Spock's Beard - Day For Night
InsideOut Music
Melodic Progressive Rock
14 songs (67.49)
Release year: 1999
Spock's Beard, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Aleksie
Archive review
Spock’s Beard is a band that eluded me for quite some time, despite my passionate leanings towards the progressive side of rock. Like Porcupine Tree, I heard several sources dumping bucketloads of praise on them for several reasons. I was extremely interested, but just couldn’t get myself to the store to pick some stuff up, instead staying inside and wanking my ears for the umpteenth time with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Moving Pictures.

When I finally did get to sonically meet the band, the 1999 album Day For Night was the starting point. It was fairly praised on all forums from which I read about the band and seemed to be regarded as one of the bands finest. I could quite quickly see why.

Neal Morse leads the vocal sections with a smooth, high-pitched yet very powerful lead vocal that is backed on several tracks by every other member of the band, omitting keyboardist Ryo Okumoto. The harmony vocals throughout the album are stupendous, might I even dare to say flawless – the best I have heard this side of the time continuum since the glory days of Meat Loaf and Queen.
Needless to say the band sounds airtight as every single guy plays like a beast, especially drummer Nick D’Virgilio whose tasty fills and strong-armed beats provide the backbone for the floods of melodies and song structures that provide the usual tempo-shifting and mood-swinging.

The musical scale explored on Day For Night is immense. There are the rocking tunes swimming in skilled vocal trade-offs between the band members and great riffs like the title track and The Healing Colors Of Sound. You’ve got the lengthy progressive rockers Crack The Big Sky and The Gypsy just drenched with anthemic organs and virtuosic playing flash. Songs like Gibberish and Skin combine the technical wizardy with über-catchy choruses in four-minute pieces that meld into the deeper consciousness while the hands are busy trying to inadequately reproduce the notes flowing from the speakers. The rich pop-sensibilities of the band are best brought out in the beautiful, Beatlesesque ballads like Can’t Get It Wrong and Lay It Down. Every here and there more quirky moments like sporadic horn sections, flamenco guitars and mellow jazzy interludes color the soundscape even more.

The production is crystal-clear and punchy, supporting each element appropriately. I would say Spock’s Beard provides a more accessible and melodic, yet sufficiently demanding and lasting brand of progressive rock music, that is based primarily on quality songs, as it should be in the end with even the weirdest prog around. Day For Night is an excellent starting point to introduce yourself to the Beard.

Killing Songs :
All of them, actually
Aleksie quoted 94 / 100
Crims quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Spock's Beard that we have reviewed:
Spock's Beard - The Kindness Of Strangers reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 91 / 100
Spock's Beard - Beware Of Darkness reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 82 / 100
Spock's Beard - X reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
Spock's Beard - The Light reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 95 / 100
Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard reviewed by Marty and quoted 83 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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