The Neal Morse Band
The Similitude of a Dream
Live In Tilburg 2017

Disc 1
0. Intro
1. Long Day
2. Overture
3. The Dream
4. City of Destruction
5. We Have Got To Go
6. Makes No Sense
7. Draw the Line
8. The Slough
9. Back to the City
10. The Ways of a Fool
11. So Far Gone
12. Breath of Angels
Disc 2
0. Slave to Your Mind
1. Shortcut to Salvation
2. The Man in the Iron Cage
3. The Road Called Home
4. Sloth
5. Freedom Song
6. I’m Running
7. The Mask
8. Confrontation
9. The Battle
10. Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)
11. Momentum
12. Author of Confusion
13. Agenda
14. The Call

Neal Morse – lead vocals, guitar
Mike Portnoy – drums, vocals
Randy George – bass and bass pedals
Bill Hubauer – keyboards, vocals
Eric Gillette – lead and rhythm electric guitar, vocals

Neal Morse (1999)
It's Not Too Late (2002)
Testimony (2003)
One (2004)
? (2005)
Sola Scriptura (2007)
Lifeline (2008)
Testimony 2 Live in LA (2011) Momentum (2012)
Live Momentum (2013)

Songs from November (2014)
The Grand Experiment (2015)
The Similitude of a Dream (2016)
Life & Times (2018)



Released 2018-06-15
Reviewed 2018-08-18


radiant records

Neal Morse is not only an elderly gentleman; he is also a rather diligent handyman in the music business. I write Handyman as I don’t think he is a very creative musician as he makes mostly repeats of what he has done before and the last time I reviewed his music it was a tired old progressive rock album that probably would only appeal to his biggest fans. Now, I haven’t really had the fortune to listen to anything of his lately but then this showed up in the mailbox and as it is a live version of an album I also had to play through the album twice just to get to know that. So what about it then? Do Neal Morse and his Neal Morse Band make something exciting or it is just more of the same? Well, that will be answered if you read on, shame though that I didn’t get the video material so this review is only focused on what I can hear.

Early on it is clear that Morse isn’t exactly deviating from what he usually does, he and his band offers the brand of progressive rock music that is usually heard when Morse is on board and behind the microphone for the leading vocals. There are no surprises, though as it is a live album it probably shouldn’t be as it plays The Similitude of a Dream in full with an encore of four additional songs. And I would claim that I like the sound of this album better than I like the sound of the studio effort – it feels more alive and more interesting. But it is a bit long and the encore makes it even worse, should it be this long it needs more variation, it needs more depth and dynamics, but the risk is that even with those things two hours is just too much - unless you are a really devoted fan and always listens to Neal Morse and none other.

An album that is a bit long can still work and this is good, it certainly works, the handiwork is flawless and the performances are really good. I think this is the best album by Neal Morse that I have reviewed for Hallowed, that doesn’t say too much though as I have never really been impressed and I am not too impressed now either. The songs are quite good but none of them really stand out, and perhaps the best song is Momentum in the encore part but none of them feels amazingly brilliant. And I find myself tiring of the album fairly quickly and after a dozen hours of listening I feel that it is a well-made and good album but not really one that I would think about adding to the records I already own.

Like expected, it is a Neal Morse album that will appeal to his fans and those collecting his records but not something for the general music fans or record collector. It feels like an album like most of his post Spock’s Beard stuff, well made but pretty boring, like he has been composing on autopilot and not really creating exciting music. And in the end I have to say that the quality of the title far exceeds the quality of the album.





Label: Radiant Records
Three similar bands: Spock's Beard/Transatlantic/Dream Theater
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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