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Neal Morse - Testimony 2 CD (album) cover

TESTIMONY 2

Neal Morse

 

Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 477 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 7/10

"Testimony 2" is a really enjoyable, honest listen that brings back old glories of progressive rock, bringing something new to the table as well.

Eight years after "Testimony", Neal Morse felt that he had much more to say concerning that part of his life and that concept in particular, so he wrote "Testimony 2", this time, being more explicit to certain themes that were a little less underlined in the previous effort, the most obvious one being about his daughter Jayda. While being a little inferior to the original LP, "Testimony 2" contains elements that were lacking in the first part, and thus is much different.

Musically, it wouldn't be a heresy in saying that pretty much nothing whatsoever changed: there are the strong progressive themes, the excellent musicianship and eclectic instrumentation, softer, pop rock, acoustic moments, and so on. There is however something in the air that makes it sound modern, or at least something that is different from the first part: I can certainly tell by the music that this is not only a sequel, but a sequel written in 2011. Once again, we have on drums Mike Portnoy and a change in formation for the bass guitar, Randy George. Together they give a great addiction to the music, although this time around I sense Portnoy's presence because of his typical drumming: back in 2003, I remembered him much more laid back.

In "Testimony 2" Morse clearly explains the struggles he had concerning his faith, identity, by living almost two lives, one as a prog rock musician and another as a extremely devoted Christian. The story is the continuity of the first Testimony, which explained the process of him becoming a Christian. Once again, some of the lyrics on this new album at times become a little banal and corny, not for the content itself but how they were written. The album's grandiose 112 minutes has quite some highlights around it : the opener "Mercy Street" is of a great, memorable prog rock tone, it just shows how Morse is truly devoted also to prog rock music. From there, a large variety of sounds, moods, and instrumentation, finding their best moments in the ballad "Jayda", "Jesus Bring Me Home", and the whole second disc of this album, all three of songs included pretty darn close to being masterful, especially the twenty five minutes epic "Seeds Of Gold".

"Testimony 2" is a really enjoyable, honest and in a way visceral listen that brings back old glories of progressive rock and as always brings something new to the table as well. Whether this album will go down in history or not, It is pretty uncertain, but it will always remain a precious and worthwhile listen, despite it's massive length.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |

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