Spock's Beard - Snow

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Radiant Records
Catalog Number: 14406
Format: CD
Total Time: 118:19:00

Snow can be easily considered as the Neal Morse "epitaph." In fact, the group gave us this sad news -- that is, his departure -- more or less two months after the release of their last effort. When I read the announcement, I have to say I was a little bit astonished, even if it was almost expected.

Who will replace him? I think no one: I guess the next singer will be Nick D'Virgilio. I'll take bets! (of course I 'm joking, eh eh).My thought is due to the fact that Nick is the lead singer on some pieces here. And he does it very well.

I heard a lot of people defined Snow as the Lamb of the third millennium. Well, I think the only common things are: this is a concept album and the setting is in New York. Apart from that, everything is different.

If you listen to the first minute of the opening track, "Made Alive Overture," you can imagine what will be the direction of this work. Surely, if I have to consider what the genre of this album is, I'd say it is pop more than progressive. A marvellous pop, indeed. This isn't strange at all, if you know the Morse's mark. My favorite pop song is "Open Wide The Flood Gates," which also has an interesting jazz final part where Alan Morse plays a magnificent guitar solo.

However, this a very complicated disc in its structure, with many themes which repeat themselves along the work. Some horn arrangements are very particular and they have reminded me of some King Crimson's songs from the Seventies. There are also some instrumental parts where the members of the band demonstrate their huge skills. An example of what I've just written is the piece called "Ladies And Gentlemen Mister Ryo Okumoto On The Keyboards," where the Japanese player struts about in a long solo. Perhaps, because he doesn't perform too much in Snow. I wonder how it is possible: a very qualified musician like Ryo hasn't a big space. Maybe he will have it from now on.

In these days Spock's Beard declared they're working on a new release, with a new style, more oriented to fusion/hard-rock. It will be published in a little while. We'll wait for that moment with a great curiosity.

Released in the US by Radiant Records in conjunction with Metal Blade; released in Europe by Insideout (/ IOMCD 100 (LTD ED: IOMLTDCD 100) )

Disc 1: Made Alive Overture (5:32) / Stranger In A Strange Land (4:29) / Long Time Suffering (6:04) / Welcome To NYC (3:33) / Love Beyond Words (3:24) / The 39th Street Blues (I'm Sick) (4:06) / Devil's Got My Throat (7:17) / Open Wide The Flood Gates (6:14) / Open The Gates Part 2 (3:03) Solitary Soul (7:34) / Wind At My Back (5:12)

Disc 2: Second Overture (3:47) / 4th Of July (3:11) / I'm The Guy (4:48) / Reflection (2:49) / Carie (3:05) / Looking For Answers (5:16) / Freak Boy (2:12) / All Is Vanity (4:36) / I'm Dying (5:09) / Freak Boy Part 2 (3:01) / Devil's Got My Throat Revisited (1:55) / Snow's Night Out (2:05) / Ladies And Gentlemen, Mister Ryo Okumoto On The Keyboards (2:40) / I Will Go (5:09) / Made Alive/Wind At My Back (8:28)

Neal Morse - lead vocals, piano, all synth, acoustic guitar
Ryo Okumoto -hammond and mellotron
Dave Meros - bass, vocals, French horn
Alan Morse - electric guitars, vocals
Nick D'Virgilio -drums, percussion, vocals

The Light (1991)
Beware of Darkness (1995)
The Beard Is Out There Live (1995)
Official Live Bootleg (1996)
The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Day For Night (1999)
Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Don't Try This At Home (2000)
V (2000)
Snow (2002)
Feel Euphoria (2003)
The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series (2004)
Octane (2005)
Gluttons For Punishment (2005)
Spock's Beard (2006)
Live (2008)
X (2010)
Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep (2013)
The Oblivion Particle (2015)
Noise Floor (2018)

The Beard Is Out There Live (VID) (1995)
Spock's Beard's Home Movie (VID) (1998)
Live At The Whisky (VID) (1999)
Making Of V (VID) (2001)
Don't Try This At Home & The Making Of V (DVD) (2002)
The Making Of Snow (DVD) (2004)
Live (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: February 1st 2003
Reviewer: Davide Guidone

Artist website: www.spocksbeard.com
Hits: 825
Language: english


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