Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD126
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:58:00

2002 has been a very eventful year for the prog-rockers of Spock's Beard. First they (finally) released a double concept album, called Snow, which is an excellent album, and later Neal Morse announced his departure from Spock's Beard to pursue a career for the Lord. So it is only natural that people started to wonder what would happen with the remaining members of The Beard. Well, with the new studio album, called Feel Euphoria, they have proven the departure is not the end of Spock's Beard, on the contrary, this might be seen as a new beginning. The remaining four members decided to keep the line up and Nick D'Virgilio has taken over the lead vocals.

To start with D'Virgilio's vocals: he sings surprisingly good and has a wide range, even the low parts are no problem for him. The music is very varied, from the familiar Spock's Beard sound to very experimental, with psychedelic and even jazz-rock influences, definitely no repetition of older Beard stuff, but much darker and in your face. While D'Virgilio has taken on the leading role in the band, for keyboardist Ryo Okumoto a lot has changed. Neal Morse used to play all piano and synth parts, but now Okumoto is the "all keyboards guy" in the band. The album consists of strong compositions, with absolute highlight the nearly twenty minute long "concept song" called "A Guy Named Sid." The intro of this song may surprise many, as it has a very funky bass line, and Dave Meros (bass) keeps playing an important role in the rest of this song. A peak in the vocal qualities has to be "Sid's Boys Choir," and, although short, an a capella song. The funky bass line is also present in the title track, "Feel Euphoria," with dark vocals by D'Virgilio and subtle guitar parts by Alan Morse. "Ghosts Of Autumn" is a beautiful ballad with a leading role for Okumoto on piano. I almost took out my cigarette lighter, but then realised I was not at a concert, but listening at home. Just make sure you close your eyes with the fantastic guitar solo by Morse!

With Feel Euphoria, the remaining "Beards" show they have enough strength and talent to go on. D'Virgilio's vocals are very good and the same can be said of Okumoto's keyboard play. If they keep moving in the direction the have gone with this album, we can expect lots more strong and surprising albums from them. With this release they won't loose any fans, but I think they will only gain fans! Excellent album.

Similar bands: Transatlantic, Pallas, The Flower Kings

Released also by the now defunct InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2059)

[This review originally appeared July 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Onomatopoeia (5:16) / The Bottom Line (7:33) / Feel Euphoria (7:20) / Shining Star (4:06) / East Of Eden, West Of Memphis (7:05) / Ghosts Of Autumn (6:53) / A Guy Named Sid: Intro (3:02) - Same Old Story (4:25) - You Don't Know (3:11) - Judge (3:20) - Sid's Boy Choir (1:09) - Change (5:16) / Carry On (5:20)

Nick d'Virgilio - vocals, drums, percussion, loops, acoustic and electric guitars
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Alan Morse - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Dave Meros ? bass

The Light (1991)
Beware of Darkness (1995)
The Beard Is Out There Live (1995)
Official Live Bootleg (1996)
The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Day For Night (1999)
Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Don't Try This At Home (2000)
V (2000)
Snow (2002)
Feel Euphoria (2003)
The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series (2004)
Octane (2005)
Gluttons For Punishment (2005)
Spock's Beard (2006)
Live (2008)
X (2010)
Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep (2013)
The Oblivion Particle (2015)
Noise Floor (2018)

The Beard Is Out There Live (VID) (1995)
Spock's Beard's Home Movie (VID) (1998)
Live At The Whisky (VID) (1999)
Making Of V (VID) (2001)
Don't Try This At Home & The Making Of V (DVD) (2002)
The Making Of Snow (DVD) (2004)
Live (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: May 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.spocksbeard.com
Hits: 516
Language: english


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