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Spock's Beard - The Light CD (album) cover

THE LIGHT

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 644 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. First of all a big thankyou to King By-Tor for pestering me into reviewing a SPOCKS BEARD album. He's not the only one on this site(you know who you are !) who is good at that. I thank him though because like with THE FLOWER KINGS I have put off too long reviewing this band who in the mid nineties really caused a buzz among prog fans all over the world."The Light" was the album that gave hope along with ANEKDOTEN, ANGLAGARD and others,that prog was on the way back. SPOCKS BEARD signed to Greg Walker's label "Syn-Phonic", and he promoted them by allowing them to play at his Prog-Fest 95 in Los Angeles that same year. So 1995 was a huge year for this band. Interesting that the late, great Kevin Gilbert who was a friend and fan of this band did the mastering of this record. Funny, but the band that I thought of the most when listening to this album was THE FLOWER KINGS. One thing I love about THE FLOWER KINGS is that they all can shoot the lights out with their playing. The bass, drums, guitar, keys you name it, these guys are pros of the highest order. And I can say the same about SPOCKS BEARD. The lead guitar by Alan Morse is killer. The bass is absolutely huge, monstrous from Dave Meros. Nick on drums has played with some amazing bands in his career and is incredible. Neal on piano and vocals needs no introduction or praise, he's one of a kind in my mind.

"The Light" is slow to get going as piano and vocals lead off but when it gets going it's fantastic. This is a 15 1/2 minute song with many twists and turns and repeated themes. The drums and bass are so good, and check out the ripping guitar 2 minutes in ! Vocals before 3 minutes. A calm with mellotron after 5 minutes. Nice. The piano is impressive after 9 minutes. Spanish sounding after 11 1/2 minutes. More aggressive guitar before 13 minutes.The lyrics are meaningful as well. "Go The Way You Go" is a 12 minute track. Check out the amazing mellotron floods early. I'm completely melted before a minute with the gorgeous soundscape. No words from me here. Nice chunky bass changes the mood as outbursts of sound play at a fast pace. Vocals 3 minutes in as it calms right down. More great bass 5 minutes in. The last half of the song instrumentally is just a joy.

"The Water" is a 23 minute epic. Beautiful piano melodies early before deep bass, drums, organ and guitar come in, then vocals arrive that remind me of THE BEATLES. Two minutes in all I can say is that I feel like i'm home. It gets a little jazzy. Guitar is outstanding and so is the bass that follows. A calm after 6 minutes with mellotron. Some guest female vocals in this one. Then we get to the controversial section where Morse drops the F-bomb 10 times during the sing-a-long chorus. Tee hee. Some vocal harmonies 11 1/2 minutes in along with an uplifting melody. Two minutes later the drumming and vocals remind me of FLOYD("The Wall"). It gets jazzy a minute later. It ends in a high and emotional way. "On The Edge" has such a cool intro. These guys are so good. The bass is very fat after a minute. Fantastic sound ! The guitar 4 1/2 minutes in is killer.

One of the reasons it took me so long to delve into this band and THE FLOWER KINGS was because of all the negative comments i've seen over the years. I put them off thinking neither band were very good. WRONG ! And as Morse says so eloquently earlier in this album (10 times in fact)...nevermind.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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