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Neal Morse - ? [Aka: Question Mark] CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

4.19 | 593 ratings

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5 stars I have been scoring hits lately with a lot of my recent purchases of new bands but this one is at the top of the heap. This one is a concept album about the trail of the earthly housing of God from the Ark of the Covenant to everyone's heart becoming the temple. If you expected anything less than a Christian epic or if that offends you from NM than don't buy this CD. It would be too bad if you did allow your feelings on the subject to keep you from this masterpiece of prog.

The album is a group of recurring musical themes moving from one part to the other and back again. Each time adding something new to the theme. Even though there are song breaks the CD moves though as one piece of music I look at the opening track The Temple of the Living God as a model or overture to the rest of the album. The music is very imaginative moving from a Genesis twelve string moment at the beginning of The Outsider to a more spirited sweet melody in Sweet Elation that conjours up the harder parts of the Musical Box. Track Five enters in with a funky guitar beat reminiscent to muted trumpet. Alan Morse shines on a solo on this one. This song builds up to a raging torrent with a wicked Hammond solo towards the end with a burning guitar in the background.

Track 8-12 bring the piece up to its climax. It starts out with a nice a little acoustic song where Neal identifies with the man standing outside the temple in Outside Looking In. This merges into 12 which describes many things using the number in and out of the bible. Incredible bit of harmonies here. This song builds to an electrifying ending with a great Steve Hackett solo. Song ten brings the Outsider into the temple led by Christ who cleanses him and leads him to the mercy seat. Inside his presence moves the experience of them temple to ourselves as we are now the temple of the living God. Great climax music in this reminiscent of Suppers Ready especially some Hackett like guitar sounds. The last song a reprise of the first With a single Piano chord ending this epic and the sounds of voices whispering in the dessert.

Kudos must also be given to Mike Portnoy without his drums I don't think this CD is as dynamic as it is. This is very high on my music scale as I can't really stop listening to it for the 6 months I have owned it. It always seems to find its way back into the CD player. I am looking forward to buying both One and Testimony and seeif they do the same for me. It is a strong 5 to me.

Garion81 | 5/5 |


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