Spock's Beard - Octane

Year of Release: 2005
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 198/SPV 085-40702
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:56:00

I view Spock's Beard the way a teacher views their best student, expecting exemplary work time after time. After listening to Octane, the boys did a good job, but I expect more from the top of the class. It simply boils down to the fact that Neal Morse is an exceptional songwriter, and the band is missing that element. Octane finds Spock?s Beard moving on to establish a new identity without completely cutting ties to their past with songs such as the opening "A Flash Before My Eyes" and "The Planet's Hum."

The most impressive piece is the instrumental "NWC." Featuring blistering leads from Ryo and some interesting rhythm parts, this just flat out smokes. I would love to hear the band do more like this. "The Planet?s Hum" opens up with a Gentle Giant-ish intro of acoustic guitar, bass, and keyboards. Once the song gets going, it has an instantly recognizable melody and the music rocks with Ryo adding a nice solo. "Surfing Down The Avalanche" showcases some heavy guitar work from Alan Morse, and a monster groove once the song settles in a bit.

D'Virgilio does a fine job with the lead vocals. His voice seems to shine best on the slower ballads such as "I Wouldn?t Let It Go" and "She Is Everything." Problem is that these songs don?t reflect the best the band has to offer, as I can hear a song like this any time I turn on the radio. These tracks are rather mundane, and I know they are better than that. Songs like "As Long As We Ride" and "Watching The Tide" are nice, but really lack anything to make them stand out.

Octane does prove that the band has a lot left in the tank (sorry, could not resist), but fails to live up to the bands past recordings. Then again, as our top student, their previous work set the bar very high.

A Flash Before My Eyes: The Ballet Of The Impact (5:34) / I Wouldn't Let It Go (4:53) / Surfing Down The Avalanche (3:43) / She Is Everything (6:46) / Climbing Up That Hill (3:31) / Letting Go (1:53) / Of The Beauty Of It All (4:53) // NWC (4:16) / There Was A Time (4:58) / The Planet's Hum (4:42) / Watching The Tide (5:07) / As Long As We Ride (5:35)

Bonus Disk: When She's Gone / Follow Me To Sleep / Game Face / Broken Promise Land / Listening To The Sky / (extras from 'A Flash Before My Eyes'): Someday I'll Be Found / I Was Never Lost / Paint Me A Picture

Includes a QuickTime video: The Formulation Of Octane

Nick D'Virgilio - vocals, drums
Alan Morse - guitars
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Dave Meros - bass

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 19th 2005
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website: www.spocksbeard.com
Hits: 1000
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]