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Neal Morse - Morsefest! 2014: Testimony & One Live CD (album) cover


Neal Morse


Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 39 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
3 stars This double show weekend was done after only four days of rehearsal at Neal's home church in Nashville. Neal is surrounded with his usual band and many back up singers. The intimate venue here has played a major role on how those shows would unravel. It offer the possibility for Neal to get some interactions with the crowd that was already sold to his charm. Maybe people that only visits this church for religious purposes could have been there, because of the religious beliefs of Neil.The story of Testimony 1 is connected with Neal's evolution in his life and the man is comfortable showing his devotion to God, especially for a man that has seen his daughter miraculously cure. The music reflects this evolution with songs that are the expression of a man searching for the truth during difficult times, and other songs that are more upbeat on a more festive side when Neal has found happiness in his life. This live release is more enjoyable with the DVD or Blu-Ray presentation, if you want to see those emotional moments, when Neal is in tears at times, or when he goes in the crowd letting people touch him, or when he show his affection for Mike Portnoy after his 15 years collaboration with him... Mike will return the favor later in the show with a speech. Sometimes when the female choir was singing, i had the impression to be in a gospel celebration in Harlem, but with a complete Rock band. So the music of the band was fitting like a glove in this church. Who wouldn't go to the church every Sunday to see the priest Neal Morse with his little orchestra?

The second disk is the complete "One" album with one additional track unreleased. We have heard previously the two best track : "Author of Confusion" and "The Separated Man" on others live releases, which contains long instrumentals passages of greatness. "Cradle to the Grave" is a ballad with Neal's son singing with him, when the latter was again very emotional. In the encore, the music was a welcome change to the atmosphere of the intense world of Neal with the song "The Light" of Spock's Beard and the final song "Strangers in Your Soul", where we're witnessing a crazy moment when almost everybody are playing others instruments. I didn't know that Mike Portnoy could play bass, unless he was faking... So another tour for Neal and another live release, i would have prefer to wait and hear something new from the latest "The Grand Experiment" album, but i can understand that Neal would jump on the opportunity to record something at home. 3.4 stars

rdtprog | 3/5 |


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