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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover

V

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 584 ratings

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AmericanKhatru
5 stars Upon my first listen about 6 months ago, V has risen steadily (and somewhat rapidly) up my favorite albums list to be very close to the top. From the very beginning of the album, the band lets you know you're in for something special. The first forty seconds or so of the first track At the End of the Day sound more at home in a live show introducing the band (Firebird Suite for Yes comes to mind), building up to the rumbling of Nick D'Virgilio's drums straight into the distinct sound that Spock's Beard has really come to define itself with. Neal Morse is in excellent form, and the mixture of superb harmonies and solid writing leaves me with a great first impression. I'd get into more detail, but that would ruin the experience.

Then we have the middle tracks. Nothing extraordinary, but good. The only disappointment stands as All on a Sunday. It seemed like they tried a little too hard to get radio-worthy material while maintaining the sound. It doesn't work very well. Some cliched lyrics and missed vocal harmonies put on a damper on this portion of the album, despite the uplifting vibes from the music. Goodbye to Yesterday rectifies any bitter taste that may be left over from the last song. A very subdued and soft song stands in stark contrast to what has been a very powerful album. It works well, especially as a set-up to the next song.

The Great Nothing, the last, long 27+ minute piece of music is the single biggest reason to not miss this album. If you can only by the whole album, get it for this song. A magnificent piece of symphonic prog that rivals many of the other great pieces put forth in this genre. It grabs you from the very beginning, leads softly into a pretty piece of work by Alan Morse, before kicking it into high gear. A solid offering on piano and vocals by Neal Morse follows suit, and the list goes on and on. Perhaps the best thing about this song is that it doesn't trip over itself or get boring, it just keeps plowing ahead.

Overall, this album is a must-have for symphonic prog fans IMHO. I'd give it 4.5 stars, but since that's not an option I will round up. It's worth it. The high points greatly outnumber the few low points. Perhaps Spock's Beard's best offering yet, I would highly recommend this album to anyone on the fence.

AmericanKhatru | 5/5 |

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