The Neal Morse Band – The Similitude Of A Dream album review

The Neal Morse Band are going for the one with an ambitious double concept album

NEal Morse BAnd cover

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

It’s now or never for the Neal Morse Band. They’ve made their bid for prog immortality in the only way possible – a double concept album based on John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Having consecrated his band in 2012, most of whom have been with him since the beginning of the century, Morse and his gang are recharged and energetically focused on keeping the listener fully engaged for 100 minutes – harder now than it was then.

The 17th-century Christian allegory clearly has a personal relevance for Morse, and the rest of the band are similarly enthused, taking on the various characters in the story and delivering their trademark pristine harmonies.

Part of what drives the album are the 70s reference points that liven up their own style – spot the Keith Emerson solo, the Tony Banks solo, the Led Zeppelin riff, the whole chunk of Supper’s Ready towards the end, each one a perfect pastiche.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.