Album review: SPOCK’S BEARD – Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep

Inside Out www.insideout.de

Spock’s Beard return after the well received ‘X’ album and a major line-up change as drummer/vocalist Nick D’Virgilio left in 2011. In his place come two new members, drummer Jimmy Keegan and Enchant vocalist Ted Leonard (do check out Enchant a fine band with a hint of Marillion amongst others in their sound). They have played live already with the band and now comes the big test…a new album!

Of definite interest to fans will be Neal Morse co-writing two songs on here, including the album’s epic song ‘Waiting For Me’  (co-written with his brother Alan). Apart from this epic number the band have gone for shorter numbers and ones with plenty of hook filled melodies. Highlights include ‘Afterthoughts’ with the keys of Ryo Okumoto melding into the guitar parts nicely and the song sees their trademark a Capella make an appearance. The way they nail those harmonies is simply wonderful to hear.

Ted Leonard fits the band like a glove and writes two songs on his own, including the wonderful melodies on ‘Submerged’, a song that recalls Enchant at their finest.

‘Something Very Strange’ is mainly instrumental and again features some neat interplay between Alan Morse and Ryo Okumoto. ‘I Know Your Secret’ could almost be a single, one of the most instantly accessible songs the band have done. Strangely Kansas in their later years came to mind after a few plays.

There is a second disc on the limited edition which I haven’t heard but – hey – this is Spock’s Beard and it’s bound to be good.

Spock’s Beard have produced another magnificent album and hopefully now this line-up can carry on for many years to come.

****1/2

Jason Ritchie




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