Neal Morse-Sola Gratia

I’m not sure why I always feel like I need to roll out a disclaimer about an album or band having a Christian bent, but it’s just something that’s there. It’s not like Christianity and Metal are diametrically opposing forces, but it’s just that normally Metal is firmly in the darker side of things. I’ve always said that I don’t really give a shit about where a band is coming from as far as religion just as long as they have sufficient musical chops to back up whatever message they feel like rolling out into the world. Jesus. Satan. I don’t give a fuck. Just make it jam.

Neal Morse is just a relentless force. It really feels like he’s at least putting out one or more albums every year under his various entities. I’m not really sure where the dividing line between The Neal Morse Band and his solo releases come down. Musically, they really cover the same sort of ground. It does feel like his solo releases have more of an overt “Jesus Is Lord!” message and the albums are usually composed by the trio of Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George. This latest release also sees appearances by the other two members of The Neal Morse Band…which kind of blurs the line between the two entities even further. If you’re already a fan of Morse’s solo work and past Spock’s Beard material, this latest album won’t be much of a surprise. It’s a solid slab of modern sounding Yes-inspired prog rock/metal. There’s really not much to complain about on here. I’m not sure it is quite up to the level of the past two double albums of The Neal Morse Band albums, but I think it is right up there with anything else he’s put out under his solo banner.

4 flip flops out of 5

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