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Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle CD (album) cover

THE OBLIVION PARTICLE

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 332 ratings

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AndyJ
3 stars Spock's Beard's 2015 release 'The Oblivion Particle' is overall a pretty entertaining listen; there are definitely a few excellent progressive rock songs on this hour plus record. My biggest issue with this release, however, is a lack of consistency from one song to the next. The album opener, 'Tides of Time' is classic Spock's Beard material and really does bode well for the rest of the record. This is a song which I'm confident any prog-head is absolutely going to fall in love with - it really does have all of the ingredients for an awesome prog song, including that rocking guitar bit at the end!

Unfortunately, however, the next couple of tracks just don't really do much for me - they are a bit too obvious in their compositional style and they don't really challenge or engage with me like the opening track does. Things change up a bit with the fourth song, 'Bennett Built A Time Machine', as drummer Jimmy Keegan steps up for the vocals. I find this song, whilst pretty simple in its style, hugely entertaining and very catchy! More than once I've found myself humming the melody to myself from this song.

The compositions definitely do pick up towards the later part of the album - the instrumental passages become longer and more interesting. The last four songs of the record are simply brilliant, in particular the seventh track 'The Center Line' with that classical piano intro. Sometimes I do find myself wishing that SB would drop back on the vocals and allow longer instrumental passages to develop during a song, but its a minor criticism and one I have with a lot of progressive rock bands!

It's fair to say that the music of Spock's Beard wouldn't exist without the prog-rock of the 70's nor the neo-prog of the 80's, and in that respect there isn't much 'original' in this album - but who cares! Thank God for Spock's Beard, one of the few bands that are still championing prog-rock well into the 21st century. Long may it continue.

As for rating this one that's a difficult question. It is somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. The stand-out tracks are all 5-star compositions, but unfortunately for me there are a few throw-away songs on this record which does detract from the overall rating. 3 stars is probably fair, though in reality its more like 3.5 stars!

AndyJ | 3/5 |

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