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Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 529 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
4 stars On par with The Light, this is the second and another fantastic album from a fantastic band. In this album, Ryo is in on the scene, and boy don't he make a difference! Because of him they now have a denser sound with much more organ work behind them, and I love it. Alongside Ryo's arrival, it is probably one of the only albums that is purely progressive, the other being their debut. I can't actually think of a weakness, they pay tributes to 70s stars like Genesis, Gentle Giant and Yes, and it is clearly noticeable. The highlights are Thoughts, Time Has Come and Walking On The Wind, which are stunning. Here is a track by track:

1. Beware of Darkness - An excellent cover, they modernised the original version, and similarly to Squonk at Nearfest, they did a bloody good job of it - 8/10


2. Thoughts - Now we're talking! This is a superb song with a clear tribute to Gentle Giant, however they have weaved their own style nicely into it. They haven't really pulled out a shorter song much like this one, and is a worthy prog rocker. The changes flow very nicely into each other and I think it is perfect. They have captured the strangeness of VDGG in it also, which is nice. Quite a dark song, and one of their best - 9.5/10


3. The Doorway - A superb take on Firth of Fifth. Ryo is on fire with this, with a piano intro to die for. His composition is very classically orientated, and the left hand is to be noted: it is the only thing dividing this particular intro to that of Firth. Whereas Firth is more of a Brahms-esque style, this has counter-melodies similar to that of Bach's Two Part Inventions, anyone familiar to classical keyboard music should recognise the similarity. The arrangement is also very nice, again along the lines of Firth, and it also should be noted that it has one of the best rock outros ever, on par with Starship Trooper by Yes. A very enjoyable and melodic listen - 9/10


4. Chatauqua - Some have said this is Mood For A Day number 2, and I agree. Not much can be said for this, apart from that it is splendid, however perhaps a little TOO much like Mood For A Day. 7/10


5. Walking On the Wind - Sublime! I love this track, and Ryo really shines in this one. The vocals are lush from Morse and the three-part harmonies are excellent. I particularly like the quieter section, as it builds up perfectly into the second part of the song. They even add a cheeky little 7/8 section that is so breif it is barely noticeable. Best song on the album - 10/10


6. Waste Away - Weakest track on the album, it is still their strongest acoustic number. This is the first time that Morse's poppy influence has shone through, and I normally skip this track. Nevertheless, it is still prog, I cannot take that away from it. May not appeal to all Spock fans out there. 6/10


7. Time Has Come - My God this is a masterpiece. Spock have been known to dish out some fine epics, but this is in the top 5 at least. It starts out with gentle keyboards and then breaks into an avante-garde guitar/keyboard melody. It then returns to the symphonic genre and it all gets better from there. This is THE highlight of the album, and goes through many interesting changes, following suite of the rest of the album. Ryo, once again, proves to be a worthy keys player in this song. Brilliant. 10/10


Overall, a superb album. As mentioned above, this is pure prog, although the acoustic number doesn't do the title any favours. I'm giving it a 4star rating, as it isn't quite as good as The Light, but excellent nonetheless. An excellent addition to any prog music collection.

The Pessimist | 4/5 |


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