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Spock's Beard - Snow CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 648 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars t has been a long time since I first heard 'The Light', and I think that it is safe to say that since then I have been a fan. They are the most exciting and dramatic progressive rock band around, driving the genre forward and in this album they have come of age. This is THE album of the year; I cannot imagine anything else coming close. 'Snow' is the band's first concept album, and with 115 minutes of music they have allowed themselves to stretch in the way that they have been threatening in the past ? no stranger to epics, this is a whole new ball game. The double CD tells the story of a young man who is blessed, and cursed, with the gift of healing and tells the story of the problems that he faces and how he overcomes them. As Neal says "When it rocks, then it rocks more than before. When it's soft, then it's softer than before. And when we decide to play complex parts, then it's more over-the-top that it ever was". Some of the songs have extremely catchy hooks ("Devil's Got My Throat" being a case in point), while others are just breathtaking in their complexity, or just simple and commercial.

I can't wait to see this played live as the guys are blasting away one second, then it is accapella vocals, or it comes from incredible note density to just simple work on an acoustic guitar. I listened to it in it's entirety in the company of a VDGG fan who had never heard Spock's Beard previously and he was stunned. In this album the band are bringing together all of their rock and prog influences and moulding them into something truly new and exciting. There is nothing here to fault. The songs and musicianship are of the highest order, and the production top class. In fact, the only issue with the album that I have is that when I put it on just to play a few tracks I feel cheated if I am unable to listen to the whole thing again. The double CD is being released in the UK on August 26th (distributed by Koch) but there is also a limited edition available that contains the 2 CD digibook version with a 28 page booklet. It comes in a special box plus an extra bonus disc with a cover song, live acoustic versions, and some outtakes and dialogue. They have an excellent web site that also contains details on solo projects (just in case any of you haven't got the hint yet and are yet to buy Neal's awesome solo album) If you only buy one progressive rock album this year, it is this one.

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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