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


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 529 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I first need to say that this album is dedicated to Kevin Gilbert who passed away tragically(29 years old) the same year as this record was released. He actually mixed three of the tracks on this record. He was a friend and fan of SPOCK'S BEARD and mastered their debut "The Light". In the liner notes they thank among others "... especially Kevin, whose brilliance and extreme talent will never be forgotten." As for this album it rates a 4.5 stars from me. I like it a bit better than "The Light".

Things start off with the title track "Beware Of Darkness" a George Harrison cover that they really make their own. A spacey intro is quickly replaced by an awesome drum / bass led melody. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes as the mellotron floods the soundscape. Amazing. Love the contrasts in this song. Killer organ 3 minutes in and later before 4 minutes. The bass is huge throughout this song recalling Chris Squire. "Thoughts" is a tribute to GENTLE GIANT. Outbursts of sound come and go quickly. We get a melody a minute in. It's the vocal arrangements that are so impressive though.These guys can sure play ! Again the bass is prominant. "The Doorway" is my favourite. Piano intro as other instruments join in after a minute. Vocals follow. How good is this. Incredible, uplifting sound. Reserved vocals and strummed guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. Go Ryo ! As he puts on a display. Fat bass a minute later, then some beautiful acoustic guitar melodies. The mellotron after 7 minutes is so majestic. Emotional section 8 1/2 minutes in as Neal starts singing again. An explosion after 9 1/2 minutes and the melody that follows is heavenly. It builds, and check out the guitar and organ ! This song blows my mind.

"Chatauqua" gives us a chance to calm down as it features acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Walking On The Wind" opens with a very cool bass/organ melody as guitar plays over top. The tempo shifts a lot. Vocals and deep bass 2 minutes in. The bass,organ guitar melody is back 4 minutes in. Love the bass in this one. "Waste Away" opens with acoustic guitar as reserved vocals join in.Heavenly sound. It kicks into a higher gear 1 1/2 minutes in. I really like the line "Some people been holdin' back their love so long I think they're 'bout to burst." "Time Has Come" is the 16 1/2 minute closer. It's really an instrumental workout for 2 minutes then it changes to acoustic guitar and almost spoken vocals. Organ comes in. Great sound 3 1/2 minutes in. Some great organ,bass and mellotron in this one. The synths 9 1/2 minutes in briefly remind me of RUSH. It changes to a brighter sound 11 1/2 minutes in. This song is such a ride. Great sound 14 minutes in.

I can really appreciate how thrilled fans of progressive rock must have been with SPOCK'S BEARD's first two albums in the mid nineties. I can feel the buzz all these years later.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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