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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!

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Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless SleepBrief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep
Inside Out U.S. 2013
Audio CD$9.48
$17.33 (used)
XX
Mascot Records 2010
Audio CD$8.23
$7.00 (used)
Feel EuphoriaFeel Euphoria
Limited Edition · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$11.98
$4.38 (used)
Kindness of StrangersKindness of Strangers
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade 2004
Audio CD$10.49
$11.35 (used)
OctaneOctane
Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$11.08
$9.28 (used)
LightLight
Extra tracks · Special Edition
Metal Blade 2004
Audio CD$12.04
$7.99 (used)
VV
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$3.43
$0.93 (used)
SnowSnow
Metal Blade 2002
Audio CD$14.98
$14.11 (used)
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SPOCK'S BEARD shows & tickets


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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)

3.84 | 493 ratings
The Light
1995
3.63 | 371 ratings
Beware of Darkness
1996
3.75 | 372 ratings
The Kindness Of Strangers
1998
3.24 | 320 ratings
Day For Night
1999
4.16 | 604 ratings
V
2000
3.85 | 522 ratings
Snow
2002
3.28 | 278 ratings
Feel Euphoria
2003
3.13 | 284 ratings
Octane
2005
3.35 | 283 ratings
Spock's Beard
2006
3.83 | 453 ratings
X
2010
4.13 | 465 ratings
Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
2013

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

3.56 | 25 ratings
The Official Live Bootleg
1996
3.64 | 42 ratings
The Beard Is Out There
1998
3.39 | 23 ratings
Live at The Whisky and Nearfest
1999
2.96 | 54 ratings
Don't Try This At Home
2000
3.44 | 16 ratings
Don't Try This @ Home Either!
2000
3.62 | 26 ratings
There And Here
2001
4.01 | 62 ratings
Gluttons For Punishment - Live 05
2005
3.76 | 48 ratings
Live
2008
2.95 | 19 ratings
Live at High Voltage Festival
2011
3.63 | 39 ratings
The X Tour-Live
2012
3.90 | 11 ratings
Live at Sea
2014

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

3.96 | 7 ratings
Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go
2000
3.95 | 45 ratings
Don't Try This At Home-Live / The Making of V
2002
4.09 | 55 ratings
Live
2008

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

3.00 | 6 ratings
Don't Try This/Feel Euphoria
2006

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

2.57 | 14 ratings
From the Vault
1998
2.86 | 7 ratings
Skin
1999
3.00 | 11 ratings
All On A Sunday
2001

SPOCK'S BEARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Day For Night  by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.24 | 320 ratings

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Day For Night
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat

3 stars This is not the first time I have heard Spock's Beard, but it is the first time I have heard an album all the way through. I do have to commend them on their instrumentals and the complexities of them, but I have always had a problem with the vocals. The voice is okay, it's just that there is not a lot of feeling in the delivery. After reading the reviews here, a lot of people are saying that it is sort of an OK album and a step down from normal, but I don't see anyone complaining about the vocals, and from the single tracks I've heard from them in the past, the vocals remain the same. So, I suppose I can get used to them, but it is also the reason why I haven't been a huge fan in the past or had any desire to explore them any further until now.

I do have to say though, after hearing this album, it has sparked some interest in me to now listen to more of their work. As has already been said, there are some tracks that lean more towards pop than progressive. But there is still plenty of symphonic prog in there, enough to make things interesting. The best things on here are the first two tracks and "Crack the Big Sky". The huge 21 minute suite has both strong and weak moments where it seems they are trying to mix pop and prog together, which has been done before and done better than this.

So, it's not bad, and since most consider it a weaker album, I will be checking out other albums. But I still have a hard time with that emotionless voice and how it contrasts with the dynamics of the awesome instrumentals. I'm giving this 3 stars because only 3 songs make a consistent high mark while the epic suite is hit and miss. Good, but not essential.

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 Live at Sea by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Live, 2014
3.90 | 11 ratings

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Live at Sea
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Love the live vibes

Spock's Beard announced a DVD of their performance at this year's Progressive Nation at Sea festival for the late August release and they also released an audio only version of the mentioned release on Friday, August 8th via Bandcamp. Those who pre-ordered the DVD has the code to download the digital version of the show. The audio quality is terrific.

But what's more important is the fact that this record is really an excellent live performance of the band and it really rocks! I really love the live vibes and in most cases I love more this live version compared to the studio ones. It covers three tracks from the band's latest studio album Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep (2013) and another three from the first three albums : The Light, Beware of Darkness as well as Kindness of Strangers. I was not actually in tune with this live set until three days ago when I was about to drive from Jakarta to Bandung (150 KM distance) and I need to equip my car stereo with all prog albums including those from Pineapple Thief, Anglagard live, and of course Spock's Beard Live at Sea.

Wow! I am totally impressed with the live vibes the Live at Sea record shows. In fact I only played this live set during my three-hour drive to Bandung as I really love it very much. Of course the opening track Something Very Strange (9:07) really blew me away at first spin. I love the opening part with sort of Ryo work on unique keyboard work plus some ambient sounds and it moves it dynamically until the music really turn on followed with great vocal work by Ted. I think Ryo Okumoto's keyboard work throughout the song is the key differentiator that makes this opening track really live and it does rock! Oh ... I cannot afford for not replaying this opening track again and again. It's so excellent and I love this live version than the studio one.

The second track Hiding Out (7:45) is another rocking track with dynamic keyboard intro bya Ryo followed by a blast of music that moves the track wonderfully. And I think everyone agrees that Dave Meros bass guitar lines are really cool and represent the characteristics of SB music so far. I can hear it clearly his bass lines right here with this second track. Of course other musicians : Jimmy Keegan and Alan Morse also provide excellent work here. The keyboard solo throughout the song is really great. Ted also works his way nicely when the third track Walking On The Wind (9:55) was performed even though this is coming from early albums of the band - the Neal Morse era. This track was performed wonderfully!

One of the big thing that makes me happy is the featuring part of Neal Morse at this live set. I could not imagine how wonderful the show was especially when Neal Morse was invited by the band to come on stage playing two classic tracks June and The Light. I know that actually I did not enjoy the first three albums of the band and you can check my views of the first three albums right here at this wonderful prog site. But it's not the case now. What matters to me is the fact that Neal Morse still want to play with the band as guest musician even though he was actually the founding fathers of SB. June is actually not my cup of tea as I do not like the acoustic guitar part which sounds boring to my ears. But The Light which I actually did not favor, is now different to me as it's now live version and it's performed as a reunion concert with Neal Morse. Yeah .. I love that prog people unite even though they no longer in the same band. This is great. Prog must unite people!

Overall, I am satisfied with this live set even though I expect another 60 minute live record that makes this as double CD issue. But I still recognize this live set as an excellent album! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review # 1800 (written in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia)

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 Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.13 | 465 ratings

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Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars Once again I listen to another Spock's Beard album and cannot get over the incredible number of musical and lyrical cliches present in their music--in every song, in every sound choice, every solo choice, every bass line, every rhythmic pulse, every dynamic shift, every chord progression, every vocal styling, every production/engineering choice. They are masters of everything borrowed, nothing original. Whenever I hear their music all I can feel is disbelief and gnawing anxiousness. "Is this a joke?" I ask myself (over and over). "Are they prog rock's SPINAL TAP?" Talented musicians all, but their melodrama is so embarrassingly close to classic rock as to cry out "parody!" As hopeful as I am whenever I see high ratings for one of their albums, I have yet to be impressed with anything from their norm--which is . . . rubber stamp, over-the-top classic rock by numbers, prog by association and wishful thinking, repetitive to excess. I feel bad writing these words for I have no doubts that the boys from SB are well-intentioned and probably quite sincere in their efforts. I can only express my utter frustration with my listening to pretty much all of their output--not the least of which has been this most recent release. Nothing new. "Second tier" prog. No more than a modern day LOVERBOY (though with better staying power).

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 Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.13 | 465 ratings

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Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having only heard "V" before, I had little knowledge of Spock's Beard's sound but I gathered that it was some very talented prog rock combined with some standard pop rock songs. Deciding that this album might be a good follow-up purchase, I gave a brief listen to "A Treasure Abandoned" and loved the chorus enough to order the album soon after.

I was not disappointed at all. The instrumental introduction to the opening track "Hiding Out" is a wonderful example of modern progressive ROCK, at least in so far as some very nice heavy guitar accompanies piano, organ, and synthesizer. Each song thereafter has some great moments such as the 80's Rush sound in parts of "I Know Your Secret" and the wild guitar effects solo, the beautiful melody of the chorus of "A Treasure Abandoned", and the weirdness and humour of "Afterthoughts" (incidentally, this song includes an a cappella part similar to that of "Thoughts Part 2" from "V"). "Submerged" is more of a standard pop rock song that could be played on rock radio.

The real joy comes in with "Something Very Strange" which is where we get a taste of a classically flavoured prog rock song. This song hints at modern Yes when they are at their very best. The momentum continues with "Waiting for Me", which also includes some Yes-inspired music, though there is more of a pop-rock meets prog feel to this one. I also found myself thinking of Deep Purple's "Now What?!" as that album too includes a lot of rockers with parts that allow the musicians to stretch out and be creative.

The second disc includes two more songs in the semi-prog rock mould and one in the order of standard rock. Finally, there's a remix of "Something Very Strange" which I feel is not as good as the disc one version. The track listing here on PA shows a fifth song but my copy of the bonus disc does not come with it.

I have a lot of prog albums that I can't really play in the car stereo when my wife is with me because she'd likely wonder what the heck I was listening to (Van der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson). But I've had Spock's Beard in twice ("V" and "Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep") and both times she's inquired about the music, particularly curious about the keyboard playing. She has little knowledge of the history of popular music and doesn't yet know the term "progressive rock", though she knows that a lot of the music I listen to is not your standard pop music. It seems that Spock's Beard is a good band for getting an uninitiated female interested in prog and this album would appear to have the right balance of modern rock with progressive tendencies. Not a prog masterpiece but terrific if you like something more orthodox where great musicianship and songs are the cake and crafty compositions and skillful solos are the icing of a delicious rock album.

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 Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.13 | 465 ratings

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Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by progpig66 (arnold)

5 stars One of the top albums of 2013 is without any doubt "Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep" by Spock's Beard, but apparently not according to the proggophobic wild bunch of Waeguk, Pangrangja, Purplefloydfish, Marfish, Daemacho and so on. This time two stars were not little enough, so they all (?) decided on a one star rating!! But enough time spent on twirp ratings, the new line up of Spock's Beard is definitely a winner. Drummer Jimmy Keegan is a fantastic musician, whose very dynamic drumming fits in the music perfectly. With Ted Leonard the Beard have enlisted one of the best of today's progvocalists.

The music on Brief Nocturnes is easier to comprehend and the song structures are more fluently conceived than those on X. "Something Very Strange" is almost a hit with a great chorus and a magnificent continuous bass-line, that once more proves that Dave Meros is one hell of a bassplayer. I love his bass-sound! "Waiting For Me" has everything a good progressive rock composition needs, huge keyboard sounds, beautiful guitar lines, a great rhythm section and again the winning vocal parts. I won't hesitate to call this album a masterpiece of progressive rock!

progpig66

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 Feel Euphoria by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.28 | 278 ratings

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Feel Euphoria
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars . . . In my not so humble opinion . . .

Nick D'Virgillio is no Phil Collins.

So the similarities between Genesis and Spock's Beard have been well documented. Both bands were stalwarts of prog for their time and started off with a series of strong albums. Both bands presented their magnum opus with an epic release of a 2 part concept album. Both bands lost their lead singer after the epic release and found a replacement in their drummer, coming out from behind the skins to take over the front man duties.

There is one epic difference between the two though. In Genesis, prior to Peter Gabriel's departure, the band wrote most of the music while Gabriel wrote the majority of the music. In Spock's Beard, Neal Morse was the primary songwriter, almost the only, songwriter for the band until the day that he left. Neal Morse's departure left a huge gaping hole in the songwriting, the band attempted to compensate by committee and by bringing in some friends to help write for them. Unfortunately, 'Feel Euphoria' shows the lack of cohesion painfully.

Nick D'Virgillio's vocals are . . . underwhelming, as much as I'd love to sing praises about his voice, it lacks the power of a proper lead singer. Combine the lack of energy in D'Virgillio's voice and the drop in songwriting, I find myself hard pressed to find a lot of positives about this album. "You Don't Know" is an exception, Alan Morse is at his bluesy best throughout the song with a melodic, soulful solo in the middle of the song.

The, total product however is lacking. It had been a few years since I've listened to this album, my perception going into yesterday's listen was that it was a three star CD, maybe Sid could bring it up to a four. Unfortunately, I had grossly over-estimated the CD. At times the CD was painful to listen to, it took real effort not to skip tracks. I had to force myself to listen to the entire CD. This is not a three star CD. The attempts at an epic on the Sid saga are mostly uninspired, but that along with the somewhat rocking 'Onomatopoeia' save the cd from the dreaded 'one star rating'. Two stars with the happy thought that it does get better.

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 Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.13 | 465 ratings

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Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

3 stars Being heavy is not synonymous with being better.

I hear "Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep" quite some time, and the reality is that I enjoy some good tracks, while others are closer to Alternative Hard Rock. Not that I think that everything that has made Spock's Beard under the tutelage of Neal Morse is excellent, but I can ┤t understand that this work is considered here as the second best of the great American band.

The sound is powerful and the band seems solid and assembly, I suspect some lyrical are related to Neal Morse and his conversion, ironically; eg 'Hiding Out', 'I Know Your Secret' and ┤A Treasure Abandoned┤. Apart from that, the most progressive and better from my perspective are: 'A Treasure Abandoned', 'Something Very Strange' and 'Waiting For Me'. While "Burning a Burning Road" is a very good track of bonus disc.

My rating is 3, while I consider 'X' as a more compact and inspired work. And I think 'Day For Night' is the only slightly less than this, with regard to the times of Neal Morse. And "V", "Snow" and "The Light", are far superior....

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 Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.13 | 465 ratings

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Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I am hardly a SPOCK'S BEARD fan at all. I have heard V and although I find it a decent listen it hardly blows me away. I've also heard a few tracks on internet radio leaving me with a mixed impression and never with the urge to go seek out their music. In fact I find this whole flower prog (a term I endearingly call this type of pompous symphonic prog that has the tendency to make every little idea blossom into sprawling epic proportions) a little hit and miss as well. I always find myself admiring the effort that goes into the ideas and creation of the epic music, but rarely finding myself actually loving every minute of it for it more often than not seems random and not fine tuned into a sequentially satisfying array.

Well this one caught me off guard and I have been gleefully spinning this epic behemoth and growing fonder of it after each spin. I think I have fallen for their release BRIEF NOCTURNES AND DREAMLESS SLEEP because (a) I think i'm leaning more towards liking this kind of mixture of long sprawling epics that revisits yesteryear in both a progressive way as well as with classic rock sounds and (b) it is done so very well with every passage thought out and the i's dotted and the t's crossed. It simply rocks in a way that makes you instantly like its pleasant melodies, harmonies and instrumental interplay and yet weaves in the progressive tangents without making it feel like it is there solely for the sake of checking off the prog list. There are multiple influences and all is tastefully presented.

I highly recommend the version with the bonus disc that includes 4 extra tracks that adds up to just under 30 minutes. They are just as good if not better than the main disc. They are more hard hitting and rocking than the main tracks but are just as satisfying in their delivery. I was unaware that there was a special edition version but I unknowingly bought it at one of our used music stores and am extremely happy that I did. I can't believe I love this album as much as I do but now that I am hopelessly hooked I hope that this isn't a one album deal and that the creative juices spring forth a few more like this one.

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 The Kindness Of Strangers  by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.75 | 372 ratings

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The Kindness Of Strangers
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars During the second half of the 90's the popularity of Progressive Rock had started to increase in favor for all old fans of the movement and Spock's Beard was definitely one of the major reasons.This was prooved by the fact that the band was invited for the second time to the mega festival Progfest in 1997 (the first one taking place in 1995), but it was during the same year that the prolific Americans found time to record a third studio album.''The kindness of strangers'' was eventually released in May 98', again Neal Morse's Radiant, IQ's Giant Electric Pea and Metal Blade were among the publishers to release a Spock's Beard album.

''The kindness of strangers'' shows a slightly different side of the group, speaking of the composing way.The long opener ''The good don't last'' and the following ''In the mouth of madness'' are set in a familar style established by the band with strong YES, KING CRIMSON and GENESIS influences, turning from dramatic and bombastic instrumental Progressive Rock to ethereal textures with sensitive vocals and plenty of synths, organ and Mellotron.The use of strings recall classic-period RENAISSANCE and the overall style is complex, Symphonic Prog with some inredible breaks and twists.The next few short pieces suggest a poppier attitude with the vocals offered through plenty of disturbing distortions and the song structures being more accesible.Hints from THE BEATLES are combined with a prog color, featuring again Mellotron and synths, while the guitar parts become quite heavy, even with an Alternative Rock vibe a moments, as Spock's Beard were off to add some more contemporary stylings in their music.Things will get back in the correct place with two long epics at the end of the album, especially ''Harm's way'' belongs among the best pieces recorded by the band, intense, intricate and dramatic Symphonic Rock with superb work by Neal Morse on Hammond organ much in a GENESIS style and a beautiful balance between powerful, rich instrumental parts and lyrical soundscapes.''Flow'', clocking at 16 minutes, contains partly some poetry written by Tony Ray, a school friend of Neal Morse, and comes as a decent example of dense and intelligent Progressive Rock with strong Classical inspirations (again RENAISSANCE come to mind during the lovely piano interludes) and grandiose musicianship.

Not as good as the impressive ''Beware of darkness'' due to the questionable style of the mid-placed tracks, but the long ones are offering again some of the very best modern Symphonic Rock of the time.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.13 | 465 ratings

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Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by M27Barney

5 stars Aha, well my last review set the cat amongst the pigeons so to speak, however this CD is a different kettle of weasels I can tell you! I have given this CD some serious "earage" in the past few weeks and although I think I was enough impressed to persevere (from spin 1), I wasn't expecting this CD to rate more than perhaps a high of 3.9? . How wrong was I...! Quite simply, I think that tracks 3 (A Treasure Abandoned) and 7 (Waiting for Me) are the best tracks that SB have written and performed! Back that up with the nearly as brilliant 6 - "Something very strange" and the (merely!) very good tracks 4, "Submerged" and 5 "Afterthoughts", plus the very listenable 1 "Hiding Out" and 2 "I know Your Secret" makes this a MUST HAVE SYMPHONIC PROG CD! Anyway the first two tracks are closer to progressive metal than the other tracks so it sort of makes you think that it isn't going to be a symphonic prog CD at all then WHAMMO - A Treasure Abandoned , some of the keyboard (sumptuous synth arpeggios a-plenty) work is sublime and the lyrical content is far less mawkish than the ex-members output! I think that some of this reminds me of Camel (one part especially) but on the whole I think it's far more good at refreshingly attempting to hit the correct symphonic spots in my brain. Could perhaps do with track 3 or 7 being extended out to the epic length that such a CD deserves, but I can't give this anything but a FIVE because two tracks are as good as anything I have heard for four or five years! Go buy it!

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