476. ? – Neal Morse

? (2010)

One of the more recent releases on the list this album could easily crack the Top 100 in the next 10 years. It is destined to be a classic of progressive rock from Christian music’s undeniable king of the genre. Neal Morse has been a stalwart in the world of progressive rock for many years most notably with Spocks Beard and Transatlantic. He has also worked extensively with the kings of progressive rock, Dream Theater.

It’s east to initially compare this masterpiece to Kansas, Dream Theater, Genesis, Kings X, etc but Morse has a style all his own with much more jazz and pop sensibilities and the ability to weave a single melodic structure throughout an entire project while having each individual track stand on its own. Kind of imagine a movie soundtrack where certain melodies are repeated and brought back into the scene.

This album must be heard in its entirety to be truly appreciated. The theme and shadows found in the story of the building and worship structure within the walls of the Old Testament Tabernacle is given New Covenant realities as those shadows find their fulfillment in Christ and His Church.

Divided up into twelve songs or “movements” there really is no break during the album’s 60 minutes and is best listened to completely as no real natural breaks are contained in the project. Guests include members of Genesis, Dream Theater and the Flower Kings. Simply utterly brilliant.

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  1. Brian
    October 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    For me when prog rock has a Christian message it is the ultimate form of musical expression. With that said, this one offers only a cute or two. Neal’s 2-Disc TESTIMONY is however a rich example of this as well as the work of Kerry Livgren.

    • low5point
      October 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm

      Neal will more than likely make his way on to the list again later 🙂

  2. Dave H
    October 20, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I trust Jimmy Hotz will make this list then? BTW…one of Neal’s guitarists is Mark Pogue…he had a CCM record out a while back with a band called Fortress. Mark is an excellent guitarist and we are lucky to have him in our praise band every Sunday.

  3. Shawn McLaughlin
    October 31, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Mark Pogue….a blast from the past on Pakaderm records. One of his biggest triumphs was the restoration of his marriage (after divorce) and the great testimony he has had to married couples since then.

    Yeah….I can’t imagine not seeing more Neal down the road on this countdown.

  4. Jerrid
    November 17, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Excellent album. Brilliant both musically and lyrically. Thank you for taking note

  5. exdroid
    December 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    He hasn’t ‘worked with Dream Theater’ but has had Mike Portnoy (the now former drummer) the drummer of Dream Theater on all his solo albums…

    This album was good but i liked Testimony and One a bit more….
    So sad that such as great artist is hardly noticed in the CCM world. If he’d become a christian in the mid 80s with his fantastic creativity he would have been as popular as anyone in CCM.

    • December 2, 2012 at 3:03 am

      WAY after your comment, exdroid, but I totally agree with you. This would be third on my own list behind Testimony and One. Lifeline and Sola Scriptura would make my final 500, I am sure……if I were crazy enough to embark on such a project.

      • low5point
        December 2, 2012 at 3:17 am

        In ten years “?” will make my Top 150 easy. The newer titles do get penalized jusy because of the difficulty at the time of knowing what would stand the test of time

  6. December 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    This album should be much higher. So brilliant work, “The Temple of the Living God” and “In the Fire” are my favorites.

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