Neal Morse is a storied musician, having started his career as a member of Spock’s Beard in the nineties. He became a born-again Christian in 2002 and his religious convictions steered him on a path to start producing music infused with his faith. Neal has a prolific discography, and 2019 sees the release of his progressive rock musical, Jesus Christ the Exorcist. This double album has been 10 years in the making.
At first I thought Jesus Christ the Exorcist, what a curious title! When I listened to “The Woman of Seven Devils” and “The Madman of the Gadarenes” I understood that it’s about how His compassion for the sinner sets the sinner free. By rebuking their devils He helped both that man and woman become whole again.
The music of Jesus Christ the Exorcist sounds like it’s meant for stage, not only in terms of the number of musicians on the roster but also because the songs gel together in a compelling story, much like Jim Steinman and Meatloaf’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. The Introduction places the listener at Jesus’ crucifixion before returning us to John announcing the coming of the Christ in the desert.