“Jesus Christ – The Exorcist” is a monumental project in Neal Morse’s already impressive discography. A Progressive Rock Opera 10 years in the making, it was written and produced by Morse and includes performances by Neal and an all-star cast of vocalists and musicians. “Jesus Christ the Exorcist” will be released on June 14, 2019on a double album set featuring about two hours of music that will encompass all the spectrums and genres Neal Morse is known for and will, of course, tell the Story of Stories.
“I don’t know why it came to me in quite this way, but definitely the influences on this song are Black Sabbath and Deep Purple primarily. I even asked Rich Mouser when he was mixing the song to listen to “Paranoid“ because I thought that vocal effect would be cool on Ted’s (Leonard) voice,” says Morse of the track.
When asked about what fans can expect sound wise from the album, Morse explains, “Oh, it is completely diverse. There are touching ballads, rousing ensemble pieces, classical elements and dramatic Broadway musical type songs as well. It is really meant to be listened and experienced all the way through as you would a play or an opera. I hope the people will experience it in that way because I think that’s where they will really find the power in this piece of music.”
He continues, “These songs and pieces of music were all written for this rock opera specifically. I wrote the first draft in 2008 and 2009, I believe. Then, last year in preparation for a performance at MorseFest I rewrote the whole musical again. I couldn’t be happier with the final outcome and I am thrilled that it is coming out on Frontiers this June.”
With a cast of amazing vocalists and musicians like Ted Leonard, Eric Gillette, Nick D’Virgilio, Randy George, Bill Hubauer, Matt Smith, and others, this progressive rock opera is a landmark event that will leave its mark on every listener. “Let him who has ears to hear…let him hear!”
“Jesus Christ – The Exorcist”, had its live world premiere in 2018 and was performed by a Prog Rock all-star cast featuring Neal Morse (keys, guitar), Paul Bielatowicz (lead guitar), Bill Hubauer (keys), Randy George (bass), and Eric Gillette (drums). Featured vocalists included Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard, Enchant), Nick D’Virgilio (Big, Big Train, Spock’s Beard), Jake Livgren (Protokaw), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Wil Morse and more. Also, John Schlitt (Petra) and Rick Florian (White Heart) have been added to the performance as well.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading Progressive (“Prog”) Rock musicians, Neal Morse is a prolific musical driving force and his desire to move people through his music burns brighter than ever before. Born in California in 1960 to a musical family, Morseplayed in many bands during his youth, learning and mastering several instruments along the way. In 1995, he wrote and recorded “The Light” with his then new band, Spock’s Beard. It was an album grounded strongly in the then-unfashionable progressive rock genre, but the album and especially the title track became modern prog classics and brought Morse and the band global recognition. Over the next seven years, Spock’s Beard released six critically acclaimed studio recordings and multiple live recordings, while establishing a passionate fan base in the Prog Rock community.
In 2001, Morse shocked his followers with word that he was stepping away from secular music…with no indication of where he was heading. Morse was now walking an unknown road. After success with Spock’s Beard, he was starting all over again, this time boldly declaring his Christian faith and risking fan rejection and financial failure. He needn’t have worried. As the “Testimony” Live DVD triumphantly documented, his solo tour was full of magical moments and was a deeply life affirming experience. Morse returned to the studio with Mike Portnoy and touring bass player Randy George to record 2004’s “One”, a conceptual album that was a vast, rewarding piece of music that reached new heights.Morse, Portnoy, and George stayed on this musical journey together until Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette were added as permanent members of the Neal Morse Band in 2015 on “The Grand Experiment” album. This collective effort saw collaboration between all of the members and has subsequently yielded another studio album, the astonishingly brilliant “Similitude Of A Dream”, and two live releases.
Frontiers looks forward to partnering with Neal on his continuing musical explorations and extending his progressive rock legacy with his latest creative vision.
4. Gather The People
5. Jesus’ Baptism
6. Jesus’ Temptation
7. There’s A Highway
8. The Woman Of Seven Devils
9. Free At Last
10. The Madman Of The Gadarenes
11. Love Has Called My Name
12. Better Weather
13. The Keys To The Kingdom
14. Get Behind Me Satan
1. He Must Go To The Cross
3. Hearts Full Of Holes
4. The Last Supper
6. Jesus Before The Council And Peter’s Denial
7. Judas’ Death
8. Jesus Before Pilate And The Crucifixion
9. Mary At The Tomb
10. The Greatest Love Of All
11. Love Has Called My Name (Reprise)
Ted Leonard – Jesus
Talon David – Mary Magdalene
Nick D’Virgilio – Judas Iscariot
Rick Florian – The Devil
Matt Smith – John the Baptist
Jake Livgren – Peter and Caiaphas
Neal Morse – Pilate, Demon 1, Disciple 1
Mark Pogue – Israelite 1, the Madman of the Gadarenes, Pharisee 2
Wil Morse – Israelite 2, Demon 3, Pharisee 1
Gabe Klein – Demon 2, Pharisee 4
Gideon Klein – Demon 4
Julie Harrison – Servant Girl