Exposé Online banner

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

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sarcasme - Mirage – Maybe I'm just a little dense, but I'm not sure how a band that's been around for 12 years can be called young and new, even if this is their first release. That being said, I will admit that the...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues