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Steve Morse Band - Split Decision  CD (album) cover

SPLIT DECISION

Steve Morse Band

 

Eclectic Prog

3.84 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I agree with most music fans out there that Steve Morse is a great guitarist. I've heard his playing on many albums including his solo debut, his earlier work with THE DIXIE DREGS and later stuff with KANSAS and DEEP PURPLE but i've just never been too a big a fan of the music from these recordings except for "What If" by THE DIXIE DREGS and his work on a RUSH tribute album I own called "Working Man". So it came as a huge surprise when I first listened to this album at how heavy it was at times and also how emotional it was but mostly at how great the songs were.This blew me away. My respect for Steve just went through the roof as I listened to his amazing performance throughout. Dave LaRue on bass is in your face almost all the time and he adds so much here. Steve says he named this album "Split Decision" because he had these heavy band tracks he wanted on here but also these more acoustic songs, so we 7 heavy and 5 acoustic giving the heavy side the split decision. Or something like that.

"Heightened Awareness" opens with guitar as the bass comes in throbbing then it turns heavy. Nice. Contrasts continue.This is great ! Morse is putting on a show. "Busybodies" is fairly uptempo and has a classical flavour to it. I'm really impressed with the guitar here and the bass is prominant. "Marching Orders" turns heavy quickly and we get some aggressive guitar before 2 1/2 minutes and a minute later as well. Morse sounds so good here. "Mechanical Frenzy" has this ripping guitar intro then the bass shakes the soundscape with some deep grooves. So good. It settles back before 2 1/2 minutes as LaRue puts on a show.Mores then comes in lighting it up. Killer stuff. "Great Mountain Spirits" has a good heavy beat with some atmosphere. Great sound. Heavy guitar comes in.This is nasty. Love the guitar before 4 minutes to end it.

"Majorly Up" is a good uptempo track and I like the gutar/bass section 2 minutes in. "Gentle Flowers" is beautifully pastoral early on then it turns surprisingly aggressive before 1 1/2 minutes. An all out assault before 4 minutes. Check out the bass that follows.The next five tracks are mostly acoustic. "Moment's Comfort" is laid back, gorgeous and emotional. "Clear Memories" features strummed guitar, bass and drums.There's a depth here, a rich beautiful sound. "Midnight Daydream" has some intricate acoustic guitar reminding me so much of POPOL VUH. "Back Porch" has this deep rumbling bass with drums as the guitar plays over top. "Natural Flow" is an uplifting and pleasant closer.

No wonder this is the highest rated solo Steve Morse album on the the RYM site. I kept waiting for the Country / honky tonk / Southern Rock style to rear it's ugly head but it never did.Thankyou ! Now i'm excited to hear the new album that Morse, LaRue, Portnoy and Neal Morse are working on.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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