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Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 387 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars The fact that Neal Morse, the original lead singer for Spock's Beard, had left the band in exchange for religion intrigued me about this album. I am not a Neal Morse fan as far as his vocal delivery is concerned. I have always thought he was a great lyricist, but that he should have had someone else in the band sing. His singing is emotionless when compared to the material and the instrumental passages, and his vocals were always spotlighted by the band, so I just never had the desire to listen to their music much. Suddenly, he leaves and the drummer takes over the job of lead singer and then all of the band contributes to the songwriting. Well, since I always respected their musicianship, I thought this would be a good album to review.

Right out of the gate, the music is a lot harder and tighter, and the singing is very good, much better than before. I instantly got the impression that the lyrics suffered a bit, but that was a minor concern. I immediately could hear how the music itself was so much better and I was hooked all the way through the first 4 songs. The reliance throughout the album is more on the guitar and that was a plus for me. Alan Morse was always treated like 2nd banana to Neal previously and now all of a sudden we were allowed to hear how good he was. All four of the first tracks are stellar songs and I felt I had found 5 star material here.

After that though, things start to suffer a bit. The tracks "East of Eden..." and "Winds of Autumn" tend to suffer a bit. It's okay that they are a little more mellow than the previous songs, but the weak lyrics are starting to show and the vocals, even though they remain more emotional than when Neal was singing, they seem to start to lose their power with the loss of intensity in these two songs. Unfortunately, the rest of the album suffers from unbelievability because of this. There is some hope that a 20 minute, 6-part suite follows these weaker tracks and there is still hope of redemption with this album, but the suite is weak and this time, the lyrics are the main reason for the weakness. Thank goodness here at least that the instrumental passages are still spot on though, otherwise this would have been a major disaster. The acapella attempt in part 5 is awful. Part 6 however is quite decent, but is reliant on instrumentals more and by this time, the suite has been discredited as a mediocre attempt.

Really, the first half of this album is 5 star material and it is too bad that it couldn't have been carried through the entire album. Although the first part of the album was convincing me that the loss of Neal was a good thing, it didn't win me over completely by the time it was done. I guess with the band being new at sharing the song writing talents, they still would have some room to grow. They may have been better off reforming as a new band, but that is a risky thing to do. Because of the strength of the instrumentals and the excellence of the first 4 tracks, this still manages to barely squeak by with 4 stars. There is a lot of hope for the band, but consistency does have to be worked on (and from reading fans reviews of the band, that does happen).

TCat | 4/5 |


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