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Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep CD (album) cover

BRIEF NOCTURNES AND DREAMLESS SLEEP

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.01 | 604 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Something very strange is coming fast our way"

Ted Leonard of Enchant and Thought Chamber fame joined Spock's Beard full time for this album which by many is considered a major return to form for the band. And rightly so I would say, they sound a bit more alive and vibrant than on many previous albums. Leonard is an excellent vocalist, much better than both Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio, making him the best singer this band has ever had. His strong voice often evokes that of Steve Walsh of Kansas, perhaps most evident on A Treasure Abandoned.

Leonard even contributes two songs of his own for this album: the opener Hiding Out and Submerged. The former is musically excellent, but the lyrics are a bit on the weak side. A line like "I need you now" is one of the most clichéd in all of Rock. The overly commercial Submerged is weak in both musical and lyrical respects and is the weakest track of the album. Some passages of this one are positively cringe worthy, like the "I'm candy coated salt" part. Enchant never sank that low, even at their worst.

With D'Virgilio having left the band after the previous album, touring drummer Jimmy Keegan steps up and takes over the drum stool permanently and he does a good job. Founding member Neal Morse returns to lend a hand on two compositions: Afterthoughts (credited to Alan Morse, Neal Morse, and Leonard) and Waiting for Me (Alan and Neal). The latter is a rather typical Morse song and Afterthoughts (Thoughts, part 3?) includes a heavily Gentle Giant-like a cappella middle section that sounds a bit too much like a tribute.

The best songs of the album are those written by John Boegehold, especially Something Very Strange and A Treasure Abandoned (the latter credited to Boegehold and Alan Morse).

Overall, Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep is a good album, surely one of Spock's Beard's better albums, but it is not as good as the follow-up The Oblivion Particle which impressed me much more.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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