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Spock's Beard - Octane CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 374 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars 2.0 Stars.

The cover makes me think that Spock's Beard has ran out of gas.

After a very promising album that followed Neal Morse's departure, I thought that their next album was going to be better. Unfortunately, like Genesis after Peter Gabriel left, the quality decreased after each album. The music is still the same style: a mixture of pop, hard rock, alt rock, and prog. However, the prog factor decreased.

The first 7 songs are like an epic musically and lyrically the first songs are related and are about a guy having a flash of memories when about to die in a car crash.

The Ballet has to be a classic song for the band and is the strongest song of Octane. It has the punch, the emotion, and the virtuosity of Feel Euphoria. The piano and mellotron dominate the track. I Wouldn't Let it Go is a pretty pop song, nothing more. Surfing The Avalanche is a hard rocker with a groovy bass line yet awkward harsh vocals in the style of "Tool" that don't really work here. She is Everything is an overlong ballad without any redeeming qualities besides the great mellow guitar solo. Climbing That Hill is a forgettable uptempo rocker. Letting Go is a showcase of the mellotron and is done quite well. Of The Beauty of it All is the other highlight of the album. A beautiful prog ballad with outstanding keyboard playing and some sudden heavy sections that just rock your socks off! NWC is a heavy instrumental, as heavy as metal. As a result, it is an interesting song coming from the Beard. There was a Time is a forgettable acoustic AOR ballad. The Planet's Hum has an interesting song structure with lots of changes though most of the sections are uninteresting musically speaking. Watching the Tide is another AOR sounding song that doesn't make me feel anything besides being horrified that it sounds like Coldplay. As Long As We Ride is a decent closer with some good riffs, the "something funny" vocal hook, and good background keyboards.

So, I conclude saying that this album is pretty ok, but disappointing for a prog band. This is really not a prog album, it is more like a mixture of classic rock with AOR, some Spock's Beard and some alt.rock. I do not recommend this album to anyone.

Highlights: The Ballet of the Impact, Of The Beauty of it All, NWC

Let Downs: Climbing That Hill, There Was a Time, Watching the Tide.

My Grade : D

Zitro | 2/5 |


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