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Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.34 | 365 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars As a long time fan of SB, I admit to being underwhelmed by their early efforts after the departure of Neal Morse. Although both Feel Euphoria and Octane have their moments, they seem to lack the mix of strong melody and "controlled madness" that has always been a hallmark of the SB's music. For me, the often-chaotic soloing of the band members is best appreciated when it is frequently counterpointed by equally prominent melodic lines. Prior to Neal's departure, this formed the essence of the band's music, and I have always considered this dichotomous approach to making music to be a large part of their appeal. However, in the absence of Neal, the melodic underpinning seemed to fall away and "noise" was given precedence... until now.

The good news is that with this release, SB have recaptured the magic. In my opinion, this is easily the best post-Neal album, and rivals the better albums in the Beard's impressive catalog. The songs range from simple and catchy to complex and layered, with a wide variety of styles. Most importantly, the melody is back and the hooks are everywhere - but the insanity is always lurking, ready to strike! Alan Morse's guitar work moves from tasteful melody to white noise and back again just like the old days, and Ryo Okumoto and Dave Meros show equal versatility on their respective instruments. Nick D'Virgilio sounds better than ever on vocals, and his drumming is mind-blowing as always.

For me, this album joyfully affirms that SB will continue to be a potent force in progressive music, and have survived and prospered after the departure of founding member Neal Morse. Love live the Beard!

| 4/5 |


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