Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Symphonic Prog • United States

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Spock's Beard picture
Spock's Beard biography
Formed in Los Angeles, California in 1992

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 Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Show all SPOCK'S BEARD videos (3) | Search and add more videos to SPOCK'S BEARD


Noise FloorNoise Floor
Century Media 2018
$17.06 (used)
Snow - LIVESnow - LIVE
Metal Blade 2017
$12.76 (used)
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade 2004
$10.00 (used)
Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless SleepBrief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep
Insideout Music 2013
$9.00 (used)
The Oblivion ParticleThe Oblivion Particle
Inside Out Music 2015
$7.04 (used)
Mascot Label Group 2010
$6.51 (used)
Kindness Of StrangersKindness Of Strangers
Limited Edition
Insideout Music 2010
$8.44 (used)
Snow - LIVE [Blu-ray]Snow - LIVE [Blu-ray]
Metal Blade 2017
$19.80 (used)
Beware of DarknessBeware of Darkness
Limited Edition
$10.19 (used)
Metal Blade 2002
$15.95 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Day for Night by Spock's Beard - VG Used CD (1999) Progressive Alt Rock USD $6.00 Buy It Now 28m 27s
Neal Morse - ? CD - SIGNED by Neal Morse - Spock's Beard, Transatlantic - Mint USD $31.29 Buy It Now 4h 8m
Neal Morse Sola Scriptura CD - Signed by Neal Morse - Spock's Beard - Mint USD $31.29 Buy It Now 4h 8m
Neal Morse - Testimony 2004 tour programme - Spock's Beard, Transatlantic, Prog USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4h 8m
Spock's Beard Signed Photograph USD $26.07 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Spock's Beard ?- Feel Euphoria CD Limited Edition Box Set + Inside Out Sampler USD $20.21 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Neal Morse - Live Scriptura, Inner Circle CD July 2008 - Spock's Beard - Mint USD $20.86 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Neal Morse - Live at All Saints, Inner Circle CD Jan 2010 - Spock's Beard - Mint USD $20.86 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Neal Morse ? Live 2xCD RA 027 - Spock's Beard, Transatlantic - Mint USD $20.86 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Neal Morse - Testimony 2 Special Edition, 2xCD + DVD - Spock's Beard - Mint USD $28.68 Buy It Now 4h 12m
Spock's Beard Ticket Stub, Manchester Academy 2008 USD $9.12 Buy It Now 4h 24m
Spock's Beard 4 x Guitar picks USD $16.94 Buy It Now 6h 7m
Out There: The Future Of Prog Rock - Caravan, IQ, Opeth, Spock's Beard CD - Mint USD $7.81 Buy It Now 6h 10m
Spock's Beard ?- V CD Enhanced, Digipack - IOMCD 063 - Ex USD $15.64 Buy It Now 6h 26m
Spock's Beard ?- The Light CD - GEPCD 1017 - Ex USD $15.64 Buy It Now 6h 32m
Alan Morse / Four O' Clock And Hysteria JAPAN+1 Spock's Beard NEW!!!!!! C8 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8h 10m
Spock`S Beard-Snow Live VINYL NEW USD $62.03 Buy It Now 8h 15m
Spock's Beard - Snow Live (NEW DELUXE ARTBOOK) USD $71.73 Buy It Now 10h 22m
Neal Morse Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria (2003) CD + Sampler 2003 CD USD $13.04 [0 bids]
12h 51m
NEW Spock's Beard The Oblivion Particle CD UK IMPORT USD $13.73 Buy It Now 13h 2m
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness [New Vinyl] Holland - Import USD $33.29 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Spock's Beard - The X Tour Live - Double CD - New USD $9.87 Buy It Now 16h 34m
The First Twenty Years by Spock's Beard. USD $24.73 Buy It Now 18h 3m
Spock's Beard - THE OBLIVION PARTICLE CD #96941 USD $17.94 Buy It Now 22h 54m
Spock's Beard - Oblivion Particle [New Vinyl LP] Holland - Import USD $29.26 Buy It Now 1 day
Spock's Beard - X (CD, Aug-2010, Music Theories) ROCK NEW SEALED USD $10.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Spock`s Beard-Day For Night (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $26.71 Buy It Now 2 days
Spock's Beard USD $14.82 Buy It Now 2 days
Spock's Beard - First 20 Years (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.29 Buy It Now 2 days
Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria CD 2003 Special Edition Box USD $19.84 Buy It Now 2 days
V by Spock's Beard (CD, Aug-2000, Metal Blade) USD $40.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Prog Magazine CD P36 Von Hertzen, Spock's Beard, Robert Reed, Circuline etc. USD $5.20 [0 bids]
2 days
Spock's Beard Snow German 3-CD album (Triple CD) 693723001425 INSIDE OUT 2002 USD $43.70 Buy It Now 3 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - SNOW LIVE - NEW BOX SET USD $78.25 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock's Beard - Rare UK Tour Gig poster, London, Cardiff, Leeds Etc., July 2008 USD $7.16 Buy It Now 3 days
The Light [VINYL] Spock's Beard Vinyl USD $30.29 Buy It Now 3 days
Don't Try This at Home-Live Spock's Beard CD USD $37.92 Buy It Now 3 days
Prognosis 14 CD Aisles, Amplifier, Spock's Beard, Pallas, Panc Room, Credo USD $6.51 [0 bids]
3 days
Spock's Beard - First 20 Years [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.54 Buy It Now 3 days
3 days
Rock & Roll CD Collection, Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, One Republic USD $27.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Spock's Beard - First 20 Years [New CD] UK - Import USD $12.93 Buy It Now 3 days
Snow [180g Limited Edition 3 LP/2 CD] by Spock's Beard (Inside Out Music) USD $155.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock's Beard by Spock's Beard (CD, Nov-2006, Inside Out Music) USD $14.07 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock's Beard - X Tour: Live [New CD] USD $7.86 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock's Beard - Noise Floor DCD #117219 USD $22.89 Buy It Now 3 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - X USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.15 Buy It Now 3 days
Smpte by Transatlantic (CD 2000) Dream Theater The Flower Kings Spock's Beard USD $4.99 [0 bids]
3 days
Spock`S Beard-The First Twenty Years CD NEW USD $23.54 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock#s Beard-Spock?S Beard-The Beard Is Out There (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.63 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock#s Beard-Spock?S Beard-Don?T Try This At Home (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.28 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock's Beard - Snow Live Xlp #114099 USD $47.06 Buy It Now 3 days
Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep 2CD Sealed USD $8.09 Buy It Now 4 days
Spock's Beard The X Tour Live USD $8.47 [0 bids]
4 days
Progressive Metal / Prog Rock 12 CD NEW lot: Flower Kings, Spock's Beard + more USD $99.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Spock's Beard-The Oblivion Particle CD NEW USD $22.22 Buy It Now 4 days
New: SPOCK'S BEARD - Day For Night (Prog on Metal Blade) CD USD $7.98 Buy It Now 4 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - SNOW LIVE 6 CD NEW+ USD $75.77 Buy It Now 5 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - SNOW-LIVE 4 CD NEW+ USD $41.78 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - First Twenty Years [New CD] USD $19.98 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - Day For Night NEW LP USD $25.62 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - The Kindness Of Strangers NEW CD USD $9.87 Buy It Now 5 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - SNOW LIVE 3 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $60.59 Buy It Now 5 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - SNOW-LIVE 3 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $54.82 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - V (CD, 2000, Metal Blade) Disc Only USD $5.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle (Deluxe Edition) NEW CD USD $13.49 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle NEW CD USD $13.79 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - The First Twenty Years NEW CD USD $19.84 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep (0506470) NEW CD USD $9.87 Buy It Now 5 days
Live in Europe-Two Separate Gorillas (2-CD Set) - Nick 'n Neal (Spock's Beard).. USD $35.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard ?- Beware Of Darkness (1996) USD $7.13 [0 bids]
5 days
Snow Spock's Beard 2 CD album (Double CD) German IOMCD100 INSIDE OUT 2002 USD $28.03 Buy It Now 5 days
Spock's Beard CD album (CDLP) V German 0500998 INSIDE OUT MUSIC 2010 USD $16.31 Buy It Now 6 days
REWIRING GENESIS Tribute To Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 2CD PROG (Spock's Beard) USD $44.99 Buy It Now 6 days
ASIA / IQ / SPOCK'S BEARD / CARAVAN + Out There CLASSIC ROCK CD 2004 USD $8.47 Buy It Now 6 days
Spock's Beard Recorded Live - July 24th 2011 2 CD / CD-ROM Set (High Voltage) USD $13.03 [0 bids]
6 days
SPOCK'S BEARD The Light CD Progressive Rock NEAL MORSE Rush TRANSATLANTIC Metal USD $2.33 [3 bids]
6 days
Spock's Beard - Snow Live [New Vinyl LP] Germany - Import USD $42.65 Buy It Now 6 days
Slip Treble: Spock's beard : The First Twenty Years : 2CDs & DVD Sealed USD $34.55 Buy It Now 6 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - THE LIGHT NEW CD USD $12.09 Buy It Now 6 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep - 2 CD - **SEALED/ NEW** USD $47.95 Buy It Now 6 days
NEAL MORSE live +1 2 CD Spock's Beard SEALED LS58 USD $24.19 Buy It Now 6 days
SPOCK'S BEARD - Beware Of Darkness - CD - Extra Tracks Special Edition USD $37.19 Buy It Now 6 days
Snow By SPOCK'S BEARD (3 CD Set 2002) Import Box Set USD $27.89 Buy It Now 6 days
X by Spock's Beard (CD, Aug-2010, Music Theories) NEW Sealed USD $9.29 Buy It Now 6 days
Feel Euphoria By Spock's Beard (CD 2003 Inside Out) OOP USD $9.29 Buy It Now 6 days
Spock'S Beard Oblivion Particle Vinyl 3 LP NEW sealed USD $39.94 Buy It Now 6 days

More places to buy SPOCK'S BEARD music online Buy SPOCK'S BEARD & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

SPOCK'S BEARD discography

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

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

3.85 | 626 ratings
The Light
3.66 | 480 ratings
Beware Of Darkness
3.75 | 471 ratings
The Kindness Of Strangers
3.25 | 411 ratings
Day For Night
4.14 | 775 ratings
3.85 | 654 ratings
3.25 | 365 ratings
Feel Euphoria
3.13 | 367 ratings
3.35 | 356 ratings
Spock's Beard
3.81 | 538 ratings
4.00 | 641 ratings
Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
3.83 | 312 ratings
The Oblivion Particle
3.66 | 79 ratings
Noise Floor

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

3.68 | 34 ratings
The Official Live Bootleg
3.69 | 58 ratings
The Beard Is Out There
3.41 | 35 ratings
Live at The Whisky and Nearfest
3.02 | 69 ratings
Don't Try This At Home
3.71 | 24 ratings
Don't Try This @ Home Either!
4.00 | 30 ratings
There And Here
3.99 | 77 ratings
Gluttons For Punishment - Live 05
3.79 | 57 ratings
3.44 | 25 ratings
Live at High Voltage Festival
3.70 | 49 ratings
The X Tour-Live
4.00 | 25 ratings
Live at Sea

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

3.94 | 13 ratings
Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go
4.23 | 51 ratings
Don't Try This At Home-Live / The Making of V
4.19 | 57 ratings
4.75 | 9 ratings
Live at Sea
4.50 | 27 ratings
Snow Live

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

4.00 | 9 ratings
Don't Try This/Feel Euphoria
4.61 | 26 ratings
The First Twenty Years

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

2.81 | 22 ratings
From the Vault
3.27 | 11 ratings
3.27 | 15 ratings
All On A Sunday


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 641 ratings

Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, after I heard the new SB album (2018īs brilliant Noise Floor) I had to go back and listen to the previous ones that had Ted Leonard as their vocalist. Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep (2013) was the first one and, man, do I understand the glowing reviews and high ratings! Although this debut album of the "new" Spockīs Beard is not as powerful and developed as Noise Floor, it is clear that the new line up is by far their best ever and the chemistry worked from the get go. The songwriting is much stronger, there is more direction and the level of energy reaches a point where the band was never able to deliver before. In fact, they became a whole new band.

Obviously the formula was not entirely ready, but, boy, do they show improvement! Now the melodies are really great, the arrangements do enhance the already fine songs and the performances are terrific! Sometimes their influences are too clear (like the obvious nods to classic Kansas, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd and, more directly, to Gentle Giant on Afterthought), and yet they sound very fresh and exciting. Itīs hard to believe that those are the same musicians that are delivering such powerful solos and riffs: Alan Morse, Ryo Okumoto and Dave Meros (the hardcore trio that are together since 1996īs Beware Of Darkness) never sounded so direct. They are simply on fire here. Ok, some people will complain they are more "commercial", or "less prog" or something like it. Well, in a word: nonsense! The music here may have more hooks and melodies, but it is pure progressive music (can someone please figure stuff like these playing on the radio nowadays?).

I am really surprised I had never heard of this fantastic CD before. Granted, I was never a fan of Spockīs Beard. Tom e they were obvious great musicians without a personal sound and lacking a strong songwriting team. Now they have both and maybe even a little more. The official record is just impeccable for a new line. My CD came with a bonus disc that has 4 extra tracks. Of course they are not as strong as the main one, and the choice of The Man Youīre Afraid You Are for the opener was a poor one. However, Down The Burning Road is a terrific tune that reminds of the great Kansas of the 70īs (maybe because Ted Leonards timbre is so close to Steve Walsh, plus the vocal harmonies and the violin guest on this track), but with their own twist on it. The same goes for Something Very Strange, a fine showcase of their newfound "formula", with a melody line and arrangement most prog bands would kill for.

All in all Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep surpassed my greatest expectations. A very fine album by a band that finally found their voice and soul. A very nice surprise that I just canīt get enough of it. Rating: something between 4 and 4,5 stars. Maybe not a classic yet, but more than a "mere" excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Highly recommended!

 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wow! this one caught me completely by surprise! Spockīs Beard was never one of my favourite bands and I did not fancy neither when Neil Morse was with them nor their immediately post Morse phase. In both cases they sounded to me like a bunch of great musicians with the right influences but without much of a personality. But everything changed with this CD: the sound here is much more powerful, inspired and soulful. Even with a great diversity of styles included (from symphonic prog to jazz to AOR, and so on) , it still feels focused and unified in the end. Like Aussie-Byrd-Brother said in his very accurate and detailed review, this is an album that most prog people will mistake for a "commercial" effort or something like that, specially if they stick to the albumīs opener the spectacular To Breath Another Day. Itīs the kind of track that Kansas would kill for at their peak. Soaring AOR vocals, ballsy guitar lines, earthquake Hammond solos, all propelled by a blistering rhythm section. Still it does not sound like anything else, thanks to the odd time signatures and the creative arrangement.

And the album goes on with such surprises itīs hard to pinpoint what they look like nowadays. On one hand the music is indeed more direct and hard hitting (most of the time), on the other they retained their prog roots: there are several mood and tempo changes, even some weirdness and avant guard bits here and there. Noise Floor is the kind of CD that seems to reveal new textures every time you listen to it. What is clear is that they are delivering some of their best material ever. It seems that they have come of age at the songwriting department (always their weak point in the past). Finally they are using their terrific musicianship to work for great tunes. Ok, fair enough, it is not perfect, but it comes close. Have We All Gone Crazy Yet is the one track that I still do not totally get it. But it is the only one and, besides, it is only my personal taste. On all others I really canīt get enough of them. Sometimes, maybe because of Ted Leonards voice or Ryo Okumotos Hammond timbres, I feel like Iīm listening to a lost Kansas record of the 70īs. And thatīs a compliment! You can hear echoes of Yes, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Journey, Beatles and many more in the mix. Well, I guess they always did, but they surely did not have such creative, mature and melodic songs. Production is top notch. The arrangements are equally near perfect and very tasteful.

Iīm still listening to Noise Floor and still awestruck by it. It seems that I like it a little bit more with every spin. This is the first Spockīs Beard I can say I really love and I truly hope they keep releasing such powerful stuff in near future. I heard this CD by pure chance and I thank God for it. For it is on my top 5 list of best albums of 2018.

Rating: 4,5 stars until now. But I may uprated it to five soon. Highly recommended to open minded music lovers.

 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

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

4 stars I'm quite liking the Spock's Beard albums with Ted Leonard. The Nick D'Virgilio fronted albums started off unimpressive, but as th the band was finding it's groove, NDV ran away to join the circus. But these past three SB albums have been quite strong.

This album brings the group back toward their original sound, with some of the hooks and passages that almost sound like Neal Mo Morse has returned (again).

The first three track make me think of Kansas (in a good way). The lyrics, song structures, and even Ted Leonard's voice are very reminiscent of the 70's version of Kansas. Like Kansas, the tracks are precision-performed arena-like songs with some specta spectacular breaks to take them over the top.

I won't go into every song, but I will point out some standouts:

"Have We All Gone Crazy Yet" sound exactly like a classic SB piece. Written by Alan Morse and Leonard, it has many of the bells an and whistles that still adorn Neal's albums.

I have heard "Box Of Spiders" described as a Keith Emerson styled piece, but to me, it sounds more like The Flower Kings at their peak. Ryo Okumoto is outstanding on this one. I've never heard him play with this much fire.

The bonus EP in the set sounds like it's name "Cutting Room Floor". Three of these songs are forgettable, and the fourth, while mu musically excellent, has an unfinished quality to it.

It's not a perfect album, but it has kept me listening repeatedly for the past few months.

 Snow Live by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.50 | 27 ratings

Snow Live
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Back in 1995 a totally unknown quartet released their debut album. This was back in the days before internet existed, and the mainstream hated prog, so it was actually incredibly hard to hear about new bands, socially from America unless they were signed to a label such as Kinesis who were getting publicity. But, pretty soon everyone involved in the underground scene in the UK knew who they were, and were talking about them. I remember going to a gig at Shepherd's Bush, and afterwards everyone just seemed to be talking about this new band, and had anyone actually heard 'The Light'? Martin Orford was incredibly excited that GEP had secured the European rights and the first time I played that album I was in awe.

From there on Spock's Beard could do no wrong in my eyes or ears, as anyone reading Feedback will attest to, as I was shouting from the rooftops that this was the best band I had ever heard out of America. I saw them every time they came to London, and each gig was better than the last. Then in 2002 they released 'Snow'. At the time I was working on a project which involved me spending many hours in a car visiting different supermarkets each Thursday, which gave me the opportunity to blast this out at the correct volume, and I was saying that the best band in the world had just released the finest album possible. Then it was announced that Neal Morse had left, and that there would be no tour. I was in shock, and went through all the stages of grief (especially denial), as it just made no sense to me whatsoever. I mean, Gabriel went through with the Lamb tour didn't he? But no, it was all over. The next time I saw Spock's Beard they had California Guitar Trio as the initial support, followed by Enchant. They had long time been a favourite band of mine, so really enjoyed the set, but the same can't be said to Spock's Beard, and I left halfway through the set. I was fortunate enough to catch Neal on the 'Testimony' tour, and it was like old times, but I accepted that the finest album released in the past 20 years would never be played at a concert.

Fast forward to Saturday July 2nd, 2016, at New Life Fellowship Church in Cross Plains, and the unthinkable happened. The current line-up of Spock's Beard (Alan Morse, Ryo Okumoto, Dave Meros, Ted Leonard and Jimmy Keegan) were joined by Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio for one night only, and they performed 'Snow' in its entirety. Being performed in a church (as part of Morsefest) there was only ever going to be a small audience, so it was also recorded and filmed, and what I have here is the 2 DVD/2 CD set. There was no pressure on the band, all they had to do was perform the album note perfect for an audience that knew the words as well as they did, but also it was very much a one-off, never to be repeated. The first thing I did was play the DVDs, so that I could then listen to the CDs knowing what was going on. I must state that I felt sorry for Ted Leonard through this whole performance, as although he was always onstage, and made valuable contributions, he was very much the third wheel. Having a second drummer made a lot of sense as it allowed Nick to be at the front when he needed to be, but Ted was raised on a small dais behind Alan and just didn't look comfortable which is a real shame as he is one of the best singers around, and I have always enjoyed his work.

But, tonight was all about Neal being back where many SB fans feel he totally belongs, front and centre of the Beard, performing his songs. Not only was he the voice, but he also wrote the majority of the songs, and his ability to move between keyboards and guitar gave the band presence and ability they have missed without him there to provide it. Was it a brilliant performance of the album? Pretty much, it has to be said, and with an additional electric guitar from Leonard when the time was right, it added some crunch that would have been missed otherwise.

The DVD filming of the evening is also good, and the interplay between Jimmy and Nick is wonderful to see, especially in the duet on 'Falling For Forever', one of the only two non-'Snow' songs from the night (the other of course being 'June'). The question and answer section was interesting, especially as Rich Mouser was involved. The 'making of' was also really interesting, where they talk about the original recording and what had happened. I hadn't realised that the combination of Nick being incredibly unwell and the falling of the Twin Towers had a major impact on the album, which was basically re-written due to that.

Anyway, if you have no idea what 'Snow' is about then this four disc set isn't the place to start, go and get the original instead. If you are already a fan then this is indispensable. 'Nuff said.

 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by nickel

4 stars I think I understand the perspective on the negative reviews, but I don't agree. Nor am I raving about this album to anyone and everyone. It's a solid 4-star effort. If you consider what it's trying to be, I think it does it very well. It's not a prog masterpiece because it's not trying to be one. On the flipside, it's also not an AOR masterpiece for the same reason. It's somewhere inbetween and is very enjoyable once you realize that. On the third listen, it really started clicking with me where I was starting to hear all the Beardy things that are undoubtedly expertly woven into each song.

Look, it's undeniable that each member here is incredibly talented. That hasn't changed from previous albums. So the questions become "How's the songwriting? Is there enough going on here to (a) justify the purchase and (b) justify repeated listenings that I'll enjoy each time?" And the answer is, Yes.

Proggy Highlight - Box of Spiders AOR Highlight - Days We'll Remember All the other songs get 4 stars.

 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team

3 stars The band wanted for this new album make music with a more direct impact, and it's definitely obvious in the first part of the album. "To Breathe Another Day" has a straightforward structure in the first part before a progressive break with the keyboards of Ryo. It's amazing how the voice of Ted Leonard has some similarity with Steve Walsh. Then the next 4 tracks don't improve things with some quieter type of songs that lack memorable melody or impressive prog structures. However "One So Wise" led by Ryo's Keys shining with some tasty melodic parts. "Box of Spiders" is the highlight of the album, a dark song very atmospheric, some ELP style passages with Ryo again in the spotlight which will continue with the next track. The additional album of 17 minutes starts like the first disk with some direct rock structures, a little pop vibe, and Kansas style of music with the song "Days We'll Remember". The album ends nicely with the darker song "Armageddon Nervous". In conclusion, there are some good songs on this, but also some songs that you will skip after two or three spins. However, the production, the musicianship and the addition of some strings arrangements will make this album enjoyable despite the inconstant songwriting quality. 3.6 stars
 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars It's going to be quite easy for some long-time and more casual fans of popular American prog band Spock's Beard to quickly (and unfairly) dismiss their thirteenth studio album, 2018's `Noise Floor'. On the surface, the band have offered up one of their most streamlined works to date (with quite an AOR-driven sound to the fore), so the more commercial elements of the band are front and centre, with the tune being the biggest priority over instrumental showboating. That song-driven edge has always been at the heart of the band so should really not be surprising, but careful (and repeated!) listens are essential to reveal plenty of interesting and exciting details woven in to pretty much every track on the album, even ones that initially seem fairly straight-forward. Thankfully, `Noise Floor' still retains that muscular heavy rock sound present on all the Spock's discs since founder Neal Morse took off that has really become one of the defining and instantly identifiable qualities of the core four-member modern version of the group, and in many ways it makes for one of their most deceptively lavish efforts so far.

Gutsy opener `To Breathe Another Day' sets much of a template for the disc - ballsy hard-rock with unpredictable time- changes and grander symphonic flavours all grafted to tightly compact tunes with lofty lead vocals. Enchant singer Ted Leonard (now on his third full studio album with the band) is given even greater prominence than on his previous Spock's discs, and his confident and powerful delivery is sounding more natural and better than ever. Much attention has been made of former drummer/frontman Nick D'Virgilio stepping back in to provide drums for the departing Jimmy Keegan, and as great as he was in the band, Nick's complexity, power and daring are once again centre stage and a very welcome return for the group (even if it proves to be a one-off again come their next album). And, of course, keyboardist Ryo Okumoto plies his synths over everything with finesse and great colour.

Exhilarating orchestration permeates all of `What Becomes Of Me' (did Nick bring the fancier Big Big Train touches back with him?!), an eclectic and sprightly piece that jumps in a dozen directions, nice driving riffs one moment, dreamy pop-rock harmonies the next. Parts of `Somebody's Home' fit into the `obligatory pensive Spock's power ballad to make your wife smile in between all the bouts of proggy tantrums' slot, and as always the guys have this sort of thing down to a fine art, with plenty of warm acoustic guitars, smooth vocals and reflective words delivering one of the best melodic moments of the LP, and there's fleeting little reminders of the fancy Gentle Giant influence that infiltrates most of the Spock's discs.

`Have We All Gone Crazy Yet', the longest track here at eight minutes, crackles with the lively fun the band is known for, and with its constant blistering instrumental bursts - a nice jazzy undercurrent from sparkling electric piano here, some tasty King Crimson-like guitar strangulations there - it's a safe bet this one could become a live favourite with fans. `So This Is Life' is a lightly psychedelic ballad with fleeting Beatles touches even down to the orchestration, jammed full of lovely sighing sun- kissed harmonies, and Alan Morse really nails a hazy early Seventies Pink Floyd/David Gilmour-esque grandness to some lightly soaring guitar reaches. The energetic `One So Wise' then darts through a range of tempos back and forth with Dave Meros' bouncing and buoyant thick bass constantly given the spotlight between sleek Mellotron shivers and a rousing chorus.

Worry not, prog fans - `Box Of Spiders' is your sole instrumental track courtesy of Ryo, and as always from the Spocks, it's a delirious good'un, unexpectedly laced with Goblin-like spectral synths, jagged Hammond stabs and psychedelic keyboard violations whilst simultaneously being blasted by twisting-turning heavy jazz-fusion guitars/bass/drum spasms and a bit of runaway piano pomp - phew, got all that?! Album closer `Beginnings' is not the most memorable vocal track on the disc, but it finds a decent balance of being lyrically weighty and ultimately hopeful. It's greatly enlivened by cool multi-part harmonies from the different fellas around uplifting Mellotron rises, and the cool scratchy Hammond-driven instrumental spurt in the middle with some fiery guitar wailing gives the track some much needed energy.

(All versions of the album come with a welcome `bonus disc' referred to as the `Cutting Room Floor' EP, and most of the contents see the band delivering almost radio-friendly pop/rock pieces. `Days We'll Remember' is a lovely Kansas-like ballad with Genesis/Steve Hackett-esque strains and a big chorus, and Ryo's keyboards hum beautifully on this one. Classy pop- rocker `Bulletproof' is inspiriting, and `Vault' has plenty of alternating acoustic/electric guitar passages and slick vocals, but `Armageddon Nervous' (groan!) will most please the proggies, being a loopy, relentless and playful little instrumental snippet.)

`Noise Floor' is not reinventing the wheel, but it sees this modern incarnation of Spock's Beard playing to their strengths, surging with confidence and also having a lot of fun. Excluding the bonus tracks at the end, it's also a welcome change to find the Beard essentially releasing a single vinyl length album that runs around just over fifty minutes, so it mostly avoids the padded out `filler' bloat that many of their previous albums were sometimes plagued by. What you're left with is a punchy, assured, hard-rocking song-based album that still delivers plenty of prog thrills where needed, helping make `Noise Floor' another fine addition to the Spock's Beard catalogue.

Four stars.

 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by tempest_77

4 stars I think most people aren't giving this album enough of a chance. Musically, I think this is one of their most interesting records, with songs such as Somebody's Home, Have We All Gone Crazy Yet, and Box of Spiders showing some really great incorporation of classically-flavoured composition. Ryo Okumoto's keyboard work on this album is very strong, and it is masterfully incorporated into each song. Noise Floor is probably tied with X for their best album lyrically. Apart from X, my one issue with all Spock's Beard records is that most of the lyrics are fairly awkward cringe-worthy at various points (see "Minion" from The Oblivion Particle), but this album almost entirely avoids that. Furthermore, it is consistent; it may not be a cohesive masterpiece, but every single song on it is excellent, unlike some of their previous albums. My only potential criticism is that they maybe could have picked a better song to close the album it. Otherwise, it is a very, very strong album.
 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgthankfulRich

4 stars I'm not sure where the negativity is coming from on this project. I saw the review by proghaven and the overall rating at this point (3.48) and I'm shocked. Perhaps the community saw the first released video and saw they recorded it separately, and assumed the music was put together the same way - and the 2nd released video is imo the weakest song on the cd... Not sure what it is but I have just taken 3 spins on it and I think its the best cd since Snow or maybe even The Light. It is ultra clean, so I know that translates to no soul to some - but I don't mind it. I think the singing is impeccable and the instrumental sections throughout are the most interesting since The Light. I would never give a project a 5 in the first year of release, so a 4 is my pick here, but at this moment my true score would be 4.3 or maybe even 4.4 - Musically it is 4.8 and Lyrically a 3.9 or 4.0 Bless
 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.66 | 79 ratings

Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by proghaven

2 stars My Disappointment Number One for 2018. No, even for 2017 plus 2018! A splendid example of 'music for nothing'. Though back in mid 1990s 'it started in heaven', really. When Greg Walker discovered them and first released their debut studio album The Light on his well-known label Syn-Phonic, they were full of fantastic original ideas, and their two subsequent albums, Beware Of Darkness and The Kindness Of Strangers, were as mighty as The Light. On Day For Night, their power went down but was restored on V. After that, a series of albums of (I'd say) moderate to low interest followed, even high rated Snow does not contain enough fruitful ideas to justify its monstrous length. What occurred closer to our days? X from 2010, quite boring and unfairly noisy but including at least one truly intriguing long track, The Quiet House. Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep from 2013, too flawless to be distinctive. The Oblivion Particle from 2015, mostly a saturnalia of first-class classic prog banalities - but including three amazing, really magic tracks in a row, A Better Way To Fly, The Center Line and To Be Free Again. And what this all finally came to in 2018? It came to Noise Floor, an album that contains no soul. Now, after quarter of the century of intensive musicianship, the band evidently knows very well how to compose (and arrange, and of course play) prog music, but looks like they have nothing to compose anymore, their musical resources are exhausted. Of course their craft and skill are now unimaginably high, so high that they can easily make an impression of abundance of musical ideas even when in fact they have no ideas at all and the musical product is manufactured only by their professional skill but not by their talents. The band did their best to fill their new album with genuine classic prog sound and high energy, but the origin of that energy seems artificial.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives