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Spock's Beard - Octane CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 367 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars So this is my first encounter with the "post-Neal Morse-Spock's Beard" for I skipped "Feel Euphoria" as a result of all the negative reviews and the general scepticism. The album seemed to be scatterbrained and somehow destitute, referring to the reviews I read. Now the time of probation is over, or at least; should be. So I was curious what their second album "Octane" would sound like.

Well, you can't say that the band is acting scatterbrained or even destitute any longer, but the album doesn't convince me all the same. The main reason for this appraisement is the low prog proportion and schmaltzy pop songs like "Watching the Tide". After Neal Morse left Spock's Beard I hoped that songs like "All on a Sunday" (For me the embodiment of a schlamtzy Neal Morse song) would wither. "Testimony" confirmed my suspicion that Neal Morse alone is the guilty party for cheesy pop songs on Spock's Beard albums...but unfortunately "Octane" eventually showed that this kind of perception is non-certifiable.

Also "Octane" predominantly contains a lot of pop material but admittedly also some good and interesting parts. The beginning for example is one of these parts and it raised my expectations, unfortunately just to let them down after the second song called "I Wouldn't Let It Go". Together with "Watching The Tide" this song can be regarded as a prime example of Spock's Beard songs I don't like; because they're nothing special, cheesy and therefore quite boring. Most of the other songs are really good pop songs, but from a prog relevant point of view there are definitely too little songs like "NWC" or the first one "The Ballet Of The Impact" among them.

To reach a conclusion: The album can be quite enjoyable in the beginning but due to the pop character it declines everytime you listen to it. It showed that Nick D'Virgilio isn't only a sophisticated drummer but also a very good singer. Spock's Beard found their style and they know what they're doing and what they want to do...regrettably it's nothing I am sold on.

diddy | 2/5 |


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