2015 finds Spock’s Beard returning with The Oblivion Particle, scheduled for release August 21st on InsideOut Music. The band’s twelfth studio album sees them drawing from their core essence while stretching out into some exciting new territory.
According to bassist Dave Meros, it’s not a matter of how much the album recalls past Spock’s material, but how much it differs. “I think the opening track 'Tides of Time' is classic Spock's in terms of arrangement and style, but everything else is fairly different. That said, the whole album is still within the parameters of what people expect to hear from us.”
Among the nine new songs are “To Be Free Again,” a dramatic, cinematic epic; “Bennett Built a Time Machine,” a quirky adventure tale about time travel; “Hell’s Not Enough” with its fiery emotive plateaus and “Get Out While You Can,” a more straight ahead yet no less impactful powerhouse.
The Oblivion Particle finds the band answering the needs of their creations by utilizing the considerable versatility of each member. In addition to Ted Leonard's soaring vocals and Dave Meros' distinctive bass, Alan Morse adds autoharp, banjolele, electric sitar and mandolin to his array of instruments, drummer Jimmy Keegan takes over lead vocals on “Bennett Built a Time Machine” and Ryo expands his arsenal of keyboard sounds throughout the album. In addition, virtuoso Kansas violinist David Ragsdale lends his touch to the album’s majestic closer, “Disappear.”
As with the previous album Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep, The Oblivion Particle was recorded at The Mouse House and produced by Rich Mouser, Alan Morse and John Boegehold, a band collaborator of many years.
Ultimately, The Oblivion Particle has all the trademarks of a classic “grower,” with a considerable depth that continues to unfold after many listens. This proves Spock’s Beard to be an amazingly compelling band some 20+ years after their formation, and one that continues to be a leader in the prog rock field, just as they have always been…
A brief history
Spock's Beard plays a brand of progressive rock which draws on myriad influences ranging from classical, pop, rock and jazz-fusion to R&B.
To date, the band has released twelve studio CDs including the critically acclaimed The Kindness Global Release Date: August 21st, 2015 Of Strangers, V, Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep as well as their latest album The Oblivion Particle.
Spock's Beard was formed in 1993 in Los Angeles by brothers Neal and Alan Morse. In addition to keyboard-vocalist Neal and guitarist Alan, the original lineup came together with bassist Dave Meros, keyboardist Ryo Okumoto and drummer Nick D'Virgilio.
Following the release of their sixth studio album Snow in 2002, Neal Morse left the band to embark on a solo career. After his departure, the frontman role was taken on by drummer Nick D'Virgilio. During this period, Nick played drums for the studio sessions and Jimmy Keegan (Santana, John Waite) was brought in as tour drummer while Nick fronted the band. This lineup produced four more studio albums: Feel Euphoria, Octane, Spock’s Beard, all released by InsideOut Music and X, released by Mascot Records. In 2011, Nick left the group due to his ongoing commitment to Cirque du Soleil.
For the band’s eleventh album, Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep, Ted Leonard (Enchant, Thought Chamber, Transatlantic) joined the band as lead vocalist and guitarist while Jimmy Keegan assumed the duties of primary drummer for both recording and touring. Released in 2013, the album was a triumphant new chapter in the band’s ongoing evolution, and is already considered by many as one of their best works.
With a touring schedule that has covered much of Europe and the US over the years, Spock’s Beard has played to their legions of fans at major prog festivals around the world. Their live shows have been well documented on DVDs and live CDs such as 2005’s Gluttons For Punishment, Spock’s Beard Live recorded in Holland in 2008, The X Tour – Live in April of 2012 and Live At Sea, filmed while on the Progressive Nation At Sea tour in 2014.