[Self-Released - 1 April 2013]
Oh dear – here we go again.
I have been saying for some time now that there is no place in rock music for religion – of any persuasion – and it has been a great dismay to me that increasingly, and particularly (but not exclusively) progressive rock coming out of the USA, has had a Christian God theme running through it.
Alarm bells rang with this one as soon as I saw the title.
Sirens started wailing when I noticed that well-known God-botherer Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard) was mentioned in the credits.
The building was evacuated when I read the thank-you’s – “to Him whose truth will never wither undefined”.
They just can’t help themselves can they?
If you have got a strong faith – that’s fine, just get on with it, but please don’t push your views forward as the only ‘truth’.
And don’t include a picture of yourselves as hard-ass surly rockers on the album’s cover – it does you no favours and is very misleading.
Right, rant over, now is the music any good?
Well, if you can imagine a completely new genre of music called progressive pop, with a Cliff Richard-alike vocalist ladling the syrup on whilst reminding you that you are only as good as your moral choices – you will find much to admire here.
However, if you are a devotee of true progressive rock with its ever-shifting time-signatures and biting, incisive lyrics – best look elsewhere.
The music is well played and you can certainly hear Morse’s influence – but, with the exception of a few bars of squally noise and the occasional well-phrased guitar part, the overall impression is one of prog-lite niceness – and, let’s face it, the word ‘nice’ doesn’t actually appear in the dictionary of rock.
All a bit of a shame really as the band can obviously play – but it’s all a bit like those preachers you see in city centres – you just turn up the collar of your coat and hurry by.
Review by Alan Jones
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