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Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep CD (album) cover

BRIEF NOCTURNES AND DREAMLESS SLEEP

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.01 | 689 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well, after I heard the new SB album (2018īs brilliant Noise Floor) I had to go back and listen to the previous ones that had Ted Leonard as their vocalist. Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep (2013) was the first one and, man, do I understand the glowing reviews and high ratings! Although this debut album of the "new" Spockīs Beard is not as powerful and developed as Noise Floor, it is clear that the new line up is by far their best ever and the chemistry worked from the get go. The songwriting is much stronger, there is more direction and the level of energy reaches a point where the band was never able to deliver before. In fact, they became a whole new band.

Obviously the formula was not entirely ready, but, boy, do they show improvement! Now the melodies are really great, the arrangements do enhance the already fine songs and the performances are terrific! Sometimes their influences are too clear (like the obvious nods to classic Kansas, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd and, more directly, to Gentle Giant on Afterthought), and yet they sound very fresh and exciting. Itīs hard to believe that those are the same musicians that are delivering such powerful solos and riffs: Alan Morse, Ryo Okumoto and Dave Meros (the hardcore trio that are together since 1996īs Beware Of Darkness) never sounded so direct. They are simply on fire here. Ok, some people will complain they are more "commercial", or "less prog" or something like it. Well, in a word: nonsense! The music here may have more hooks and melodies, but it is pure progressive music (can someone please figure stuff like these playing on the radio nowadays?).

I am really surprised I had never heard of this fantastic CD before. Granted, I was never a fan of Spockīs Beard. Tom e they were obvious great musicians without a personal sound and lacking a strong songwriting team. Now they have both and maybe even a little more. The official record is just impeccable for a new line. My CD came with a bonus disc that has 4 extra tracks. Of course they are not as strong as the main one, and the choice of The Man Youīre Afraid You Are for the opener was a poor one. However, Down The Burning Road is a terrific tune that reminds of the great Kansas of the 70īs (maybe because Ted Leonards timbre is so close to Steve Walsh, plus the vocal harmonies and the violin guest on this track), but with their own twist on it. The same goes for Something Very Strange, a fine showcase of their newfound "formula", with a melody line and arrangement most prog bands would kill for.

All in all Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep surpassed my greatest expectations. A very fine album by a band that finally found their voice and soul. A very nice surprise that I just canīt get enough of it. Rating: something between 4 and 4,5 stars. Maybe not a classic yet, but more than a "mere" excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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