Progressive Rock/Metal

Spock’s Beard – V

I was reading an article on local musicians in my area, and three of them (out of fifteen or so) listed progressive rock albums (Selling England By The Pound, The Yes Album, Misplaced Childhood) as their guilty listening pleasures. It was great to see that prog has some life out there in the music scene. I then thought to myself… it seems that Spock’s Beard might be a guilty pleasure in the prog world considering they seem to get slagged often.
Neal Morse has had quite the high profile lately, releasing a solo disc, and being involved with Transatlantic. He saved some great stuff for V, and though it probably wont make any converts, it is chock full of what the Beard do best. Musically the band is allowed to stretch out more than they have on the last two releases. Ryo’s slashing Hammond organ gets in your face often, especially on the two longer tracks “At the End of the Day” (which has become a personal favorite) and “The Great Nothing”. Morse continues to weave catchy melodies with clever musical passages throughout the disc. The band adds a few new surprises by using horns and a string quartet section (“Thoughts II”), bringing newer sounds into the fold. In trying to come up with a description, the only thing I can think to say is that Spock’s Beard is a fun band to listen to. I don’t see them as a guilty pleasure – just a pleasure to listen to.

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