16 Octobre 2012

Neal Morse


par Florent Canepa

Mes biens chers frères, Monseigneur Neal Morse poursuit la construction de sa chapelle, lieu de rassemblement des plus pieux adorateurs du rock progressif, christique et lumineux. A l’aube de la fin du monde, les odes de la voix éternelle de Spock’s Beard font presque figure de curiosité naïve. Mais c’est sans compter sur la grande maîtrise dont l’homme fait preuve et la qualité de ses acolytes, Mike Portnoy ou Randy George en permanents et compagnons de la première heure en tête. Mais aussi quelques invités sympathiques, confirmés (Paul Gilbert) ou prometteurs (le guitariste Adson Sodré ou le multi-instrumentiste Bill Hubauer).

Tel un messie immuable, Neal Morse livre un prog rock inoxydable. Preuve en est la très bonne tenue du titre épilogue et gourmand de plus de trente minutes (« World Without End »). Là ou d'autres pâtiraient du pathos du genre, le chanteur slalome tranquillement entre déferlantes rock vintage et symphonisme triomphant. Une réussite. Outre ce mastodonte, le déroulé de Momentum n’est pas linéaire, preuve en est la résurgence de l’entité Spock’s Beard (« Thoughts part 5 », fantastique suite hypothétique d’un morceau de V). Et s’il ne manque pas de vigueur, l’album offre aussi de l’espace pour des ballades où l’acoustique glisse mieux que les textes convenus (« Smokes and Mirrors », quelque part entre Pink Floyd et Dire Straits).

Neal Morse, qui nous avait presque plus excité dans ses collaborations (Transatlantic ou Flying Colors), signe sous son nom une pépite, classique mais solide. Du rock où les mélodies courtoises des Beatles se frottent aux envolées lyriques de Barclay James Harvest. Une ligne quelquefois fragilisée par trop de simplicité (« Freak »), peut-être aussi parce que son créateur est trop productif. Mais cette production prodigue est parfois magnifiée par une oeuvre grandiose.


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