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


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.01 | 683 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars I've been passively observing the band's career for the last couple of years. The last decade hasn't exactly been easy on Spock's Beard with the departure of Neal Morse and the three albums that followed (Feel Euphoria, Octane and Spock's Beard) weren't exactly high quality releases by any standard. I remember having really high hopes for the band's self-titled 2006 but was ultimately handed a flawed album experience. The band's 2010 release X was met with some praise in the prog community and even if I did enjoy many of its tracks, the overall feel of the complete Spock's Beard experience was not yet there.

2011 turned out to be another tough year for the band with the departure of their front man Nick D'Virgilio in November, 2011. The remaining trio quickly recruited Ted Leonard as the new lead vocalist and their touring drummer Jimmy Keegan as their two new official members. The new lineup got some help from their former bandmate Neal Morse with writing of their new album and thus Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep finally saw the light of day in April 2013.

I remember enjoying my first run through the album and thinking to myself that this is a much more progressively inclined release than what Spock's Beard have ever released. Even some of their previous highlights like The Light and V had a couple of commercially viable moments while Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep almost entirely invests itself into the progressive rock domain. Ted Leonard penned Submerged is the only composition that might work as a commercial single but even this track has a few nice instrumental/effect moments that make it quite enjoyable for me.

The album truly gets going with Afterthoughts, a track composed by the Morse brothers and Ted Leonard. Most prog fans will recognize the fact that this composition does give quite a few nods to Gentle Giant with classic tracks like Knots and especially On Reflection. Still it's not a blatant ripoff and *upon an afterthought* Afterthoughts does in fact manage to hold its own candle in the memorable songwriting department. The haunting keyboard intro to Something Very Strange reminds me a bit of the Terminator Theme and it really has a very loose connection to the rest of the composition. Luckily, the 7-minutes that follow the intro are a complete bliss and this is really where the new Spock's Beard began to truly win me over with this album!

The intro to Waiting For Me sounds a lot like the intro to Genesis classic Afterglow while the rest of the track is quite energetic and upbeat. I would recommend getting the special edition bonus disc since it features the 7-minute masterpiece Down A Burning Road; a majestic ballad that should not be missed by fans of grand and extravagant music making. Overall I'm quite impressed with the material that Spock's Beard managed to assemble for their eleventh studio album Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep. There are really no compromises here, only ambitious music making by one of the veterans of the new prog scene!

***** star songs: A Treasure Abandoned (8:53) Afterthoughts (6:08) Something Very Strange (8:23) Down A Burning Road (6:51)

**** star songs: Hiding Out (7:13) I Know Your Secret (7:40) Submerged (4:57) Waiting For Me (12:36) The Man You're Afraid You Are (7:11) Wish I Were Here (6:33) Something Very Strange (Sanctified Remix) (5:13)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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