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Spock's Beard - Snow CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 722 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Snow, Spock's Beards last release with main man Neal Morse, is their quintessential album. Fair enough it may not be as raw as as 'The Light', or have epic suites like 'V', but brings together all their influences, as well as their trademark sound to create a very fine double concept album, in the same vein as 'Tommy' or 'The Lamb'.

Disc one, the stronger of the two discs, starts with 'made alive', a short but pleasant acoustic piece that leads into the first overture, an explosive instrumental that explores themes to come. The first disc of this double album is filled up with shorter pieces which flow seamlessly from one to another. Melody is a main focus here, limiting the drawn out instrumentals Spock's Beard usually incorporate into their songs. All of disc one is excellent, making it hard to pick out highlights. Personally for me, 'long time suffering', 'devil's got my throat', 'open wide the floodgates' and 'wind at my back' are some of Spock's Beards single best pieces.

Disc 2 starts with another overture, weaker than the first, before flowing into '4th of July' and 'I'm the guy'. For me, this section of songs is the weakest part of the album, melodically and musically waning. However, the poignant 'reflection' in 6/8 time, the soft 'Carie' and the ''Toto esque'' 'Looking for answers' (sung by Nick D'virgillio) pick things up. 'All is Vanity' and 'I'm Dying' have a heavier sound, with technical execution showing the bands capabilities. The album closes with 'made alive again/ wind at my back', a reprise of what has been heard before, ending the album in triumphant fashion; with Neal Morse proclaiming to the listener 'you're beautiful', a touching farewell as Neal Morse's last statement before leaving the band.

The one thing that spoils Spock's Beard for me is the guitar playing, Alan Morse on this album explores with some quite frankly disgusting guitar sounds along with his mediocre playing. This is a minor issue but an annoyance nonetheless.

Overall, even with it's faults I cannot bring myself to award this album any less than 5 starts. It's a flawed masterpiece (much like the lamb), but a masterpiece of progressive rock nevertheless. Neal Morse's song writing is in top form and is the quintessential Spock's Beard album, if not the most progressive.

tomprog | 5/5 |


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