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Spock’s Beard - Snow

Spock's Beard - SnowTwo years after the fine album 'V', Spock's Beard has produced the 'Lamb' or 'The Wall' of the new century. Two hours of a fine musical journey that climbs to new heights in, dare I say, the new breed of prog. 26 tracks spread over 2 CD's plus if you are quick, a bonus disc is included in the initial batch featuring various live cuts and demos of past and present songs. 'Southside Of The Sky' is the first track on the bonus disc, and with Dave Meros' thundering bass makes this worth getting for the bonus alone.

Back to the concept, Snow is based on an Albino man growing through the days, and basically tells the story of his life. From the gentle start and introduction of 'Made Alive', it blasts into 'Overture' with a Crimson style riff, and there are many kind of stadium type chant rock cuts which reminds me of early 'Deep Purple' on some tracks. The bluesy 'Purple' riff comes into flow on 'Welcome To NYC', and 'The Tubes' style 'Devil's Got My Throat' are a great surprise on the first disc. 'Open Wide The Flood Gates' and 'Open the Gates' are for me the highlights of the first disc, the latter being a Beatles Abbey Road sounding sing-a-long, and the ballad 'Wind At My Back' ends the first disc.

Second disc, and straight after the power riffs of 'Second Overture' leads into '4th Of July', a great little cut with plenty going on inside it. Overall the playing on the set is second to none, Ryo Okumoto delights with Mellotron and Hammond, the before mentioned Dave Meros is solid as ever, Nick D'Virgilio just as ever great playing, and of course Alan and Neal Morse very much to the point, just excellent.

We get a little 'Jazzy' later on disc two on 'Snow's Night Out', then two haunting classics in 'I Will Go' and 'Made Alive Again/Wind At My Back' bring the 'EPIC' to a close. It is amazing playing this, because you get lost in the story, and lose all track of time. This has to be a classic in years to come, the Spock's have done their concept and made their claim on the prog ladder, and it's there with all the concept greats. We had IQ with the excellent Subterranea in the ‘90’s; we now have the album to start this century off. 

This should sell very well, and so I am told they will be taking Snow on the road in 2003, so that will be something to look forward to. You had the feeling from the last album on 'The Great Nothing' the band had the guts to do long songs, and now the scales have been tipped right over.

I am pleased how this has turned out, and it should get a wider scope in the media, but what about a single?

Danny Mayo

 

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