Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura And Beyond

Published Monday 2nd February 2009
Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura And Beyond
Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura And Beyond

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Insideout
FORMAT: DVD Music video

Reviewed by Anthony Longville

It feels like I've been waiting a long time to get my hands on this release, and I have to say that it's been well worth the wait. This is a 2 DVD package and if you believe in getting a lot of music for your money then you shouldn't be disappointed with this. Disc one is the main feature here, a 2007 concert from the American maestro's European tour recorded in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. Morse jokes that his wife has complained that his concerts are getting longer than they used to be and you get the best part of three hours here. But of course Morse had released a lot of music in his four solo releases up to and including 'Sola' and this concert covers a cross section of his burgeoning catalogue. The show opens with "The Creation" from 'One' which sounds as good as ever, followed by large sections from 'Sola'. '? (Question Mark)' is represented by a medley as is 'Testimony' in the aptly titled "Testimedley". A couple of encores and we're done. The band supporting Morse was put together especially for the tour of Europe by Collin Leeijenaar, a drummer built like Shrek (though not, I would stress, green). The band includes Leeijenaar's wife Jessica Koomen and a highly talented guitarist Paul Bielatowicz who was earning rave reviews with the Carl Palmer Band and had contacted Morse some time before offering his services. As is needed for this kind of highly technical music, the band is certainly up to the task. Jessica's female vocal is a real bonus too and really adds to the overall sound - she's not a vocal teacher for nothing. And then there's disc two which clocks in at over three hours! This begins with the behind the scenes documentary and continues with a single performance from one of Morse's church tours - a bit of a novelty. When I reviewed Morse's '? Live' double CD previously I commented that I wish I had been able to see a video of the concert, to get an idea of who plays what and when, as Morse slips seamlessly between instruments. Well my dream comes true with the next live segment as there's another big helping of '?' - largely filling in the songs missing from the medley on disc one. After a couple of items from 'One' comes the highlight of the disc and indeed possibly the highlight of this whole release, a medley which starts with "Transatlantic", but majors on Spock's Beard's 'Snow' - absolutely inspiring. Whilst I enjoyed Morse's latest CD release 'Lifeline' it didn't reach the very high standards I had become used to from Neal Morse. Watching this though has reminded me why Morse's music means so much to me. Glorious!

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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