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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It marks the spot, 3 Sept. 2010
By 
Ben Bottle (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X (Audio CD)
A truly welcome and significant return by the band who for some strange reason appear to struggle when it comes to "making it".
They are a great band and this recording displays their considerable talent wonderfully.
Excellent playing - strong songs with articulate arrangements. SB are a seasoned and very experienced band and this is one of their strongest statements yet.
Forget that Neal Morse "was in the band" - he's gone and they have moved on; in fact, I'll really stick my neck out say they are stronger and better!
A really good rock album from a band who believe in what they do and stick to their guns.
Nick D'Virgilio - a very good and highly respected drummer AND a pretty fair vocal lead. Alan Morse - is a darn good guitarist who doesn't hold back here. Dave Meros - has a wonderfully fluid bass style and with NDV makes up a fantastic rhythm section. Then - Ryo Okumoto, who doesn't always get the credit he deserves - his "Hammond" sound is great and he mixes Mellotron, Synth and Piano with consummate ease.
"X" is a very welcome return and they are on form. Like it!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A crackling return to form, 29 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: X (Audio CD)
I've followed Spock's Beard since their magnificent fifth album 'V' and this is, i think, their best album since then. Nick D'Virgilo has gone from strength to strength as a vocalist since 'doing a Phil Collins' and stepping out from the drum kit to replace their former lead singer Neal Morse.
While the previous three post Neal Morse albums have all had their moments this album is probably their most accomplished and sits comfortably alongside V as one of the best progressive rock albums of the last 10 years.
As befits a classic prog album, the two longest tracks "From the Darkness" and "Jaws of Heaven" are probably the best with multiple sections and some brilliant musicianship to match the songwriting.

The MP3 version (which I downloaded from Amazon) has an ample bit rate for casual listening and the production quality is such that there is no noticable degradation (at least to my ears when using headphones).

Overall a pretty good way to spend £7.50 .
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the 4 year wait, 4 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: X (Audio CD)
Congratulations Spock's Beard, what a superb album, fantastic musicianship through out, great tunes haunting melodies. OK so they do remind you a bit of early Genesis in parts but hey that's just what attracted me to them in the first place,and in my personal opinion this is a much better album than "The Whirlwind" by Transatlantic featuring former SB member Neil Morse.I would love to see this band live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What prog-rock should be like..., 11 Oct. 2011
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
I have to confess that up until about 6 months or so ago, I'm afraid to say that the multitudinous efforts of the Beard had completely passed me by - ten albums worth to be precise. This was no conscious thing on my part, never really came across them being mentioned or played, but it took a decent review of this in Classic Rock mag together with a couple of tracks heard on Planet Rock to spark my interest and finally make me realise what I was missing.

I've listened to X for a few months now and have to say that this is a superb collection for anyone who likes proper, classic prog - you can hear influences of early Genesis, Yes, even ELP and Rush - all can be detected in places, but hey, whats wrong with that? Influence is fine as long as it doesn't stray into plagiarism, which this never does. None of these ever overshadow the 'uniqueness' of the band anyway, and they do have a distinct sound of their own.

The compositions are superb, with a production to match - a great mixture of short and longer pieces, catchy and classical, which seem, to my ears anyway, to work brilliantly as a whole.

To be wholeheartedly recommended to fans of the above mentioned bands who may, like me, not yet have discovered the delights of the mighty Beard.

I'm now working my way through the back catalogue - it might be just me, but isn't it great when you come across a band like this who are just up your street , and suddenly you find they have a history that you missed and there are 9 more albums to discover - deep joy!

Signed - a new fan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the post Neal era!, 9 Dec. 2010
By 
Simon "I'm a liberal minded person, enjoying ... (Woking, GA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
Can't agree that the band are 'stronger' since Neal Morse left, but they are definitely going in the right direction. Since he left the band after 'Snow', the albums have markedly improved since my least favourite of all their albums, 'Feel Euphoria'. For anyone wanting to explore other albums, try any from 'Snow' back to one of the best debut albums by any band...'The Light'. If you ever get a chance to see them live, don't hesitate, go see them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Spocks Beard with a return to the album style of V., 11 Oct. 2010
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
This is classic Spocks Beard with a return to the album style of V and proof once again that the band is highly under rated. A little heavier than past albums, X is worth buying if nothing else for killer final track which is an excellent example of progressive rock that combines good symphonies with strong bass, drum and guitar work. Buy it you won't be sorry, if you don't already have the collection this album will leave you wanting more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beard are back, 7 Nov. 2011
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
Great album, really consistent from start to finish.
Spock's beard are back! I feel this album is 1 of their best ever, which is a big relief.
the last few albums have not been as good as the NEAL MORSE era. It's great to finally have X - a short, snappy album full of power and fantastic progressive tunes.

Nick d' virgilio really comes into his own here, he finally sounds like a real strong frontman, leading the band forward on every song as well as laying down expressive drum tracks.

The sound is very modern, spock's beard have really focused on the songwriting on this 1, all the tracks are very atmospheric and they each tell a different story. However, Kamikaze is a full on prog tour de force! enjoy it, it's ryo at his best.

All in all i feel this album is weighted beautifully with a couple of long tracks blending in well with the rest of the album.
LOOKING FORWARD TO A FUTURE NEW ALBUM PLEASE!!!!! KEEP GOING BEARD.

Album highlights:

Edge of the In-between
from the darkness
quiet house - (fantastic harmonies in the chorus, check out the guitar solo on the final chorus, blistering)

5/5
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang up to date classic prog, 1 Sept. 2010
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X (Audio CD)
This is a really fine album that combines all you would expect from classic prog, loads of keyboards and yes much of it does sound a bit like early Genesis, but there are enough extra ingredients here to bring it bang up to date. I hear hints of Hawkwind, as well as more guitar based excerpts within the longer pieces. Listen, this is prog and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Return to form, 2 Aug. 2012
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
A great return for NDV lead Spock's. The best since Morse left in my opinion. Songwriting,production adn musician ship is top notch. Even the Emperors Clothes, although slighlty wimsical is cleavely contructed and executed.

Octave was a really good release, but the last self titled "SB" release, was too metal and faceless. This is a true return to form. Shame Nick has moved on, maybe a full reunion with Neale will come about in time.

For lovers of classy, melodic modern prog.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spock's Beard hit yet another high point, 1 May 2011
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
I have followed spock's Beard for a few years now. I have 'The light' their 1st album, 'Octane' and now 'X'. All different but all highly enjoyable. They have the edge over other 'Neo-Prog' bands because of the melodic elements to their music. Although some of the songs on, 'X' are long, they still have melody at their core. More people should check out this tremendous new album. I've just ordered their double album,'Snow' because I like this new album so much.
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