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4.8 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
From the first track this album grabbed me and I couldn't stop listening. The physical album is a lovely piece of engineering, you sense that time has gone into producing this limited edition. With Ted Leonard now on vocals I must admit he is a stronger singer than Nick D'Virgilio.
Opening track 'Hiding out' has a beautiful piano opening with a hard edged guitar riff and a powerful chorus The 'commercial' sounding 'Submerged' should be a Top 10 hit (If the chart meant anything nowadays) 'Afterthoughts' is a really treat, Neal Morse returns to co-write and the vocal counterpoint is superb. 'Something Very Strange is probably my favorite, great bassline and Leonard seamlessly going up an octave for the second chorus, Alan Morse's guitar work is also noteworthy.

I discover Spock's Beard through Genesis, and being a massive Genesis fan (owning all their albums) I would say this album is a must have for Genesis aswell as Spock's beard fans.

With 'X' Spock's beard produced a fine album, but 'Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep' tops it, every track is top-notch

Quite possibly the best album of 2013 :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2013
I have listened to my fair share of the more popular modern prog bands such as Threshold, Dream Theater, Opeth, Ayreon + Arjen's other stuff, Anathema etc. I've heard less of the older bands so this is probably from the perspective of a modern take of prog music. Although I did listen to Peter Gabriel the other day ;)

I saw Spock's Beard a few years ago at the High Voltage festival and I've previously heard the X album and really enjoyed it. So I took a chance on this and loved it! Vocally the singer is superb. Musically it's really polished and you can tell the band have played together for a long time as it all so sounds so natural and flowing. The highlight track after my first couple of listenings is Submerged although I think there's enough on all of the tracks that this will almost certainly change as I think happens with most good albums. I think it's probably the 'hookiest' song on the album but honestly there really isn't a bad track.

I think if you like prog you will probably like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2013
This is my 1st Spocks Beard purchase and wow !.Totally blown away by this album.Seen the band live in Glasgow and on the strengh of that performance made this purchase...brilliant individual performances particularly Ryo,very tight and clever musicianship.Time to check out their back catalouge
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2013
I must admit I was worried on hearing of former singer/drummer Nick D'Virgilio's departure as he was a major draw for me in the band. While I'm still sorry to see him go I have to say this album is brilliant. It is somehow accessible but still rammed with interesting sounds and compositions and sounds great even on first listen. Repeated listens throws up more depths to the music and I think the guys have done themselves proud. The only minor fly in the ointment for me is the repeated Gentle Giant-sequence harmony vocal section that makes an appearance on all their albums which I know some people love but makes me want to skip the entire track, even though much of it is still good. Still, maybe that's just me. Great album and the new singer, Ted Leonard, acquits himself very well, with touring drummer Jimmy Keegan on drumming duties. Looking forward to the UK tour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
I'm going to challenge long-standing Spock's Beard fans by saying that this album represents the best 'band' album they've released! Accessible prog with superb arrangements and musicianship of a high technical quality.
I thought 'X' was excellent but with the eminences grises of Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio behind them (although Neal co-wrote a couple of tracks with brother Alan), I think SB are now truly a band and can progress towards producing more great music on that basis.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2013
Anyone who has been disappointed in Spocks Beard's last few offerings should take heart and go and buy this new album. It's the Beard back to their brilliant best. Both new boys seem to have settled in nicely. Stand out track for me has to be 'Something very strange' but there isn't a bad track on this great prog album. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2013
The best SB album since Neal Morse departed? Maybe not quite, but getting there. Hugely enjoyable though. I have to say I like the new vocalist better than the outgoing drummer-turned-vocalist (sorry Nick). The new guy has shades of the original Kansas voalist (Steve Walsh) about him - so a bit more vocal range and expression for me. Also, some very accessible tracks for non-SB fans I think? Looking forward to the next album already!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2013
Spock's Beard have woken totally refreshed from their changes in personnel. A must-have for fans, a must listen for any fan of Prog. Somehow, the personnel changes have left both the essence and a lot of the structure of the Old Beard untouched, but sounding more vibrant, more fresh than anything they have put out for many years. If you thought (as I did) that X was great, just wait until you hear Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2013
Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Spock's Beard about, being an occasional dipper into their facial hair. But, having bought a ticket to go see them, I thought I'd better acquaint msyelf with the latest piece of their oeuvre, and well, as sure as eggs is eggs, it's not too shabby!
Whilst I wouldn't say there are any stand out tracks on the album, there's nothing on there that merits skipping. I must admit that I do love the Gentle Giant vocal stylings of Afterthoughts and was most impressed that they pulled it off - ooohhhhhhhhhh, Matron! - live.

So if you want a good slice of proggishness that's not too hard a listen BUY!
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on 23 June 2013
If this is what happens when Nick di Virgilio leaves then it makes me wonder. Spock's Beard at their best were eccentric, eclectic, pastoral, melodic, powerful. Then Neal Morse left and you still had the melodic and powerful but what made them so good was the special musical and lyrical ingredient Neal Morse leave's with everything he does. The previous three albums without Neal Morse were good but they weren't great like Kindness of Strangers, The Light, Snow, Beware of Darkness. Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep is a great album. Not because Neal Morse has returned to the fold, he hasn't but he does contribute to a few songs. It's Ted Leonard, formerly of Embrace. His vocals, his songwriting, all add something which we have missed in SB albums of late - that special extra bit of class and intelligence we all knew and loved. This is a great album with no weak tracks and it comes highly recommended.
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