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SPOCK'S BEARD

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Spock's Beard biography
SPOCK'S BEARD was formed by Neal MORSE, who wrote all the band's material and contributed lead vocals, piano, synth and guitars. This is a superb Progressive rock in the Seventies' spirit, full of contrated climates, breaks and complex compositions based on tortuous, audacious and elaborated instrumental developments. They combine strong melodies with intricate arrangements and superb musicianship. SPOCK'S BEARD should appeal to fans of the FLOWER KINGS and UK.

This adventurous band has built a solid and loyal following with their first two releases. "The Light" received rave reviews across the globe and "Beware of Darkness" was by far the best progressive rock album of the decade. The next releases ("The Kindness...", "Day For Night" & "V") were issued to insatiable fans world wide. The next album, "Snow", was the band's double CD concept album in the vein of GENESIS' "The Lamb...".

With Neal MORSE's departure in 2002, "Feel Euphoria" marked a fresh new beginning for the band. The album fueled a new creative period in the band's career. The album was followed up by "Octane" in 2005 and the band-titled release in 2006. SPOCK'S BEARD ended the decade with another discography highlight with the release of "X" in 2010. Jimmy KEEGAN provided some additional vocals on the release and later followed the band on the promotional tour for the new material. The release of "X" marked another turning point for the band seeing that the Nick D'VIRGILIO finally decided to concentrate on his solo career and thus left the band in 2011.

On November 21, 2011, it was announced on the bands official website that ENCHANT vocalist Ted LEONARD and touring drummer Jimmy KEEGAN would be joining the band. SPOCK'S BEARD will be releasing their 11th studio album, "Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep" in mid 2013.

No matter what happens next one thing's for sure, The BEARD is out there and you WILL believe!

Spock's Beard official website

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The Oblivion ParticleThe Oblivion Particle
Inside Out Music 2015
Audio CD$11.10
$8.21 (used)
THE FIRST TWENTY YEARSTHE FIRST TWENTY YEARS
Metal Blade 2015
Audio CD$17.97
$17.96 (used)
Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless SleepBrief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Inside Out Music 2013
Audio CD$12.69
$9.99 (used)
VV
Extra tracks
Metal Blade 2007
Audio CD$11.95
$11.94 (used)
Day For Night (Re-Issue)Day For Night (Re-Issue)
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade 2007
Audio CD$11.52
$5.80 (used)
THE LIGHTTHE LIGHT
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade 2004
Audio CD$12.26
$9.98 (used)
THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERSTHE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade 2004
Audio CD$13.04
$12.60 (used)
SnowSnow
Metal Blade 2002
Audio CD$34.98
$34.97 (used)
XX
Mascot Label Group 2010
Audio CD$9.54
$9.53 (used)
Beware of DarknessBeware of Darkness
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade Records 2004
Audio CD$13.98
$11.99 (used)
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V (Special Edition) by Spock's Beard (CD, Oct-2007, Metal Blade) USD $15.95 Buy It Now 3 days
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SPOCK'S BEARD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SPOCK'S BEARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 562 ratings
The Light
1995
3.65 | 431 ratings
Beware of Darkness
1996
3.75 | 425 ratings
The Kindness Of Strangers
1998
3.25 | 374 ratings
Day For Night
1999
4.15 | 705 ratings
V
2000
3.86 | 598 ratings
Snow
2002
3.27 | 325 ratings
Feel Euphoria
2003
3.13 | 330 ratings
Octane
2005
3.35 | 322 ratings
Spock's Beard
2006
3.84 | 494 ratings
X
2010
4.05 | 571 ratings
Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
2013
3.89 | 247 ratings
The Oblivion Particle
2015

SPOCK'S BEARD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 30 ratings
The Official Live Bootleg
1996
3.67 | 52 ratings
The Beard Is Out There
1998
3.38 | 30 ratings
Live at The Whisky and Nearfest
1999
2.98 | 61 ratings
Don't Try This At Home
2000
3.63 | 19 ratings
Don't Try This @ Home Either!
2000
3.98 | 25 ratings
There And Here
2001
4.00 | 62 ratings
Gluttons For Punishment - Live 05
2005
3.79 | 50 ratings
Live
2008
3.32 | 19 ratings
Live at High Voltage Festival
2011
3.69 | 43 ratings
The X Tour-Live
2012
4.00 | 19 ratings
Live at Sea
2014

SPOCK'S BEARD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.93 | 8 ratings
Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go
2000
4.25 | 46 ratings
Don't Try This At Home-Live / The Making of V
2002
4.21 | 52 ratings
Live
2008
4.88 | 5 ratings
Live at Sea
2014

SPOCK'S BEARD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 6 ratings
Don't Try This/Feel Euphoria
2006
4.48 | 14 ratings
The First Twenty Years
2015

SPOCK'S BEARD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 18 ratings
From the Vault
1998
3.11 | 9 ratings
Skin
1999
3.17 | 12 ratings
All On A Sunday
2001

SPOCK'S BEARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars A better way to fly!

I have never been much of a Spock's Beard fan, but having learned that Ted Leonard from Enchant and Thought Chamber is now the lead vocalist of the band I decided to give their two most recent albums a chance. The latest to date is The Oblivion Particle from last year which is a very positive surprise for me!

The band sounds more inspired and vibrant here than on anything I have heard from them before. Bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, and vocals are all absolutely top notch throughout and so is the production, but the most important thing is the quality of the material which is were I have often found Spock's Beard to be lacking in the past. I was surprised to see that so much of the material is written by outside writers with five of the nine tracks being credited to producer John Boegehold and another one to a Stan Ausmus. Two tracks are penned by Leonard and one is a collaboration between Alan Morse and Ryo Okumoto. While there are no weak tracks at all, my favourites are the final four (A Better Way To Fly, The Center Line, To Be Free Again, and Disappear) and the opener (Tides Of Time).

This album is a bit darker and heavier than the previous Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep, and it is also instrumentally more diverse with many lovely acoustic instruments like autoharp, banjolele, electric sitar, and mandolin appearing to great effect, and also on the closing track David Ragsdale from Kansas guests on violin. There is also lots of tasteful classical piano on many occasions throughout the album. The Center Line goes full Keith Emerson in the beginning and end.

The influences include many of the usual suspects like Genesis and Kansas, but this time around they are better digested and balanced and it is not the case here like on some earlier Spock's Beard albums that one section sounds like a rip-off of, for example, Gentle Giant and the next section of another classic band, etc. Tides Of Time sounds like a cross between Genesis and Deep Purple with Ted Leonard singing in a Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins style and a nice acoustic guitar break leading into hard rocking end section.

The Oblivion Particle is quite possibly Spock's Beard's best album! Highly recommended even to those, like myself, who never fell for earlier Spock's Beard.

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 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by AndyJ

3 stars Spock's Beard's 2015 release 'The Oblivion Particle' is overall a pretty entertaining listen; there are definitely a few excellent progressive rock songs on this hour plus record. My biggest issue with this release, however, is a lack of consistency from one song to the next. The album opener, 'Tides of Time' is classic Spock's Beard material and really does bode well for the rest of the record. This is a song which I'm confident any prog-head is absolutely going to fall in love with - it really does have all of the ingredients for an awesome prog song, including that rocking guitar bit at the end!

Unfortunately, however, the next couple of tracks just don't really do much for me - they are a bit too obvious in their compositional style and they don't really challenge or engage with me like the opening track does. Things change up a bit with the fourth song, 'Bennett Built A Time Machine', as drummer Jimmy Keegan steps up for the vocals. I find this song, whilst pretty simple in its style, hugely entertaining and very catchy! More than once I've found myself humming the melody to myself from this song.

The compositions definitely do pick up towards the later part of the album - the instrumental passages become longer and more interesting. The last four songs of the record are simply brilliant, in particular the seventh track 'The Center Line' with that classical piano intro. Sometimes I do find myself wishing that SB would drop back on the vocals and allow longer instrumental passages to develop during a song, but its a minor criticism and one I have with a lot of progressive rock bands!

It's fair to say that the music of Spock's Beard wouldn't exist without the prog-rock of the 70's nor the neo-prog of the 80's, and in that respect there isn't much 'original' in this album - but who cares! Thank God for Spock's Beard, one of the few bands that are still championing prog-rock well into the 21st century. Long may it continue.

As for rating this one that's a difficult question. It is somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. The stand-out tracks are all 5-star compositions, but unfortunately for me there are a few throw-away songs on this record which does detract from the overall rating. 3 stars is probably fair, though in reality its more like 3.5 stars!

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 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars After the previous Spock's Beard album, "Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep", completely floored me with it's combination of Neal Morse's guest appearance as musician and songwriter, and the freshness of new lead vocalist Ted Leonard (Enchant), I was greatly anticipating the followup to such a strong showing. While not quite the gem "Nocturnes" is, "The Oblivion Particle" hits the mark.

The album tells the story of Bennett Lamb, a sort of mad scientist type who uses the "oblivion particle" to build himself a time machine to use to visit his younger self to correct some not-so-fortunate decisions he had made. I'll admit that this doesn't sound like the most original of stories, but The Beardies tackle it with humor and their usual musical adeptness.

John Boegehold wrote half of the tracks on the album. I must admit that this didn't thrill me, as he wrote much of the disappointing "Feel Euphoria" and "Octave" albums. Yet somewhere along the way he learned how to write some exceptional Spock's Beard songs.

Favorite songs on the album:

"Minion" by Ted Leonard. A song that blends the modern SB sound with a little bit of Kansas (David Ragsdale appears on this album, but not this track) with a bit of Genesis. The lyrics are great, and point out Leonard's influence on the previous album.

"Bennett Built A Time Machine", a Brian Wilson styled track (written by Boegehold), with an exceptional symphonic interlude.

There is not a bad track on the album, and it shows that Spock's Beard doesn't need Neal to provide top level prog.

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 Snow by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.86 | 598 ratings

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Snow
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by tomprog

5 stars Snow, Spock's Beards last release with main man Neal Morse, is their quintessential album. Fair enough it may not be as raw as as 'The Light', or have epic suites like 'V', but brings together all their influences, as well as their trademark sound to create a ve very fine double concept album in the same vein as 'Tommy' or 'The Lamb'.

Disc one, the stronger of the two discs, starts with 'made alive', a short but pleasant acoustic piece that leads into the first overture, a fine instrumental. The first disc of this double album is filled up with shorter pieces which flow seamlessly from one to another. Melody is a main focus here, limiting the drawn out instrumentals Spock's Beard usually incorporate into their songs. All of disc one is excellent, making it hard to pick out highlights. Personally for me, 'long time suffering', 'devil's got my th throat', 'open wide the floodgates' and 'wind at my back' are some of Spock's Beards single best pieces.

Disc 2 starts with another overture, weaker than the first, before flowing into '4th of July' and 'I'm the guy'. For me, this section of songs is the weakest part of the album, melodically and musically wanting more. However, the poignant 'reflection' in 6/8 time, the soft 'Carie' and the ''Toto esque'' 'Looking for answers' (sung by Nick D'virgillio' pick things up. 'All is Vanity' and 'I'm Dying' have a heavier, more technical feel to them showing of he bands capabilities. The album closes with 'made alive again/ wi wind at my back', a reprise of what has been heard before, ending the album in triumphant fashion; with Neal Morse pr proclaiming to the listener 'you're beautiful', a touching farewell as Neal Morse's last statement before leaving the band.

The one thing that spoils Spock's Beard for me is the guitar playing, Alan Morse on this album explores with some quite frankly disguising guitar sounds along with his mediocre playing. This is a minor issue but an annoyance no disguising guitar sounds along with his mediocre playing. This is a minor issue but an annoyance nonetheless.

Overall, even with it's faults I cannot bring myself to award this album any less than 5 starts. It's a flawed masterpiece (much like the lamb), but a masterpiece of progressive rock nevertheless. Neal Morse's song writing is in top form and is the quintessential Spock's Beard album, if not the most progressive.

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 The First Twenty Years by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
4.48 | 14 ratings

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The First Twenty Years
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by strangelybrown

5 stars SPOCKS BEARD The First Twenty Years

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This is the 2015 Greatest hits of Spock's Beard, with songs from each and every album they have made to date. The choices made for each album are unsurprising and perfectly chosen. Classic epics like THE LIGHT, THE DOORWAY and AT THE END OF THE DAY are of course all included, and I personally thought they were all improved by the remastering, especially THE LIGHT which is the eldest and had more that could be added.

I, however, got this shipped out to me not for those timeless tracks, but for NEAL MORSE'S new, gorgeously inspired epic, FALLING FOR FOREVER. This 20 minute highly guitar focused epic includes every member of the Beard's history.

The vocal parts are perfect with TED LEONARD really bringing home the delectably crafted melodies. The instrumental jams are a lot of fun, and show typical Spock's tonality. They franticly meander to create all that heavenly tension to be bombastically resolved. You can really see that chemistry between them all here.

Nick's vocals in the middle piece suited the melody so brilliantly! Oh my word what a glorious chord progression that is. How does NEAL MORSE write these things I do not know. This is preceded by a early GENESIS-esque romantic sequence with KAIPA-like guitar accompaniment.

Speaking of middle sections!.. I never realised how fantastic that middle section of AT THE END OF THE DAY is. So glad I had the impetus to listen a little closer!

An interesting album for both newcomers and oldcomers to Spock's Beard!

Peace

BR

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 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Stefan_lu

5 stars I was a big fan of Enchant, and maybe the biggest ever of Spock`s beard before the split with Neal Morse. So, after I already had finished with the "new" Beards, I have to realize, that SB is back! For me , "THE OBLIVION PARTICLE" is a great album, combining symphonic prog rock with that "old school" bearded keyboard and guitar sounds and with the brilliant voice of Ted Leonard, he never was better than now! Even I sometimes still miss the melodies, that you couldn`t get out of your head like on early SB releases with Neal, I enjoy the thrilling grooves and melodic themes, that are part of the "new old" band. They brought back the fun into their music ? for me its the best SB album since Neal left. Will enjoy that album many many times for sure...

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 The Kindness Of Strangers  by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.75 | 425 ratings

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The Kindness Of Strangers
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Kindness of Strangers always seemed like the forgotten Spock's Beard album for me. It doesn't have the novelty of The Light, the scope of Snow, or the ups and downs of their contemporary releases; however, Kindness of Strangers is noteworthy simply for being a rock-solid release that features the band's terrific early symphonic, enthusiastic, and poignant sound.

For fans exploring Spock's Beard's back catalog, this album is similar to the (slightly better) Day for Night. The band plays very well, with a lot of gusto and thoughtfulness. In a way, this early SB sound sort of created a template for Prog bands of this '90's era, so while the songwriting is sort of by the numbers as far as this genre goes, it's hard to find any faults in it beyond the occasional missed opportunity. Basically, this is artistic hard rock, with mellotrons and odd time signatures. Meros' bass is strong and energetic; Ryu and Morse's keyboards are rich and varied; D'Virgilio's drums are highly proficient; and Morse's guitar has a lot of personality. However, there aren't any real stand-up and shout instrumental moments, with the grand finale guitar solos striking me as not being quite as good as we've heard from Morse in other works. In the end, the sum here is definitely more than any one player's part.

The famous (or infamous?) Neal Morse sings his heart out as always, with lyrics that are slightly more trite than usual. Sometimes tongue in cheek, sometimes memorable, and sometimes groan-inducing, lyrics may be a turn-off for some, as he belts out alongside bouncy rhythms and jaunty songs that give Kindness of Strangers a very approachable feel.

Still, every song on this release is enjoyable for one reason or another, with only a few missteps in the extended pieces to find fault with. A great purchase for fans of the classic Spock's Beard.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars For my delight...as far the best SB album.

There is a renewal of fantastic symphonic prog rock (that even with Neal Morse was not so inspired) And Ted Leonard in vocalsĦĦĦĦ?? The (nowadays) best prog rock voice(in my opinion) How will Ted Leonard go to the live shows with Enchant, Transatlantic and SB? Not enough time.

Now a fantastic team ...that have created a fantastic work ..

Very elaborated songs ..so well played....

Love a Better Way To Fly...and To Be Free Again...but mostly the average of songs in a very high level.

So with highs and lows in their history ....this one is a very good surprise.

For me 4,5 to 5 stars...but let us motivate this musicians ...5 then

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 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Forum & Site Admin Group Heavy Prog Team / Site Admin

4 stars I wasn't sure if the band was going in the right direction after Neal Morse departure. But things has improved lately with the band's music. And this new CD is another good example of that improvement. "Tides of Time" show some of the Spock's Beard style we are used to hear highlighted with the unique Ryo Okumoto keyboards sound, the voice of Ted Leonard evoke Steve Walsh as the music. "Minion" with his original intro that will be repeated a few times brings influences from Enchant."Bennett Built a Time Machine" show the beautiful vocals of drummer Jimmy Keegan and we are treated with the most impressive instrumental passage this far and very different from what we are used from the band."Get Out While You Can" is a weak track and dispensable. In the song"A Better Way to Fly" the vocals harmonies are very impressive and all the musicians are delivering some very dynamic playing that takes us back to some of the great bands of the 70's. "The Center Life" brings some symphonic passages with a progressive rock turnaround in the middle before getting back to the main chorus. The final song "Disappear" brings another mood to the whole album with David Ragsdale of Kansas. We also have another rip- off from the book of Gentle Giant, but the song is brilliant! This is not a perfect album, but we have some of the most original songs from the band this far which is refreshing for those who were looking for something new.

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 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 247 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by the lighthouse keepe

4 stars This new release by Spock's Beard is interesting to say the least.This is a band that has survived the departure of it's two main vocalists in Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio,and with new vocalist Enchant's Ted Leonard,has recorded an album that has some elements of the earlier records,but this time have explored different aspects of progressive rock.For this release Ted Leonard has surpassed himself.Always at the forefront with Enchant, the other members of Spock's Beard have given Leonard total freedom,and he has repaid them with some sublime vocals.The other member to shine on The Oblivion Particle is keyboardist Ryo Okomoto.Some lovely solos on organ and piano are a joy.The majority of the nine tracks are written by "sixth" member John Boegehold.These tracks are certainly different to your normal Beard track,and may confuse the older die-hard fan.The awesome Bennett Built A Time Machine is truly meeorable,and is the stand out track.Two of the longer tracks,opener Tides Of Time and penultimate song To Be Free Again are more reminiscent of old school Spock's Beard,and are very good.Ted Leonard's involvement with Enchant can be heard in his two compositions,Minion and Hell's Not Enough,but are good nonetheless.The only major disappointment is straight ahead rocker Get Out While You Can.Another issue with The Oblivion Particle is where has guitarist Alan Morse disappeared to? Guitar solos are very short on this release! These are only minor quibbles however in what I believe is another essential release,and will only add to the belief that Spock's Beard are at the forefront of progressive rock music.

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