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Spock's Beard - V CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 815 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars V is Spock's Beard's fifth release (duh), and it's also one of their finest. Lyrically, Neal Morse isn't at the peak he would reach on Snow, but he comes close. As a vocalist he is talented but not a standout. He, along the other members of SB, are talented players but do not let showboating interfere with the music. Thus, no musician stands out; rather they blend as a cohesive whole, relying on one another to move the songs forward.

The albums highlights are, of course, the opening and closing epics At the End of the Day and The Great Nothing. At the End of The Day features some of Neal's best vocals. It's pretty rocking for an epic, with bass lines that wouldn't sound out of place on a Mahavishnu Orchestra album, superb drumming, and Alan's unique take on Steve Howe. The Great Nothing also give Neal vocals a rare spotlight; his lyrics are also top form, dealing with the (d)evolution of music from creativity and experimentation into commercial success. The problem with the Great Nothing is that it meanders towards the end and the band could have forged a masterpiece if it had been only a few minutes shorter.

The epics bookend 4 shorter songs. Revelation is fairly heavy and it's a good segue from At the End of the Day. Thoughts Pt 2 gives Meros his time to shine with a bass solo. The song is also complex and approaching metal.

All On A Sunday is a bit too quick a transtion from the heavy rock of the first half. It's poppy and it wears on you. This is the filler track. Goodbye to Yesterday continues the mid tempo soft emotion of the previous track, though it's an improvement over AOaS. These two songs are woefully out of place on this album, but they are still good.

This was the first Spock's Beard album I heard, and I took them to be prog metal. This is SB's heaviest album at least of the Neal era (I haven't listened to post Neal yet). It's very strong, but the too long outro of the Great Nothing and the mediocre pop of All on a Sunday keep it from being a masterpiece.

Grade: B

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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