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


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 515 ratings

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2 stars I hoped that after a year of their debut, SPOCK'S BEARD would had found their style, being that clearly the musicians are very talented, so sometime ago decided to give their sophomore album "Beware of Darkness" a try, sadly I was mistaken, even when it's slightly better than "The Light" (At least they seem alive), the final result is completely unsatisfying.

"Beware of Darkness" begins with the self title song, a cover version of a George Harrison track, and started incredibly promising with an excellent opening, but then I remembered that I was listening a Harrison track played supposedly in SPOCK'S BEARD style, but the arrangements were so derivative that the song sounds like a hybrid between "Your's is No Disgrace" and "Starship Troopers", but with vocals that are more annoying than Jon Anderson's (That's a record). At the end we are not before an original track, or a cover version of the former BEATLE, but before a terrible mixture of styles and influences.

When listening "Thoughts", the only phrase that cane to my mind was "Forgive them father, they don't know what they are doing". I don't like GENTLE GOIANT, but at least they were original, experimental and had the courage to make something extremely complex that was accepted by the vast majority of the Prog community, but SPOCK'S BEARD are making a caricature of GG's extremely complex arrangements. Somebody should tell them to try to find an own sound. I'm sorry for Ryo Okumoto, who was involved in his project deserving something better.

But not everything is negative, "The Doorway" is the best SPOCK'S BEARD I ever heard, after a quite pleasantīpiano intro by Neal Morse, the band makes a display of quality and good taste, the song is explosive and original with imaginative arrangements, this is what I was asking (Well except for the annoying GENTLE GIANT like vocal moments).

The next song should had been called "Mood for Chatauqua", because the Steve Howe reminiscences are more than casual, well played but the word originality seems missing in Morse's dictionary at this point.

Some bands have the capacity of creating dissonant, contradictory passages without making a mess, SPOCK'S BEARD is not one of them, and "Walking in the Wind" is the evidence, they simply take ideas from everywhere and throw them all together obtaining a mediocre final product, something that really worries me, because Okumoto, D'Virgilio and Meros, are excellent musicians while the Morse brothers are not bad either, except in the vocals.

"Waste Away" is a powerful track in which the band dares to do something different and create a sort of Heavy Prog and Metal song. Not bad neither good, but at least they are original and not boringl.On the other hand "Time has Come" must be one of the most boring songs I ever heard, adding some guitar riffs and a couple of changes, doesn't make it better, and the Blues section with dogs barking invites to sleep.

My Special Remastered version has a couple more tracks (Home Demos of the title song and "The Doorway"), but no need to mention them, just more of the same.

My impression is that "Beware of Darkness" is somehow better than "The Light", but I have rated much better albums with 3 stars, so I will have to go with 2 stars, that should be 2.5 for a slightly bellow the average album.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |


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