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X

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

After almost 4 years Spock's Beard are returning with one of their best albums to date.
'X' is their tenth album and it is the first release on Music Theories Recordings, the new platform for progressive music at the Mascot Label Group.
Spock's Beard are easily one of the best, if not THE best progressive rock band to ever come out of America. A bold statement indeed, but one just has to listen to any of the band's previous releases to find out why. Forging an alliance of breathtaking technical abilities coupled with exceptional compositional technique and a fierce sense of humour, Spock's Beard have defied the boundaries of rock!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Edge Of The In-Between
  2. Emperor's Clothes
  3. Kamikaze
  4. From The Darkness
  5. The Quiet House
  6. The Man Behind The Curtain
  7. Jaws Of Heaven


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mascot Label Group
  • ASIN: B003WHL98A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,168 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After four long years, the band Spock's Beard, finally releases X. This cd was parially financed by the fans, who pre ordered the cd before it was even recorded. Some even payed up to $200.00 to get their name in the cd booklet or hear their name on the song Their Name Escapes Me.(which in part is only on the limited edition cd).
The album itself is pure undilluted in your face progressive rock. Gone are the popish tunes and songs with some holes in them. Musically, this is their best album since Snow and the best since Nick D'Virgilleo took over. The arrangements on each song are perfectly crafted. The band absolutly shines on this album. It seems the longer the song is on X, the better!! I hope Dave Meros (the bass player of the band) writes more on future Beard albums, because the standout song on the album has to be Jaws Of Heaven, which clocks in at app. 16 minutes long. The main riff of jaws reminds me alittle bit of Rush; with Alan Morse and Dave meros playing in sinc on guitar and bass and Nick with the sophisticated drumming. The song is a jam session, then melodic, then anthemist at the end. Other standouts are the haunting From the Darkness, written by NDV and the tongue and cheek Emporers new clothes. Rio okumoto does an awesome jazz like piano solo on this one. And the opener Edge Of Inbetween reminds me somewhat of a Genesis feel to it. I can go on forever praising X. The whole band musically is at their best here.
Now as far as the limited edition and the regular cd differ, the limited edition gives you a bonus song, which it is called Their Name Escapes Me, which is the only weak song on the album.So, i reccomend buying the 15.00 version with seven songs.
All in all, this is the best progressive rock album, I have heard since Transatlantic of last year. I highly recommend this. Hopefully, we won't wait another four years for another beard album. LONG LIVE THE BEARD!!!!!
1 Comment 29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I found this 2010 release to be a bit of a disappointment; especially given that I really enjoyed the albums Feel Euphoria (2003) and Octane (2005). With Octane in particular, it seemed that the group had left the stadium rock sound behind and was on their way to defining their new sound. This is not the case, however, and X presents material that recalls the harder-edged stadium rock of the earlier albums.

I liked the high energy levels on X; the excellent musicianship; and the lead vocals. The quality of the lyrics written by the "new" Spocks Beard has also improved dramatically over the previous incarnation of the group. With respect to the music, it is hard-edged, with loads of hard rock/prog riffing; guitar/keyboard soloing over a bass guitar ostinato; and searing Hammond organ leads that would give Jon Lord (of Deep Purple) a run for his money. The guitar player favors a distorted tone for the most part, but is also capable of some clean tones too. I am confident that the blazing instrumental track "Kamikaze" will have fans very excited. In this regard, it reminded me somewhat of the instrumental "The Spider" from stadium/prog rock act Kansas (Point of Know Return, 1977). Although "Kamikaze" does not have all the fireworks of "The Spider", some of the ensemble playing on "Kamikaze" is breathtaking to say the least.

Of course, this album is not all stadium rock pyrotechnics and hard rock riffing. There are some quiet moments here and there on the acoustic piano and more than a few pop hooks are scattered throughout. With respect to the sections that are really just straightforward pop, they seem to be at odds with the rest of the material. That is, some of the arrangements seem a bit awkward.
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2 Comments 16 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect when I pushed play. After 4 long years, and knowing that Nick played drums with FROST for their amazing live "Philadelphia Experiment"... many questions came to mind: Would the band finally make a good album from start to finish? I hate to say it, because I love Spock's Beard so much, but all of their albums are uneven. The pop songs are awful at times... I could make a killer prog playlist with "At the End Of The Day" from V, "The Bottom Line" from FEEL EUPHORIA, the entire "Flash Before My Eyes" suite from OCTANE, "On A Perfect Day" and "NYC" from their self titled album... but wow; the rest of their catalog goes from mediocre to downright weak.

Amazingly enough, their tenth album (unimaginatively called X) is great from start to finish. "The Edge Of The In Between" is so good that I listened to it about six times in a row upon first hearing it. I'm a huge fan of DUKE era Genesis, and this song was obviously inspired by that sound. "The Quiet House" is amazing. This entire album is so solid... some cheeseball lyrics rear their ugly head now and then (i.e. The Emperors New Clothes) but for the most part this is a very evolved, very impressive Beard. The musicianship has never been this impressive since their Neal Morse days... they come out swinging and the impressive solos and instrumental breaks never let up. Maybe Nick picked up on this from his experience with FROST.

In summary, I need to emphasize how solid this album is. There are no throw away tracks. Every song is an explosion of terrific musicianship and wonderful melodies. Great job, boys!
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