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Spock's Beard - Live CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

4.19 | 56 ratings

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4 stars Spock's Beard have been producing top quality Symphonic Prog for years now and have 9 studio albums giving them a pretty extensive back catalogue to choose from for this show recorded in Holland in 2007. They draw material from the vast majority of their albums and in particular their latest eponymous release, which they obviously have great faith in as there are no less than 6 tracks taken from it here including the epic As Far As The Mind Can See. Their faith is well founded as it's their best post Neal Morse release so far though we only get one track from Octane and nothing from Feel Euphoria.

They've done a great job and not skimped on the number of camera's used giving views from just about every conceivable angle and the sound is spot on. It turns out to be a great show with a powerful and dynamic performance. As this DVD is also released on cd they've wisely steered clear of repetition of their 2005 live album, Gluttons For Punishment, Surfing Down the Avalanche being the only track to appear on both.

It's pleasing to see the newer material holds it's own against classic Morse era tracks like Crack The Big Sky and In The Mouth Of Madness and Nick D'Virgillio does a fine job filling the former frontman's shoes in the vocal department. Just to show what a talented guy he is he also plays occasional guitar and keyboards and naturally takes his rightful place behind the drumkit in some of the instrumental sections alongside touring band drummer Jimmy Keegan who proves to be an excellent choice. The drum duel between these 2 guys is fantastic though I know many people don't have a lot of time for drum solos.

Alan Morse gets the opportunity to showcase Return To Whatever from last years solo album Four O'Clock and Hysteria, an album so far unfamiliar to me but on the strength of this excellent instrumental it's obviously worth checking out.

Fortunately the strong set makes it enjoyable viewing from start to finish throughout the 2 hour set which closes with a medley of old favourites The Water and Go The Way You Go.

Having enjoyed their previous DVD release, Don't Try This At Home, which as it happens was also recorded in Holland I'm pleased to say that this is just as enjoyable and therefore good news proving once and for all that Spock's Beard are more than capable of continuing and reaching the same heights they did with former mainman Neal Morse.

There's not much in the way of extras on the DVD, just a history of Spock's Beard photo gallery but with such a great show I'm not complaining.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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