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Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura CD (album) cover

SOLA SCRIPTURA

Neal Morse

 

Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 461 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Lofcaudio
4 stars Overall, I think Sola Scriptura is an outstanding album. It has great music which is performed amazingly well by Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Paul Gilbert and Mr. Morse himself. It also has stunning cover art which provides a wonderful backdrop for the album's concept. Fans of Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, Transatlantic and Morse's other albums will enjoy this release.

I have listened to this album over 40 times now. As much as I like it, I don't think it's quite up to the level of Neal's last two albums (One and ?, which I both gave 5 stars without reservation). My main criticism with this new album is that it borrows too much from what Neal has already recorded. This has been pointed out in many of the previous reviews and is very obvious, in my opinion. There are sections which sound just like Snow, V, One and Testimony. Even though I like the music in all of these places, I have heard it before.

Even though I've never had a problem with Morse's lyrics, I know there are those who do not appreciate the Christian message that is typically at the forefront of his music. This album actually has a fairly dark atmosphere and the words are more cryptic than what you will normally find from Morse.

The opening track is The Door and is certainly one of the finest tunes that Morse has ever written. It is a 29-minute epic which has all sorts of moods, twisting and turning to the final climax highlighted by a wonderful guitar solo by Paul Gilbert.

Another epic (The Conflict) follows and is a very dark song with a strong metal vibe to it. Morse's vocals are surprisingly good throughout this song and another catchy guitar solo by Gilbert steals the show (this one is acoustic).

This album is structured identically to that of Transatlantic's Bridge Across Forever with four songs, three of them being epics with a more poppish tune inserted into the third position on the album. Heaven in my Heart is the third song and while many prog fans seem to be bored by it, I actually like it quite a bit even though it is the least progressive music on the album.

The fourth and final song is The Conclusion. This song seems to lack the firepower that was so evident in the first two tracks. I find that it has some very good parts, but also has what I would consider to be a bit of aimless fluff. I do think the climax is very nice though with choir-like voices coming in to accentuate what Morse is singing.

This is a very strong effort which I would consider giving five stars if it weren't for some of the similar sounds which I've already heard on Morse's previous albums. As a result, I'll give it four stars and gladly recommend it to all progressive music fans.

Lofcaudio | 4/5 |

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