Morse, Neal - Testimony

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 139
Format: CD
Total Time: 132:34:00

We have spent a year without listening to his music: in fact, his departure lasted only a year. The album contains an autobiographical concept and speaks about his personal life, from the beginning of his career (when he played all night that "tired Eagles song?) in Los Angeles to his conversion to Christianity that permitted him to start a new life, as he says in the last track of the disc.

He wants to share with everyone his thoughts and witness what happened in his recent life.

The album is a return to a progressive sound, since on his previous solo records he performed pop songs. A new frontier for prog music, I?d dare to define it as Christian prog, either for the lyrics or the music. There are orchestral arrangements, conducted by Chris Carmichael, with strings and gospel choirs; Christian lyrics; and a lot of feeling.

Testimony is a very varied release; in fact we can find many genres on it, like melodic pop, blues, country, Latin jazz and gospel. There are some influences from Spock?s Beard and Transatlantic or should I say the opposite?

To realize Testimony, Neal Morse asked for help from Transatlantic co-hort Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), for the drum parts (even though Neal can play drums, too) and Kerry Livgren (Kansas) for some electric guitar parts. Of the rest, the same Morse is the master of the field.

As on Snow, here you can find that some themes repeat themselves on the double CD, and the most of them are shown in the initial overture, as with the suites of classic music. But this one is more enjoyable because of its melodic feeling and complexity.

At this moment, in my opinion, this is the best prog release of the year. Highly recommended.

Also released by Metal Blade (14451CD)

Disc One: Part One (41:08): The Land Of Beginning Again / Overture No 1 / California Nights / Colder In The Sun / Sleeping Jesus / Interlude / The Prince Of The Power Of The Air / The Promise / Wasted Life / Part Two (31:38): Overture No 2 / Break Of Day / Power In The Air / Somber Days / Long Story / It's All I Can Do

Disc Two: Part Three (12:06): Transformation / Ready To Try / Sing It High / Part Four (28:19): Moving In My Heart / I Am Willing / In The Middle / The Storm Before The Calm / Oh To Feel Him / God's Theme / Part Five (10:33): Overture No 3 / Rejoice / Oh Lord My God / God's Theme 2 / The Land Of Beginning Again

Eric Brenton - violin, viola, electric violin solo (end of 1:11)
Chris Carmichael - violin, viola, cello, String arrangements
David Henry - cello
Mike Portnoy - drums, vocals
Pamela Ward and Erin - all female background vocals and soulful wailing
Rick Altizer - vocals on high parts in the choruses
Terry White and Gene Miller - vocals (2:8, 2:11)
Jim Hoke and Neil Rosengarden - sax and trumpet respectively
Katie Hagen (of the Nashville Symphony) - French horn
Mark Leniger - sax solo (2:7)
Byron House - string bass
Glenn Caruba - percussion
Johnny Cox - pedal steel guitar
Jerry Guidroz - handclaps, sampling
Kerry Livgren - guitar solo (2:5)
Anything not mentioned here performed by Neal

Spock's Beard - The Light (1991)
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness (1995)
Spock's Beard - The Beard Is Out There Live (1995) (cd/vid)
Spock's Beard - Official Live Bootleg (1996)
Spock's Beard - The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
Spock's Beard - From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Spock's Beard - Day For Night (1999)
Spock's Beard - Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Neal Morse (1999)
Spock's Beard - Don't Try This At Home (2000)
Merry Christmas From The Morse Family (2000)
Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio - Two Separate Gorillas - Live In Europe (2000)
Spock's Beard - V (2000)
Transatlantic - SMPTe (2000)
It's Not Too Late (2001)
Transatlantic - Live In America (2001)
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever (2001)
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever - Special Edition (2001)
Spock's Beard - Snow (2002)
Testimony (2003)
One (2004)
Lead Me Lord (Worship Sessions Volume One) (2005)
? (2005)
Morse Portnoy George - Cover To Cover (2006)
Sola Scriptura (2007)
?: Live (2007)
Lifeline (2008)
Testimony Two (2011)
Testimony 2: Live In Los Angeles (CD/DVD) (2011)
Cover 2 Cover (2012)
Momentum (2012)
Neal Morse Band - The Grand Experiment (2015)
Neal Morse Band - Alive Again Tour 2015 (2016)
Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream (2016)
Neal Morse Band - Morsefest 2015 (CD/DVD) (2017)
Life & Times (2018)

Transatlantic - Live In America (VID) (2001)
Testimony Live (DVD) (2004)
Sola Scriptura And Beyond (DVD) (2008)
Neal Morse Band - Morsefest 2015 (BR) (2017)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: October 5th 2003
Reviewer: Davide Guidone
Artist website:
Hits: 694
Language: english


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