Masterful release from exSpock's Beard songwriter features a Christian theme and mountains of pure symphonic progressive. Much of this sounds like classic Spock's Beard but at its best "Testimony" is better! Neal's songwriting has never been in better form. The band includes long-time friend Mike Portnoy (of Dream Theatre fame) on drums & vocals but the rest of the players are unknowns to the average Spock's Beard audience. There is a guest guitar solo by Kerry Livgren of Kansas and a few of the orchestral players Neal has used on past projects. The two CD set seems divided into Neal's pre-Christian era when he was trying to "make it" in the music business into his getting into his religion more & more. This takes up the first disc. Then on the second disc he is more celebrating his new-found faith and the songs, lyrically, take on more of a Christian theme. All in all the music is great progressive rock with some ballads mixed in and isn't too preach-y. This isn't so much a guy telling you that you should worship in the same way he does but rather songs by someone simply rejoicing in his faith and telling you what it means to him.
This limited edition version comes with a bonus disc which is basically Neal doing a 13+ min version of the Moody Blues' classic "Tuesday Afternoon" - and a beautiful version to boot! And except for a little acoustic guitar Neal plays all the keys, guitars & basses on the album! This is one talented guy!![Inside Out]