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Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura CD (album) cover

SOLA SCRIPTURA

Neal Morse

 

Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 459 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

StyLaZyn
3 stars All of this huh bub about Neal Morse's latest release. So many glorifying it, I almost thought Jesus sang on it. I checked the list of musicians. Nope. No Jesus. Still, there is a reputable lineup for Progressive Rock. I sat down with the CD and had my mandatory three honest listens before a written review. I think it is something we all should do prior to writing a review.

I am a big fan of Spock's Beard (both varieties) and Transatlantic. When listening to this release, I realized there is very little "NEW" material. Sorry fan boys. The reality is its a terrible thing to come to grips with when expectations are so high. Oh, it's new in the sense that it didn't exist in this structure previously, but the fact of the matter is that very little is new territory. The painted musical canvas is essentially SB and Transatlantic. The instrumentation is essentially the same. The hooks could fit nicely on already recorded material as out-takes for any of the aforementioned bands.

"The Door" is plan old disappointing for a first track, until the emergence of Paul Gilbert. Nicely done! Otherwise I felt like I was listening to "Snow" era SB.

The opening of "The Conflict" is exciting, (ooh! something new?) and much of the jamming works well at about the 9 minute mark. Then it gets boring as the groove simply drops off into a melancholy ode, with no interesting cohesion to the previous statement. The song should have ended and a new song begun, but instead they got pasted together.

"Heaven in My Heart" sounds like filler to me. Nice little ballad with a respectable key change going absolutely no where. The song ends flat although Morse's singing tries to revive it and then, fizzles. Should I get my check now and not finish the meal? So far there has been plenty to eat but this 4 course meal boasts little flavor.

Holding on for the last cut, again, I think I'm listening to SB. It starts out interesting then continues into Prog land and suddenly I realize I am getting Morse fatigue. Five minutes gone...can this song please end? Wait.here comes the change. Oh, bummer, more of yesterday's rehash.

So the question is how to rate this? Truthfully, the music is not bad as the review sounds, but the album offers little I didn't already have. I didn't sense any growth or progress. In fact, outside of song length, the Progressive element is not that strong. I'll give it a three. Maybe if I listen to it another five times I'll be able to rate it 4 or better. Then gain, I'm thinking fat chance.

(Cracking open a beer.) Here's to hoping for a future Neal Morse release that gives us something actually new. Cheers!

StyLaZyn | 3/5 |

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