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Spock's Beard - Octane CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 380 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Edited 10/5/2005!

I have to say I liked even "Feel Euphoria" more than this one, although it was already without Neal Morse. Actually it would really be not a bad album, if the band's name would not be Spock's Beard. One could already hear a drop in quality on the last album, but still not that a uncompromising leap into more mainstream hard rock type of music as on this one here and in fact if you wouldn't know that it's Spock's Beard it could be any other unknown mediocre band playing. It doesn't contain almost anything what would be worth comparing with any album before Neal Morse's demise. I have to say neither do I like the harder numbers very much nor the soft ballad type ones. Somehow the complexity of their older stuff is missing and what they delivering here does not deserve the name Prog Rock anymore, maybe Art Rock in the best case or even Art Pop.

Actually the album doesn't open that badly, first track has still quite a strong symphonically textured outline. It's certainly one of the best ones on the whole album. But unfortunately after this one a couple of very weak ones are following ranging from quite straight ahead hard rock type ones like track 3 and 5 or some nice, but meaningless more ballad-esque or atmospheric ones like track 2,4 and 6. Track 7 is the first one showing a bit more what they could do, although starting quite similar to mainstream rock it has some pleasant power in it and reveals as well some symphonic character in its course. After that one there is a track sounding quite like metal in fact, but nevertheless rather good and showing some very good guitar work and percussion. But with track 9 they're returning again to a very much mainstream sounding style as well in the rest of the songs. For me it's very obvious that without Neal Morse they're really missing a good composer and songwriter and for sure if they're going on to produce such records they are not an interesting band anymore for me and even high-class musicians like Ryo Okumoto can't change this. The band lost its mastermind and its soul and I will concentrate on Morse's solo efforts in future which are great as he proved with his new album. Not more than 2 stars for this one!

hdfisch | 2/5 |


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