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Spock's Beard - X CD (album) cover

X

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 434 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Admin / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars Their true return to form

Spock's Beard is well known as one of the premier "retro" prog bands of today. Since their conception in the mid-90s, the band has been producing quality albums, first with former singer/keyboardist Neal Morse and now with drummer/singer Nick D'Vriglio at the mic. At the time when Morse left the band, many thought that SB would not be able to continue without the band's defining creative force. However, the band rebounded nonetheless with Feel Euphoria that, while not exactly being on par with some of their previous material, showed that they could in fact write music without Morse. While the three albums following Morse's departure are oft referred to by fans as their "lesser" albums, the band continued. However, with this tenth album, the band has fully rebounded, showing their true creative capabilities in the eight beautifully crafted songs that present themselves on this release.

Edge of the In-Between is a fantastic opener, with a nice syth part that breaks into a great melodic and rhythmic piece. The lyrics are awesome, and even the title is cool. The whole 10 minutes is an absolute blast to listen to. The solos are great, the instrumentation is great, the vocals are great, just about everything is great!

Kamikaze is a really fun instrumental track with some cool riffs and solos. Ryo's playing is really great, and him assuming both his and Neal's part has really come along nicely.

The Emperor's Clothes is a nice tongue-and-cheek song based on the classic story. It's got a nice message about the ridiculousness of hot-shot "big-wigs," as NDV says.

From the Darkness is the first epic on the album, and it doesn't dissapoint. It opens with a really "heavy" riff (for SB), and eventually breaks into a more melodic rhythm after the great instrumental opening.

The Quiet House is a cool track with some nice vocals and great instrumentation. It's has a nice "creepy" feel to it.

If you got the "deluxe edition" then you have "Their Names Escape Me." This track has the band list all the fans who pre-ordered the album to finance their latest release. It's great to see all the people who support such a great band. Away from that, the rest of the song is fantastic too.

The Man Behind the Curtain is a catchy tune with some nice vocals and instrumental passages throughout. The chorus is the kind of thing that gets really stuck in your head, as it often is with Spock's Beard's great music.

The Jaws of Heaven is definitely the quintessential track on the album, with absolutely beautiful instrumentation and great vocals.

ALBUM OVERALL: X will certainly go down as one of the best album Spock's Beard has ever released. With the stunning melodies, fantastic song writing, and clean production, there isn't much more one could ask for in a progressive rock album. Overall, I was highly impressed by the album's fantastic quality and grace all around. 5 stars.

Andy Webb | 5/5 |

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