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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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3 stars Inconsistencies abound on Spock's Beard's sophmore effort. I have to say that I struggled with how to rate this album since it contains some of the band's best work and some of its worst. Right off the bat, its obvious that the Beard did not intend to simply put out a copy of the 'The Light.' The song form on this album is (for the most part) shorter and the band shows its ability to craft more pop-oriented work right along side with modern prog. I feel like the band may have been trying a little too hard to be experimental on a few songs, especially the album's title track. Screeching sound effects pop up at bad times and I feel that Alan Morse is trying a little to hard to sound like Robert Fripp in a few places. Personally, I prefer George Harrison's original, serene version of this song. "Thoughts," despite starting out pretty weird, takes shape into a solid song, but it is far from one of the band's best. Despite my luke-warm feeling about the song, I do have to admit that it is one of the best demonstrations of the band's incredible vocal harmony. My attitude changes completely, though, when it comes to "The Doorway." Although it is bit derivative of Genesis' "Firth Of Fifth," "The Doorway" is an rousing number that changes from balls-to- the-wall rock, to acoustic ballad, to regae, and back again, much in the same vein as "The Light" from the band's debut album. "The Doorway" remains my favorite Beard song to this day. "Chatauqua" is a nice little acoustic number by Alan Morse, but it also represents one of the only "filler" tracks that Spock's Beard has put on any of their albums. "Walking On The Wind" and "Waste Away" are two more strong songs; the first being a soaring prog piece, while the other is a solid, straight-forward rocker. "Waste Away" predicts the direction that Neal Morse's lyrics would be taking on 'The Kindness Of Strangers' in that it involves a hefty dose of morality. The album's closing epic, "Time Has Come" falls far short of greatness. I simply find the song unpleasingly harsh, not unlike the title track. I think this album is definitely worth owning for "The Doorway" alone, but I don't recommend it if you aren't familiar with the Beard's other work. I rank this album sixth amongst the band's seven albums.
rangerm13 | 3/5 |


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