The guys of SPOCK’S BEARD must be really hard-working as they release this live double-album “Gluttons For Punishment” short after their last studio work “Octane”. This is now the first time that you can admire the live qualities of the band after the departure of Neal Morse.
But I’m sure that this album will polarize. Not because of the performance of the musicians but due to the “too good” sound. Don’t get me wrong but “Gluttons For Punishment” is surely no pure live record. The sound is that great, it’s impossible that this was the exactly same sound as on the concert. They must have overworked it and the order of the songs in the setlist has been changed, too, the band confirmed that already. These are surely not the best conditions for a live album. I don’t have anything against a good sound but in my opinion, it should be at least a bit natural. The setlist contains many “Octane” songs as expected, which means that they haven’t played that many classics. But “Harm’s Way” and “The Light” of course found their way into the set. Fortunately, the newer songs aren’t bad at all, so nothing to criticize. Vocalist Nick D’Virgilio proves that he is an able replacement for Neal Morse and sometimes he also plays the guitar and the drums. The other musicians are as well perfect and they do their best on their instruments (like Ryo’s keyboard solo).
“Gluttons For Punishment” is surely a good album but it’s up to you if it’s also a good live album. The album sounds too polished for my taste and the live feeling got lost. But of course this isn’t a weak or bad album. Check it out for yourselves and form your own view but I prefer a real concert of SPOCK’S BEARD.
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