There's something burning deep within my heart"
One Word Review: Ardent
Neal Morse is a man of passion.
Passion really is a keyword on this, his fourth solo album. On the surface the album looks rather intimidating, with only 4 songs, comprising 76 minutes of music. Beneath the surface the music is charming, involving and constantly varied. The musicians bring a real dynamic feel to the record, each delivering a spellbinding performance. The album is over before you know it.
Sola Scriptura is a concept album dealing with strength of character and how far you are willing to go for something you believe in.
Looking at the individual performances it is hard not to go overboard with praises.
Special guest, Paul Gilbert on guitar, is a fantastic element in the band. His solos are all exceptional and often they feel like moments of clarity, working wonderfully as a slight contrast to the complex setting. The solo ending The Door is just, Wow!
Randy and Mike lay down a special groove that just feels natural. It is fascinating to listen to Mike Portnoy and discover all the detail he adds to the music. His incredible passage beginning around the 7 minute mark of The Conclusion speaks for itself.
Neal's voice is the key that opens the door to the emotional depth of the album. His voice brings the album a special warmth. Small things, like the way his voice is close to breaking at 20:10 during The Conflict give the music an emotional edge. Neal uses piano and keyboards often and effectively, enhancing the music in just the right ways.
It's hard to pull out single moments because the songs form a special unity, making the overall impression that this is one long piece of music, connected all the way through. The music is very well woven together with the 5-minute ballad Heaven in my Heart being a welcome breather in between all the complexity.
I have nothing more to say. Discovering all the nuances of the album is one of its joys. If you enjoy listening seriously to music, then you will find 76 minutes of pure pleasure. I can only give it my sincere recommendation.
Written By Steen
Online: Wednesday, June 17, 2015