SPOCK'S BEARD was delivered a major blow just a while back when Neal Morse who fronted the band for so long decided to call it a day. Fans were worried as to who would take over. This is a daunting task, but the phenomenal drummer that is Nick D'Virgilio has added on the additional responsibility of being the vocalist as well and he isn't that bad. The sound still carries the soft melodies that the fans love them for, but I think they up the ante just a little with packing more of a punch from the get go.
"Onomatopoeia" comes off sounding a little rougher and harder especially with Nick's branding of the skins. "The Bottom Line" continues to fuse 70's inspired Prog especially with Ryo's fresh keyboard sound. It doesn't take long for the band to clam down and play nothing but melodious sounds that you can lay down to and just reflect. What I respect from this band is that they don't have to always impress their fan base by showing them just how creative they can be unlike other Prog bands.
The music speaks for itself and the band already knows just exactly what they are capable of. This is downright good music with great compositions as usual and this will just put a smile on your face. This is a new and exciting chapter for the band and with Neal gone I think Nick knows that he has a major responsibility of taking over vocal duties. But you know what? He's going to be just fine and not only do the band proud, but the fans will be proud of him to. This is world-class musicianship and I don't think Nick would have taken over if he didn't think he could pull it off. He did! (Online December 15, 2003)