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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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3 stars Let me confess this way: I have owned the first three albums of The Beard since 1998 and I rarely spin the CD since I purchased all of them. I purchased all of their initial albums because my progmates in Bandung who influenced me to buy as he said that the band was one of prog icons in the nineties. What I got was a complete disappointment especially with the composition - it sounded to me so many influences from many bands that The Beard did not package 'em into truly the Beard sound. The most obvious influences were coming from Gentle Giant, Yes, Genesis and . surprisingly The Gypsy Kings! I could not believe it. This album comprises three epic tracks plus one track with normal duration.

Yes, I have to admit that the band members' virtuosities and musicianship they perform in this album. Just take an example on the opening track "The Light", no one would argue on the neatness of Beard's music especially with heavy and solid bass guitar work by Meros combined with soaring keyboard work by Neal that sometimes sounds like Keith Emerson. Nick d'Virgilio's drumming is also marvelous. It's an enjoyable music, basically. But, look at the structure. There are many disjointed parts that the band did not make a proper effort to smooth the transition piece that glues all parts into a cohesive composition. The music sounds to me like "being forced" to show that this is a prog tune. There seem like many unplanned tempo changes even though some segments are really memorable and melodic.

"Go The Way You Go" starts off beautifully with a music harmony combining keyboard and solid bass lines. I really like the opening part even though the piano parts during quiet session in the intro part reminds me to Van Halen's slow track in "Balance" album (hey, any hard rock fans down here? Anybody knows who Van Halen is, right?). I don't remember the title of the track but I think the lyrics something like "To love somebody peacefully ..". Got that? But, overall it's not exactly the same style with the Beard.

"The Water" starts off with a blast of music featuring Emerson like keyboard work in a packed musical composition. The opening choirs remind me to Gentle Giant but with keyboard sound in the vein of Emerson. The alternate play between Hammond organ and guitar work during lyrical verse is really wonderful. Unlike other tracks this one is performed in an accentuated voice line augmented with Hammond and guitar fills in rocking style. This track contains word that is strongly prohibited from this site.

With some caveats and weak points, I still consider that this is a good album - a promising debut by the band. The musicianship is excellent. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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