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Neal Morse - Lifeline CD (album) cover

LIFELINE

Neal Morse

 

Symphonic Prog

3.12 | 275 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. I honestly believe that Neal Morse will be playing and composing this type of incredible music until he's either dead or not able to. What motivates and inspires him is limitless. For those of us who dig the message, and the person that made the message possible, this music is a Godsend. I can see why many would be turned off with the lyrics here, but I can't understand the critisicm for the music itself. Mike Portnoy continues to show why he's one of the all time great drummers, while bassist Randy George seems to become more prominant with each album. I just never get tired of Neal's vocals, as well as his song writing and composing talents. He's all about melody. I like what Chicapah says when comparing "Lifeline" with his past records. "In essance, they are prog albums with a heavy emphasis on religion whereas "lifeline" is a religious work that draws generously from the prog reservoir".

"Lifeline" opens with piano before the bombast hits a minute in. Check out Portnoy ! Huge bass as well here. What an instrumental display. It settles with a steady beat then guitar and organ start to rip it up. Vocals don't arrive until 4 1/2 minutes. Awesome song. Lots of mellotron too. More incredible instrumental work before 8 minutes.Then 11 1/2 minutes in the organ,guitar and drums just kill. "The Way Home" may not be proggy but it's a meaningful and enjoyable track. Strummed guitar and vocals as Portnoy keeps the beat. Some strings too 2 minutes in. "Leviathan" opens with these dark, deep sounds that pulse that being to mind the leviathan. The song kicks in with uptempo sax as drums pound. Neal comes in singing with passion. Nice organ runs and some nasty guitar. Vibes follow. The tempo really picks up 5 minutes in and Portnoy is on fire. It ends as it began. "God's Love" is a mellow song with strummed guitar and reserved vocals. Great lyrics. I can personally attest to them. "Children Of The Chosen" opens with waves of synths before a beat takes over with vocals and guitar. Beautiful. I like the drumming to end it. There's something special about this one.

"So Many Roads" is almost 29 minutes long. I really like the trip this one takes us on. It opens with vocals and piano. When it kicks in it really reminds me of SPOCK'S BEARD. The contrast continues. It gets pretty heavy before 5 minutes with some blistering guitar. More ripping guitar a minute later. It turns jazzy 9 1/2 minutes in with sax. A calm 13 minutes in and the guitar that comes out of that breaks my heart. Gorgeous. It kicks back in after 15 minutes, more great guitar 17 minutes in and fat bass a minute after that. Another calm before 21 minutes. It kicks back in with lots of synths. "Fly High" is another beauty. Neal sings "Fly high, fly straight through the open sky, give up everything you have for what you could never buy". A fantastic guitar solo starts after 4 minutes as Neal shouts and sings in the background. It ends with strings and vocals as the guitar continues.

Thanks Neal.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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