Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura And Beyond review


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Band: Neal Morse
Album: Sola Scriptura And Beyond
Release date: June 2008

Disc I Sola Scriptura & Beyond
01. The Creation
02. The Good Don't Last / Open Wide The Flood Gates
03. The Door
04. The Conflict / The Conclusion
05. Question Mark Medley
    1 - The Temple Of The Living God
    2 - Another World
    3 - The Outsider
    4 - 12
    5 - Entrance
    6 - Inside His Presence
    7 - The Temple Of The Living God
06. Testimedley
    1 - Overture No. 1
    2 - California Nights
    3 - Colder In The Sun
    4 - Somber Days
    5 - Sing It High
    6 - The Storm Before The Calm
    7 - I Am Willing
    8 - Oh, To Feel Him
    9 - Rejoice
    10 - God's Theme
07. We All Need Some Light
08. Wind At My Back

Disc II Bonus Material
01. Sola Scriptura Tour - Behind The Scenes
02. Bridge Across Forever [acoustic version]
03. Question Mark Live

01. Sweet Elation
02. In The Fire
03. Solid As The Sun
04. The Glory Of The Lord
05. Outside Looking In
06. Help Me
07. King Jesus
08. Reunion
09. Encore Medley
    1 - We All Need Some Light
    2 - Open Wide The Flood Gates
    3 - Open The Gates Part 2
    4 - Solitary Soul
    5 - Wind At My Back

"Sola Scriptura" was probably one of the best albums of 2007 in Progressive Metal genre. I was pretty much ignorant of Neal Morse's music after he left Spock's Beard to pursue his solo career of religious music. I avoided it, especially because of the deep religious content. However, the accidentally heard "Sola Scriptura" made me revise my opinion. The amazing writing and musicianship stunned me. I love this album music-wise and I had to see what the DVD had to offer, not to mention that I really wanted to see this album played out live in its immense complexity.

It took me three sessions over the course of two weeks to finally be able to watch through everything on this double-DVD package. First, there's the nearly three hour long main concert. Second, there's over an hour and a half worth of behind the scenes footage from the tour. Third, there's almost an hour and a half of "Question Mark Live" set. Plus one acoustic song. That's total of over 6 hours of video footage.

The main set is excellent pretty much in every way. There's the great visual side - greatly balanced lighting and shots from various angles, varying over the course of the whole gig offering plenty to look at. Although there's not much show-action going on on the stage, the stage ain't big enough for that and is pretty crowded with equipment and musicians, the great change in viewing angles won't let you get bored. And of course there's the superb sound for a live gig - clean, crisp and in balance.

However, the best part is the music itself and how it's done. Musicians I've not even heard of before pull off songs in complexity that'll easily beat any Prog band and leave them in the dust. And it's all real! It's all live! Moreover, not only they know how to play well, they also like to add occasional bits of their own here and there, and to jam. Halfway down the "The Conflict" they go off Jazzing altogether, which makes it an awesome interlude. What is amazing, though, is that they all manage to keep this high level up for nearly three hours. No easy feat, for sure.

It'd be a long writing to describe everything that you can find on "Sola Scriptura and Beyond." So, I won't - you can view and discover it yourself. Don't miss anything for even behind the scenes footage gives great insight on how it all came to life. However, it won't be easy journey given the content. Prejudices against religious music will no doubt put many people off even before getting down to actual viewing. My advice, however, is to be above it all because you'd be missing one high quality show. The excellent musicianship demands to be viewed. It's well worth it.


Written on 23.11.2008 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 67 users
26.11.2008 - 16:39
Dane Train
Beers & Kilts
I just places my order for this. Can't wait. I've been a huge fan of Spock's Beard for years but Neal's solo material is even more my liking. Great review!
(space for rent)
22.02.2010 - 14:28
Great show, great musicians! Totally worth checking out. For Prog fans, it's a must. Detail: you can check 2 guitar players Neal got for different tours: Paul and Elisa.

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