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Spock's Beard - Octane CD (album) cover

OCTANE

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 282 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

oceanmachine
4 stars First Review!

Ah, Octane. Another album where I realized that listening to other people's opinions and the popular consensus is an absolutely stupid idea. I've experienced this with a lot of modern progressive albums in particular, The Perfect Element, The Human Equation, Octane, City, and millions of others until a friend of some sort nudged me in the albums direction and I gave it an honest lesson. I suppose I learned my lesson regarding the popular consensus regarding music, especially when you view the mainstream as a mirror.

I didn't. On to the review. Octane is a bit of a special album for me. Its an album I instantly grew in love with. It didn't have to work hard to gain listens and its essentially simple, but fantastic. Nick D'virgillo does his part very well, and I can't say I expected to hear a song like Surfing down the Avalanche by these guys at all. The first 7 tracks have a great flow to them, with the theme of a man reminiscing about his life after a car crash. Realizing whats important to him, what he lost, and most important of all, he wouldn't change a thing.

Track by Track Play The Ballet of the Impact - It starts by blowing your mind with a great eerie sound, accompanied by a rush of energy through the guitars and the drums until the piano melts the song into the meat, with great vocals by Nick, and excellent lyrics to boot. I've got nothing to complain about here. I wouldn't let go - A simple song, extremely poppy but extremely effective. An acoustic guitar tells the story of a stupid kid, as we all were. The song builds itself up, growing more passionate as it goes on. It reeks of nostalgia and even has me floating through my memories. The near end of the song is probably one of my favorite parts of a Spock's Beard song period. Definitely on top for me. Guess I'm a pop boy after all. Surfing Down the Avalanche - A great, harsh rock and roll song that tends to make my hair a mess and give a bolt of energy. Nick's vocals are probably at their best here, as I doubt Morse could ever deliver something like this. A good song, but not entirely great. She is Everything - Synths and sound bytes start the song, flowing itself into an emotive song about his wife, the most important thing, the thing he fears losing the most. A great guitar solo comes in towards the end that puts the icing on the cake. Climbing up that hill - An upbeat song about getting bored with life and finding new passions, as I interpret it. The chorus is extremely catchy, and you can groove with it. A pretty effective song, but not entirely great. It kind of breaks the mood flowing from she is everything, but it works out. Letting Go is a short song, meshing everything together and letting us float to the epics conclusion. It has slightly dreamlike and nostalgic, almost tragic sound. The Beauty of it All lets everything go and concludes the theme carried throughout the tracks. Life is beautiful because it is spontaneous, and fleeting. An endlessly repeated yet highly relevant theme, with some reoccuring sounds from the first track coming back to haunt us here. A reprise with a more intense force and a conclusion that was well worth the journey and the wait. NWC is an instantly forgettable instrumental. I can't say much more about it, its got some great things about it and would probably knock me off my feet live, but as far as instrumentals go. It seems very out of place on the album, and on my first listens, I would eventually wind up hopping to another album about here. Of course, I let it grow on me, but first time listeners might not be willing to give the latter half of this album a second chance. There was a time is another song that strikes a chord with me, much like I wouldn't let go. Its simple, but extremely effective. Its an upbeat song looking back on one mans life, on what he loved and lost. Theres nothing remarkable to say about it, but I still love it to pieces. The Planets Hum is another forgettable song. Perhaps because it takes so long for it to get started, but when it does, we get a pretty solid song. Good vocal harmonies and melodies. Watching the Tide - The piano starts the track, with the vocals coming in softly and slowly. Its haunting and somewhat depressing, and explodes towards the end. A very emotional delivery, and a fantastic way to the end the album on a good note.

As long as we ride makes me wish they actually did. I often forget this track exists and end the album with the forementioned song, so I can't say much about this one.

In closing, I'd say this album isn't exactly perfect. Its not a Spock's Beard album, nor is it all that much of a progressive album. But it is effective, emotional, and played very well. Its not the great album of all time or even the greatest spock's beard album, but it is a CD I will probably listen to until the end of my life. I don't imagine this album would've been anything near what it was without Nick's voice doing the singing. It lifts my spirits and reacts with my emotions and my memories. I can't ask for much more from the music I listen to.

oceanmachine | 4/5 |

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