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Spock's Beard - Snow CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 692 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Neal Morse concocted Spock's Beard's masterpiece just before he left. As I have said before, it seems like when Transatlantic formed, Neal became a masterpiece machine. Nearly everything he has released since SMPTe has approached perfection. While you can see several parallels between Snow and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway outside of the music, the content of this release bears few, if any, direct comparisons to Genesis' classic. While many obstinate 70s prog fans will be quick to find fault with this album, you must take those comments with a grain of salt. Their insular views will ruin your opportunity to enjoy such wonderful music if you don't! If you are one of those folks who reject Spock's Beard for sometimes wearing their influences on their sleeves, you probably shouldn't bother with this album either, despite that the writing is the most matured writing I've heard from the band, and there are few spots where the influence is that obvious (it's never too obvious to be enjoyed either).

This album sticks to shorter songs, but they are packed with quality material, all intertwined with well- placed recurring themes. The first disc starts with one of those themes and then moves into a classic Spock's Beard overture, moves into some melodic rock tracks Stranger in a Strange Land, and Long Time Suffering. The rest of the disc moves you between some heavier pieces and a couple of lighter tracks (only one ballad, and it is concise and beautiful) until you get to what I would say is the most powerful Spock's Beard song ever: Solitary Soul. That lead riff is simple, but it's killer! After a happy love song, we move to the second disc. It opens with another great overture, and, as the first disc, moves through a very balanced set of songs and ends on a closing track that combines the opener and closer of disc one. Disc one can surely stand on it's own, but disc two mostly functions as a compliment to disc one. It's really only slightly weaker, but most of the album's highlights are on disc one. As a whole, this is all great music, and Snow makes for a great swan song for Neal. Soon after, Spock's Beard would sink to mediocrity and Neal would make some of the best music of his career.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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