Day" is the 16 1/2 minute opening track. It's kind of mournful to start with but it kicks into an uptempo, upbeat melody 1 1/2 minutes in. Check out the thunderous bass ! Vocals 2 minutes in. Love Neal's voice. A change 5 minutes in as percussion comes in. Chunky bass after 6 minutes followed by a jazzy section. It settles down before 8 minutes with reserved vocals and piano. Mellotron 9 1/2 minutes in as guitar cries. It gets heavy 11 minutes in with some killer organ and incredible drumming. Mellow again 12 1/2 minutes with reserved vocals and piano leading the way. Kicks back in around 14 minutes with some deep bass lines and scorching guitar. Great opening track. "Revelation" is spacey to start with as a pleasant melody comes in with reserved vocals. A powerful sound after a minute.This contrast of light and heavy continues. Nice. I like the liquid keys during the mellow sections. Some ripping guitar after 4 minutes with mellotron that continues almost to the end of the song. "Thoughts (Part II)" is a sequel to "Thoughts" from "Beware Of Darkness". Strummed guitar and vocals before some heavy bass and a fuller sound comes in. Those GENTLE GIANT vocal arrangments follow. Themes are repeated. Killer bass before and after 3 minutes and later on. What a song ! Some cello in this one too.

"All On A Sunday" has been described by Neal as Prog- Pop. This is such an uplifting song. Like sunshine and a warm breeze. "Goodbye To Yesterday" is an older Neal Morse song that the band had been after him to record for sometime. This one is melancholic with fragile vocals and acoustic guitar. Mellotron comes in on the chorus. Drums before 2 minutes. Some french horn and piano make an appearance too as it comes to life 2 1/2 minutes in. I wished they had kept it restrained all the way through without these fuller sections.

"The Great Nothing" is the 27 minute closer. It's divided into six sections. It opens with what sounds like mellotron. Acoustic guitar after a minute and a full sound before 2 minutes as drums and bass lead the way. Mellotron and guitar joins in. I like the upbeat section that follows. A calm 3 1/2 minutes in as reserved vocals and piano take over. Nice. Meaningful lyrics. It picks up 7 1/2 minutes in. I like the guitar and bass. Nice organ play with drums follow. A calm 11 1/2 minutes in with piano and mellotron. Chunky bass 12 minutes in as it kicks back in. Catchy section before 15 minutes. A cool guitar / organ passage after 17 minutes. A calm 19 minutes in with a huge mellotron wave, acoustic guitar follows. Heavy again after 20 minutes with guitar and bass. An uplifting section 22 minutes in. The album ends in a spacey, mellow way.

In my opinion this is SPOCK'S BEARD's pinnacle.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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