To be honest I had not heard of Neal Morse until I stumbled upon his song “The Temple of the Living God” while searching for some Dream Theater songs. “Temple..” is on his CD entitled “?”. Yes, that is the name of his CD and it is one of the best pieces of work I’ve heard and at times the most unusual. I have since looked back into his career and downloaded several other previous projects, including Morse’s stint with Spock’s Beard (funny band name). The type of music Neal plays is hard to put into a category. The closest I could come to is progressive rock. The progressive rock genre demands real musicianship which seems to be lacking in 90% of music anymore. But where the others fall short, this musician excels.
Neal Morse is a musical genius. His mix of jazz fusion and metal is a staple of his genius. He tends to use very talented guest musicians on his projects. Some of the talented folks who have contributed their wares are such names as Steve Hackett (Genesis), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), and Michael Portnoy (Dream Theater) and this latest effort is no exception. Paul Gilbert of Racer X, and Mr. Big fame is the guest guitarist on this release, and he swings a mean axe. Michael Portnoy once again pounds his skins on SS and Neal’s regular sidekick on bass Randy George wallops some heavy bass on all tracks. The combination of these skillful musicians makes for a truly amazing CD from top to bottom.
The biggest bonus to this CD is the lyrical content. The CD title alone should give you some kind of indication of what the listener is in for. Sola Scriptura is the Latin term meaning “by scripture alone”. For a more concise meaning please check out this Wikipedia link. The first song on “SS” is called “The Door” an it’s subtitles “Introduction, In The Name Of God, All I ask For, Mercy For Sale, Keep Silent, Upon The Door” will get you even closer to what you are in store for. Hint: Upon the Door could contain the word Wittenberg on it. But you should see for yourself. This is just a foretaste of the whole package. I would definitely recommend this CD for anyone who loves music, appreciates musicianship, and loves the historical content surrounding the Protestant Reformation.
For a preview of the music or purchase it, and read some other reviews, go to the Amazon link to check it out. Rock on!