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


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 666 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars New Wave of Symphonic Prog sees the Light in the 90's!

Back in the 70's and 60's, a debut album generally meant a bunch of pretty amateurs not knowing what direction to go thus either experimenting a lot or playing plain simple music, though it was only a matter of time until these amateurs would get proficient and write quality music. In the 90's however this changed for the Progressive Rock scene with bands like The Flower Kings, Anglagard, Echolyn and Anektoden, to name but a few, right from the beginning they sounded like proffessional Prog bands with clearly top-notch musicians and knowing well how to compose. Well, Spock's Beard is no exception with their debut entitled The Light.

Already with their debut Spock's Beard shows us their well-known style of Prog which is a mix of straight- forward 70's(esque) Symphonic Prog plus some ocassional jazzy or agressive or even light-hearted bits. However, unlike the band's and Neal's later known classics, this fortunately doesn't have the samey epic song-writing from Neal Morse which at first sounds incredible but after listening to it in another 5 epic suites makes you wanna seek for copyright infringements in Neal's own catalogue!

Anyways back to The Light. Obviously it's not flawless, that's pretty hard to find in a debut, but still the writing and musicianship sounds very professional and mature, specially on the title track and Go the Way You Go; both are one of Spock's Beard finest compositions, repleted with mellotron, piano, synths and organ played solely by Neal as well as full-filled with catchy melodies with Neal's up-lifting attitude. Also the various twists and turns ala classic Symphonic Prog are to be expected.

Then when it comes to the bigger epic, The Water, this one clearly shows that it's a debut that we're talking about in which the band tends to experiment and adventure a bit further than it should, so do expect some flaws in it, yet most of it is pretty brilliant full of Squire-esque bass, pretty agressive parts with Neal shouting ''so fuck you!'', haha, so yeah it's still pretty awesome.

Finally the last track, On the Edge is a very concise ''short'' Symphonic Prog song which is by no means filler: it makes up a very up-lifting ending to this splendid album.

Like a stated in the introductory paragraph, these debuts from these relatively ''new'' Prog bands are really incredible from almost any point of view, and The Light to me, besides being one of Spock's Beard finest, is probably one of the best debuts from that bunch.

5 stars: A masterpiece by Spock's Beard which I recommend to anyone who is seeking for brilliant modern Symphonic Prog and still hasn't checked Spock's Beard neither their 'relatives', The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, Echolyn, IQ, The Tangent, Transatlantic and all of that kind.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |


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