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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover

V

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 814 ratings

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big_room
5 stars Spock's Beard is as good as progressive rock gets these days, and "V" is no exception. It's another awesome prog album, as expected, flashing the tunefulness of Genesis, the dynamic flair of Yes and ELP, the ferocity of King Crimson, the sophistication of Alan Parsons project, and the creative instrumental proficiency to pull it all off.

The epics on this album, the 17-minute "At The End Of The Day" and the 27-minute "The Great Nothing," are as good as the best in the genre: melodic, diversely textured, and challengingly intelligent without being needlessly cerebral. From sparse folk to imposing orchestration and imaginative sonic imagery, these tracks have it all, and Spock's Beard plays them to jaw-dropping perfection. Not since Yes has a band been so dazzlingly proficient at this art.

If there's a disappointing aspect of the record, it's that the more compact songs don't quite live up to the breathtaking excellence of their last album, "Day For Night." None of the cuts are bad, though, far from it: "Thoughts (Part II)" is a wonderful, jagged, pomped-up prog single; the artsy "Revelation" pushes the boundaries from trancelike to bludgeoningly heavy while remaining tuneful enough for college radio; "Goodbye To Yesterday" is a beautiful, sparse, melancholy song that would probably make a lesser band's career. Still, "V" isn't quite is engagingly accessible to rock fans as its predecessor, and it isn't quite as good an introduction for newcomers to the band.

Indeed, fans may be spoiled by how easily these kings of prog seem to achieve their dazzling instrumental proficiency and songwriting brilliance. If you are one of those fans, repeat to yourself: I will not take this band for granted, I will not take this band for granted. "V" isn't their best album, but it's another spectacular one from a band that seems capable of nothing less, and prog fans should cheer it as the triumph that it is.

| 5/5 |

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