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Spock's Beard - X CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 574 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Still more than capable after all these years, premier US outfit Spock's Beard's tenth studio release finds the modern proggers more than matching their previous efforts with a finely- crafted set of, at times, rather epic tunes than brings to mind albums such as 'The Light' and 'V'. Consistency seems to be the key here as, since Neal Morse's surprise departure and defection to the christian side of life, the group's line-up has stayed rock-steady, with Nick D'Virgilio(vocals, drums), Alan Morse(guitar), Dave Meros(bass) and Ryo Okumuto(keyboards) featuring on their fourth straight album, of which 'X' may just be the strongest. The album certainly starts strongly, with the euphoric ten-minuter 'The Edge Of The In-Between' seguing slickly into the album highlight - and Neal Morse penned - 'The Emperor's Clothes', an orchestrally-driven track which showcases the group's affection for The Beatles. Both of tehse opening tunes feature the trademark Spock's Beard pop-prog hooks, with infectiously catchy rhythms melded cunningly onto fat prog mid-sections which find the four musicians letting their musical imaginations run wild. There's also much fun to be had grappling with the highly- impressive 'From The Darkness', the psych-tinged 'Their Names Escape Me' and the blitzing rock of album-closer 'Jaws Of Heaven', in which the band flex their prog muscles even harder, again showcasing their expert instrumental verve. Ten albums in and, un-surprisingly, Spock's Beard are still going strong. The dynamic blend of catchy pop melodies, Gentle Giant-infused harmonies and prime progressive panache is still fresh, and the group show no signs of slowing down as they ride on into the 21st century. Those who thought the last three albums - 'Feel Euphoria', 'Octane' and 'Spock's Beard' - were a sign of the beard slowing down should think again. Spock's Beard are going nowhere fast and with albums like these there is surely much more great music to come. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 4/5 |


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