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Spock's Beard - The Kindness Of Strangers CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 480 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As in my case, and obviously the case of approximately 1.6 Billion Moslems all around the world, this is the time to start the fasting month in Ramadhan month .. the month which is very very "special" for Moslems to take themselves closer to the Creator, Allah - the Almighty , The Merciful - and all of us are very excited about having the month. I am so happy to day because in Indonesia the day one of the fasting is starting tomorrow! Hop that Allah still gives me life throughout this special month so that I will have a chance to bring myself closer to Allah. I took "The Kindness of Strangers" from my CD shelf because I just realized that I have not reviewed this album yet - despite I like it or not. I remember vividly when I purchased the CD I was interested with the lyrics of the song especially the first track.

Yes, the album kicks off nicely with "The Good Don't Last" (10:02) which comprises three parts : a) Introduction, b) The Good Don't last, and c) The Radian Is. Musically I can sense that the band has tried their full effort to make dynamic and progressive composition and especially during the intro part, it catches my attention. But when the vocal line enters, there is something missing - it sounds that the grove do not sound unite with the overall music. But the lyrics intrigue me really . The Good Don't Last .. which in my religion means that actually the term "last" only apply to living in planet Earth but actually those who do good deeds will continue their life eternally in much better life after death. That's why people are urged to do good things to save their lives after death. So, I interpret these lyrics on "don't last" only apply to Planet Earth living, not afterwards. Why? Because God will reward good thing they have done on earth.

The next track is another good composition in energetic style "In the Mouth Of Madness" followed by "Cakewalk On Easy Street" (5:01) in the same vein with great piano work. In every track, I can see the tight basslines played by Dave Meros. "June" (5:26) is a ballad with acoustic guitar. When we had a classic rock station radio in Jakarta, we sometime played this tune on air because it's radio-friendly, I would say. "Strange World" (4:18) starts with a high drive music with sort of mellotron sounds backed with great drumming and powerful bass guitar. The guitar solo at the ending part of the song is quite interesting.

"Harm's Way" (11:03) is probably a song that represents the sounds of the Beard especially the opening part with its soaring organ work and short piano shot which sounds really great. It reminds me to Rick Wakeman piano playing. The song has a great interlude part in the middle of the track in bluesy touch featuring stunning guitar solo followed with organ solo and vocal line. I do enjoy the interlude part. The concluding track is another epic "Flow" (15:48) which comprises three parts : a) True Believer, b) A Constant Flow Of Sound, c) Into The source. The mellotron-drenched opening makes most of you who knew prog since 70s would like it much this opening part. The dynamic structure of the music makes it elegant in composition especially just before the vocal line enters, there is short piano work which sounds great.

Overall, I consider the composition of music in this album is good. There seem still influences from previous bands but the band has tried to create their own sound which basically centers around Neal Morse's vocal and keyboard. But the good parts are that the guitar solo and bass guitar work are all good, backed with Nick's dynamic drumming. Keep on proggin' ..!

Happy Ramadhan! for all Moslems around the globe!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Gatot | 3/5 |


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