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Testimony Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Sept. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • ASIN: B0000C7PRY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,474 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Like most aficionados of the mighty Spock’s Beard, I was mortified by the thought of the band losing what was their strongest asset – one Mr Neal Morse: multi-talented songwriter, keyboard player, lead vocalist and charismatic front man. Neal’s statement to his fans was that he had received a higher calling to leave the band and to “await further instructions”. The four remaining beardsmen recovered after this shattering setback with their quite pleasing ‘Feel Euphoria’. Those of us slightly more intrigued to see what Neal would have to offer under his own steam had to wait a little longer. And, in time-honoured tradition, I have to say that the wait has been more than worth it.
I will lay my cards on the table straight away by saying that ‘Testimony’ is a staggering piece of work which could only have been created by a man who has gone through the personal trauma and transformation of the like of Mr Morse. His deeper faith in Christianity and the rocky road he has travelled to get there provides the backdrop and inspiration for this masterwork that runs to an all-involving 2 hours and spans two CDs plus a bonus disc (in the case of the special edition). It is a wonderful album that consists of five ‘parts’ comprising songs, themes, overtures and heavy-weight instrumental work-outs that are all interwoven and skilfully arranged and produced to form a piece of symphonic rock that Neil can be truly proud of.
Backed by a superb bunch of musicians (including the powerhouse drummer Mike Portnoy, on loan from his day job with Dream Theatre), this album offers some intriguing departures from the sound that we normally associate with NM.
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Format: Audio CD
On hearing of Neil's decision to part company with the rest of Spock's Beard, I feard we may have lost one of our most talented musicians for good. He'd stated that God had a higher calling for him - worrying for a confirmed atheist such as myself. I was suprised and overjoyed when I heard of this latest offering.
Without a doubt this carries on his great work with SB. All the hallmarks are there - strings, brass sections as well as numerous examples of Neil's startling musicianship. Add to this the percussion talents of one Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater's incredible drummer) and you have all the ingredients in place.
The album is basically a concept album. It tells the true story of Neil's adult life - his struggle with his music ("If I play that Eagles song again!!), his lifestyle (parties and late nights) through to the success of Spocks, his marriage and eventual spiritualism.
Although I cannot really relate to a lot of the sentiments or feelings displayed in the lyrics, I can definitly relate to the music therein. He has managed to convey the gamut of emotion in a roller-coaster 2-hour epic. This man's a genius - but not everyone knows it yet.....
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a thoroughly wonderful album from Neal Morse (late of Spock's Beard). A great deal of thought and soul has gone into this excellent album.
In many ways it actually sounds like Spock's Beard; but I suppose it should as Morse was vocals, keyboards, accoustic guitars and lyricist. It was a pleasant surprise to see that Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) plays drums for this album.
I'm not really going to make a big deal about the content, because for me it wasn't an issue. I knew about Morse's recent conversion to Christianity and he's not the only one from a major rock band: Have you listened to the lyrics from Creed or Evanescence - they sell, right? I think even Alice Cooper had a Road to Damascas experience himself - if he can...? Not wishing to judge, of course. Maybe Ozzy next? That would be very intersting. He'd need to buy a thesaurus.
Well, I'd certainly recommend this album. It's excellent and Spock's Beard fans will certainly dig it, unless they're seriously cynical.
I read the booklet with great interest that came with Testimony, in which Morse explains how the songs came about, even as far back as V and Snow. Guess it's been a long time coming. I certainly wish him well and hope he keeps 'em coming.
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Format: Audio CD
Having bought "Testimony" soon after "Snow", a comparison between the two was inevitable. They are both double-CD concept albums; the latter being Neal Morse's final offering at the helm of Spock's Beard and the former his first after jumping ship.
Musically this album is amazing. Neal plays all bass, keyboards and guitars (apart from one guitar solo which he gave to his prototype, Kerry Livgren). He also generously gave the drum parts to his good mate Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), even though he could have more than adequately done the drumming himself; just take a look at "Squonk" on the "Spock's Beard "Don't Try This At Home" DVD, and you'll see that this is true. The music includes all different styles; prog, gospel, country, pop, easy listening, acapella, classical, etc; but at the same time I find one negative musical influence moving in: mainstream US contemporary christian music (CCM). Neal says on the inlay card that he listens to CCM radio in America, and living in Nashville means that he is surrounded by it. Now, I don't like to over-generalize, but CCM is naff. This naffness showed through on the later Kerry Livgren albums, "When Things Get Electric" and "Collector's Sedition", and I just hope there isn't and escalation of naffness with Neal Morse. The influence on "Testimony" is still minimal, and there are not many cringeworthy moments.
Lyrically I find the album slightly superficial. By comparison "Snow" is a brilliant allegorical work about the grace of God, and in itself is an excellent testimony to Neal's faith. "Testimony", on the other hand, simply recounts Neal's conversion story, and to my mind it comes across as being more "I"-centered than God-centred. It would be interesting to count how many times he uses the woords 'I', 'me', and 'my' in the album.
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