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SPOCK'S BEARD

Symphonic Prog • United States


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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)


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Noise FloorNoise Floor
Century Media 2018
$12.78
$10.61 (used)
Snow - LIVE [Blu-ray]Snow - LIVE [Blu-ray]
Metal Blade 2017
$19.38
$19.37 (used)
THE FIRST TWENTY YEARSTHE FIRST TWENTY YEARS
Metal Blade 2015
$17.86
$15.99 (used)
Snow - LIVESnow - LIVE
Metal Blade 2017
$18.97
$12.77 (used)
VV
Metal Blade 2000
$39.99
$9.98 (used)
The Oblivion ParticleThe Oblivion Particle
Inside Out Music 2015
$8.48
$8.47 (used)
Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless SleepBrief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep
Insideout Music 2013
$8.99
$13.66 (used)
SnowSnow
Insideout Music 2010
$19.22
$22.92 (used)
Day for NightDay for Night
Insideout Music 2016
$23.99
$26.66 (used)
XX
Mascot Label Group 2010
$7.52
$6.05 (used)
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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)

3.85 | 629 ratings
The Light
1995
3.66 | 483 ratings
Beware Of Darkness
1996
3.75 | 474 ratings
The Kindness Of Strangers
1998
3.25 | 414 ratings
Day For Night
1999
4.14 | 782 ratings
V
2000
3.85 | 657 ratings
Snow
2002
3.25 | 367 ratings
Feel Euphoria
2003
3.13 | 369 ratings
Octane
2005
3.35 | 358 ratings
Spock's Beard
2006
3.81 | 540 ratings
X
2010
4.00 | 646 ratings
Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
2013
3.79 | 317 ratings
The Oblivion Particle
2015
3.64 | 88 ratings
Noise Floor
2018

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

3.68 | 34 ratings
The Official Live Bootleg
1996
3.69 | 58 ratings
The Beard Is Out There
1998
3.41 | 35 ratings
Live at The Whisky and Nearfest
1999
3.02 | 69 ratings
Don't Try This At Home
2000
3.71 | 24 ratings
Don't Try This @ Home Either!
2000
4.00 | 30 ratings
There And Here
2001
3.99 | 77 ratings
Gluttons For Punishment - Live 05
2005
3.79 | 57 ratings
Live
2008
3.44 | 25 ratings
Live at High Voltage Festival
2011
3.70 | 49 ratings
The X Tour-Live
2012
4.00 | 26 ratings
Live at Sea
2014

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

3.94 | 13 ratings
Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go
2000
4.23 | 51 ratings
Don't Try This At Home-Live / The Making of V
2002
4.19 | 57 ratings
Live
2008
4.75 | 9 ratings
Live at Sea
2014
4.51 | 28 ratings
Snow Live
2017

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

4.00 | 9 ratings
Don't Try This/Feel Euphoria
2006
4.62 | 29 ratings
The First Twenty Years
2015

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

2.81 | 22 ratings
From the Vault
1998
3.27 | 11 ratings
Skin
1999
3.27 | 15 ratings
All On A Sunday
2001

SPOCK'S BEARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Noise Floor by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.64 | 88 ratings

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Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by King Manuel

3 stars I donīt know why, but this Spockīs Beard album leaves me cold. And I have tried very hard to like it. Bought it, actually pre ordered it on itunes and got it on the day it came out and since then played it regularly in the hope I might finally get it. Now looking at the track list I must admit, I cannot hum a single second or remember any outstanding part. And I am not one of those fans who lost interest in the Beards after Neal left, no, I almost listen more to the post Neal output in the meantime. Unlike its predecessors who all had a number of highlights on (The Center Line, A treasure abandoned, Jaws of Heaven, The Slow Crash Landing Man, The Ballad of the Impact, Ghosts of autum ... just to name a few), this one is a slightly uninspiring affair. In its defence I need to say, it is not unpleasant to listen to Noise Floor. Nothing urges me to press skip (like a number of tracks for example on Snow or Feel Euphoria). Cool prog rock background music.
 The Oblivion Particle by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.79 | 317 ratings

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The Oblivion Particle
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Of all three albums Spock's Beard had recorded with Ted Leonard on vocals, this is the most eclectic and less accessible of them. Still a very good one, though. But I must admit that, to my ears, it is not as charming and exciting as the other two. Maybe the fact that it is a concept album The Oblivion Particle works better within its context than as songs themselves, I don't know. Listening to it I can not find anything really wrong with it and the second half of the CD is quite strong. That is where the better stuff is, on epics like To Be Free Again and the closer Disappear, although when looking carefully on each one for this review I find that all the tunes have its positive side.

As usual you will find a perfect sound (in terms of production and mixing) and the impeccable performance of all musicians. Leonard was really a much needed blessing for the band and his vocals are simply terrific all over the CD. Still I miss the incredible power and freshness of Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep and, especially, of Noise Floor. This one will certainly satisfy the ones who want to hear something more complicated and dense.

Rating: 3,5 stars. Very good.

 Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep by SPOCK'S BEARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 646 ratings

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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
3.64 | 88 ratings

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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
3.64 | 88 ratings

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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
4.51 | 28 ratings

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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
3.64 | 88 ratings

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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
3.64 | 88 ratings

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Noise Floor
Spock's Beard Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic 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
3.64 | 88 ratings

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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
3.64 | 88 ratings

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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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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