Artist Name: Spock’s Beard
Title Name: Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Label: InsideOut Music
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini
Right off the bat let me say this: after listening to the latest album by Spock’s Beard, Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep, I undertook the following tasks:
1) Looked for evidences that show that I have been living on Planet Earth for the past twenty years
2) Started a monetary fund to buy all their back catalogue
As this is clearly a band I should have checked out closer a long time ago. Yes I knew who they were, and was impressed by some of their past releases, but perhaps it wasn’t enough…
With a career spanning now more than twenty years, marked by some significant line-up changes – but pretty much keeping the same progressive sound signature, these American talented musicians have almost reached perfection. This album is a breathtaking mix of heavy and progressive rock, full of all the best influences, but with a unique refined spice, and a remarkable good taste.
The two first songs ‘Hiding Out’ and ‘I Know Your Secret’ open the album magnificently, rocking the house with their blend of hard jazzy passages, and their keyboard marked melodies. Almost as if Kansas and Rush had children and they moved to California. On ‘A Treasure Abandoned’, the more relaxed part of the album begins, as this is a long trip through space and time ruled by magic guitars, sublime keyboards, daunting rythms and enchanting vocals. ‘Submerged’ follows suit, with a more acoustic feel, and some interesting sonic experimentations towards the end.
‘Afterthoughts’ rocks heavy again with odd melodies, interesting tempos, and lots of Gentle Giant inspired vocal duels. ‘Something Very Strange’ might be the catchiest of them all – boy picking a stand out track here was really hard – and features a beautiful guitar solo. ‘Waiting for Me’ closes the regular edition of the album in the highest possible note: 12 minutes long journey through mesmerising textures and colourful landscapes… just close your eyes and you will see.
When you open your eyes, go out and get this album – and maybe you will feel the same way I did: amazed! Well done guys, well done. Tall and respectful prog, masterpiece candidate.