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The Neal Morse Band
The Similitude of A Dream
Release Date: November 11, 2016
If you remotely consider yourself a modern progressive rock fan then the name Neal Morse is one you are certainly familiar with. He has been known for nearly a decade as the front man and co-founder of prog rock icons Spock’s Beard, and has current stints with Flying Colors, Transatlantic and is a proficient solo artist. Morse has been involved with some of prog rock’s most stellar bands and recordings.
The Similitude of a Dream is Neal’s eighth studio CD (and second with the current lineup) and it is by far his most ambitious effort to date. It is a diverse collection of songs penned by Morse with drummer Mike Portnoy (ex- Dream Theater & current Winery Dogs), bassist Randy George, guitarist Eric Gillette and keyboardist Bill Hubauer. Mike Portnoy says, “I honestly think this is THE album of my career.” That says a lot since his musical career has a vast list of musical masterpieces.
This two-CD concept album is loosely based off of the 1678 Christian classic Pilgrim's Progress written by John Bunyan. With over 100 minutes of complex and creative compositions The Similitude of a Dream is a masterpiece from start to finish. Opening the CD are “The Longest Day” and “Overture” and sets the CD off right as the listener is introduced to the intricate and jaw dropping talents of this multifaceted band. There are way too many highlights to this CD to name them all, but a few that stand out to me are “Breath of Angels”, “I’m Running” and “Draw the Line”.
If The Similitude of a Dream is any indication of what the conclusion of 2016 and the introduction of 2017 has to offer, then I can’t wait to see what else transpires musically. This CD is fresh and full of life and passion and I can sense Morse’s fervor in this recording. This ambitious CD is going to land on my “best of…” lists for 2016. (unfortunately I received my copy after I published my top 5 list, but it would definitely have been on it). Whether you have been a fan since the beginning of Spock’s Beard I promise, you will love this CD. It is filled with spectacular prog rock, a message of hope and crazy insane musicianship.
Reviewed by Jeff 1340