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Neal Morse - Testimony CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 433 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mr. Mustard
3 stars Neal Morse's first 'prog' solo album sees him tackling yet another concept album, a lengthy one at that. Only a year after Snow was released, Neal comes up with over two hours of material, which is a true testament to his songwriting ability. Being a master composer and melody writer, surely he knows what sounds great to the ear, but also has a great prog sensibility.

Musically this does sound a lot like Spocks Beard, as Neal was indeed the main songwriting factor for the band. The music still has the strong melodies, vocals, and epic arrangements the Beard is known for. Yet not everything is the same for Morse, as he joins the forces of Mike Portnoy and myriad of guest musicians which definitely help shape the sound of the album.

I won't go through every song as there are many, but there are a myriad of styles present. 'In the Land of Beginning Again,' 'Overture' (1 & 2), 'The Prince of the Power of the Air' and 'Long Story' are all reminiscent of Spock's Beard, especially Snow. 'Colder in the Sun,' 'Break of Day' and 'Transformation' are all examples of the Neal Morse sound that is refined in future albums. He also manages to reach for some other sounds in the form of the Spanish-like 'The Promise' and slightly jazzy 'The Storm Before the Calm.'

While the first disc is high quality Morse, the second disc suffers greatly from weaker compositions, and overly preachy lyrics. Not only are these songs just generally inferior to those on the first disc, they are often very repetitious to the point where they don't sound like anything new. Though this is nothing new to the double album format.

Overall, this is a strong effort from Morse, who proves he is able write effectively without the support of his ex-bandmates. Unfortunately, as strong as the first disc is, the second disc really drags down the rating as a whole. Though, if you can get through all 120-minutes, it is an enjoyable listen indeed.

A 8/10 for the first disc and a 5/10 for disc two yield an album rating of 6/10

Mr. Mustard | 3/5 |


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