Sound — 10
A rare thing to come across nowadays is good old fashioned rock. Spock's Beard, fronted by drummer/vocalist Nick D'Virgilio in the wake of Neal Morse's departure, manages to deliver such rock, adding in extra ingredients here and there to give them a unique sound that is compelling to say the least. Nick's rock-solid grooving drumming techniques seem to fit right in with guitarist Alan Morse's light yet driving rhythmics, especially in songs such as Change or Onomatopoeia. Bass lines are also well established throughout the album, albeit slightly put in the background, which at times proves to be a shame upon lending a more sensitive ear. Ghosts Of Autumn, however, manages to show off Dave Meros' composing skill and prowess on his instrument. A surprising addition to such a rock band is Ryo Okumoto's piano/synthesizer, which at times takes on the form of a distorted guitar-ish sound, yet is oftentimes kept as a rock organ for the more energetic part of the album.
Lyrics — 8
Nick's singing talents honestly took me by surprise. Knowing Spock's Beard slightly before Neal's departure, I was amazed at how they had managed to conceal his vocal skills. Not a singer to hit extremely high notes, Nick nevertheless manages to pull off his duties with ease, both on the drum set and on the microphone. The lyrics are lightheaded and rebellious on the more upbeat part of the album, crestfallen at times (mainly during the A Guy Named Sid section of the album), yet always manage to deliver an impact through meaning and range. Nick seems to enjoy straining his voice to go as high as he can, and he does it at the right times, yet the last few seconds of his 'scream' always manage to leave me in a "Why did you do that? That bloody ruined that part of the song" mood. Kudos to Nick for trying as hard as he possibly can -and, for the most part, succeeding- but he sometimes needs to snap back to reality to realize that Spock's Beard is not a one man show.
Overall Impression — 9
All in all, Feel Euphoria carries its name well, especially for rhythm guitarists and drummers... You guys are in for a treat. Onomatopoeia, The Bottom Line, Ghosts Of Autumn and Change especially made their mark in me, sometimes saving the album from being classified as 'emo' all to themselves. If you're into the groove rock of King's X, or the synthesizer-heavy guitar riffs of Porcupine Tree, I strongly urge you to give it a listen. Keep the music playing!