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Spock's Beard — Snow
(Metal Blade 3984-14406-2, 2002, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01

Snow Cover art

Okay, so no one is going to accuse Spock’s Beard of laziness. This latest effort, apparently their last with the line-up that has lasted since their second album, presents nearly two hours of music following the story of a character called Snow, an albino cult leader (with psychic powers, I think). This is longer than most Hollywood movies, and is quite a lot to absorb, so I’ll just skim the surface. Musically, it’s more or less like the other Spock’s Beard I’ve heard, a sophisticated prog-pop hybrid with many varying sections and a high standard of musicianship. Vocals are strong throughout, and often feature complicated harmonies and countermelodies. The music ranges from gutsy rock with tight arrangements (“Second Overture” is my favorite of these) to Mellotron-heavy anthems (“Wind at My Back”), and all the players get their times to shine. But it really is the group as a whole, rather than any individuals, that makes the music work, as the arrangements feature many nice touches like Mellotron flute behind acoustic guitars and lush vocal harmonies. I don’t know if Snow will earn the Beard any new fans, but it is a strong work, impressive with its sheer size and consistency. Still, as much as I enjoy it, the whole thing is a bit long to take in, and might be even better at a shorter length.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 26, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Spock's Beard, Neal Morse, Ryo Okumoto, Nick D'Virgilio (NDV)

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Premier of New Echo Us Video

From the press release:

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.

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“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)

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“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)

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