Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria
Artist: Spock's Beard (www.spocksbeard.com)
Title: Feel Euphoria
Label: Inside Out/SPV (www.insideoutmusic.com)
How could you possibly not Feel Euphoria knowing that a new Spock's Beard album was set to be released? If you are a real head case when it comes to prog-rock like me, you know exactly where I am coming from. Okay, I know you are wondering what they sound like without their main man Neal Morse. Their circumstances were the same as Genesis many years ago when they had to replace their lead man Peter Gabriel, and a drummer by the name of Phil Collins took over the lead vocal spot. Let me ease your minds, Nick D' Virgilio does an excellent job stepping out from in back of the drum kit (he still plays drums) to take over the lead role with the band. He actually sounds like Morse on a few cuts. It does not surprise me one bit that it was such an easy transition, his solo album Karma absolutely floored me and I wondered why he was not singing more for the band anyway.
Morse was the heartbeat of this band for so long, I too had to wonder how their overall sound would hold up throughout this album. I have to admit I was not exactly sure after two listens, I guess the third time is the charm because by the time I had listened completely on the third spin I was convinced that they were different, they had a new kind of energy, and they definitely were still the Spock's Beard that I loved listening to. Everyone in the band kicks it up a few notches to support D' Virgilio on his new job and the outcome is spectacular. This band has been at the top of their game for so long now how could anyone expect anything less.
The music ranges from the hard rocking title track "Feel Euphoria" to the gorgeous harmonies and lead vocals of "East of Eden, West of Memphis," featuring sparkling guitar lines, keyboards, bass and drums all produced to perfection. "A Guy Named Sid" is their mini-series/opus in six parts that will have prog-heads salivating. The progression and changes that each individual part goes through is like the cover of the CD, a rainbow of colors dumped into a vast pool of sound and textures, it is all breathtaking rock music.
Some long time fans may think that the beard is just stubble right now and it needs to grow in, personally, I think the old growth just had a trim and it grew back in differently to fit the new face.
The beard is still there and it has plenty of time to grow. Just like the title of the last two tracks, it is all about "Change" and the will to "Carry On."
2. The Bottom Line
3. Feel Euphoria
4. Shining Star
5. East Of Eden, West Of Memphis
6. Ghosts Of Autumn
A Guy Named Sid:
7. - pt. I - Intro
8. - pt. II - Same Old Story
9. - pt. III - You Don't Know
10. - pt. IV - Judge
11. - pt. V - Sid's Boys Choir
12. - pt. VI - Change
13. Carry On
Spock's Beard Is:
Nick D'Virgilio - lead vocals, drums, acoustic and some electric guitars, percussion, and loops
Alan Morse - electric and acoustic guitars and vocals
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Dave Meros - basses