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Spock's Beard - Day for Night CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 442 ratings

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3 stars By the end of the millenium Spock's Beard had become one of the hottest names in the reemerging Progressive Rock scene.The band's popularity had increased that much to lead the group to a double set of live albums, released in 1998, ''The beard is out there'' and ''Live at The Whisky and NEARFest''.But at the same time the recording sessions never stopped and in the spring of 1999 the band returns with a fourth studio album, ''Day for night'', released in the USA, Europe and Japan by the Metal Blade, Inside Out and Avalon labels respectively.

While the fundamentals of old Progressive Rock were still the band's driving force, Neal Morse decided that the band should take a turn towards more dense and short tunes, which remain fairly intricate, bombastic and complex, but also contain a heavier dash of Pop.GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT and KING CRIMSON are again among the biggest influences and there is some incredible Hammond organ, Mellotron and electric piano moves to be found in the album.On the other hand there is not a single piece exceeding the 10-min. mark and actually most of them are about 3-5 minutes long, half of this set is closer to a mixture of Progressive/Art Rock and Pop with joyful tunes, sharp electric guitars, analog and modern keyboards and more conventional songwriting, there is still some nice music playing in the background, but that's not exactly what Spock's Beard fans expected from the talented Americans.Even so, you can't do wrong with a Spock's Beard album.The epic atmospheres, emphatic breaks and rhythm changes are still in the menu along with a retro atmosphere and an intelligent display of modern instrumentation and production.It's just that the vocals now sound too sweet and poppy placed in such kind of arrangements.Cuts like the title-track, ''Crack the big sky'' or The gypsy'' though belong among the goodies of the band, these guys offered here a monumental delivery of full-blown Prog with some BEATLES-que tunes.

Spock's Beard say goodbye to the 90's with their weakest album.Intricate Prog/borderline Pop album with tight and dynamic arrangements, deviating a bit from the ultra-high standards the band had set so far.Still recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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