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Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope CD (album) cover

KALEIDOSCOPE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 371 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I stumbled across The FLower Kings and fell in love with their wonderful, beautiful symphonic prog. While keeping the past present the band makes the most exquisite music. So, having discovered this gem of a band I came into contact with Transatlantic, which consists of greatness from several bands. The Flower Kings included. Their latest album was eagerly awaited by me and when it finally hit the shops I was there at an instant.

Did the album live up to my expectations, then? A lot of people seem to think that this album needs a few listens before it really sticks. Is that so? Well, yes. I think so too. In fact, that is quite surprising, really, since the music is easy to get into. No, that does not mean it lacks complexity. On the contrary. The music IS complex but also quite accessible. Still I found it hard to be overwhelmed at first, unlike my encounter with The Flower Kings. Now I have listened very closely and for several days and I must say that yes, it did take me a few listens but now I do see it's greatness. And it is a great, grand and wonderful album. At least for the most part.

The music is not that far away from what I have heard from The Flower Kings. It has a not so slight resemblance but Transatlantic is a band in it's own right and the overall influences from the various members results in a very pleasant album.

The first track, Into the blue, is a really accomplished piece of music. 25 glorious minutes and maybe the best track on the album, as far as I am concerned. As with symphonic prog in general the song consists of several themes and varies in style from smooth, calm passages to all out and heavy hard rock. Along with the last track this is extraordinarily well constructed music.

The last track, Kaleidoscope, is eqaully impressing. It's 32 minutes of prog is really wonderful. While I do think that Into the blue is the better of the two I find myself smiling like a loon, faced with all this imaginative and engaging music.

The thing with this album is that the two tracks mentioned really should have been left alone. Now I do think that Black as the sky fits in well and suites the album quite terrific, seeing as it is a punchier, hard rocking piece of prog lasting a mere (!) 6 minutes and 45 seconds. The song gives me space to breath and prepare for the symphonic onslaught of the title track. It rounds off the album.

The two tracks I haven't mentioned are Shine and beyond the sky. I like a good ballad just as much or just as little as any man or woman alive. There is no shame in ballads, dear reader. The sorry fact of the matter, though, is that these two ballads really do not match the greatness of the remaining album. In fact, it is not even a question of paling in comparison. It is worse than that. The ballads are just not that good. I find them boring, even. The album would, in my opinion, benefitted from another Black as the sky to lift the album or maybe they should have chosen just one of the two ballads. It really slows down the pace and disturbs the flow of this otherwise excellent album.

All in all, though, this is an excellent and brilliant album. The problems lie in the excess of songs. As far as I am concerned only the two really long, epic tracks were needed. They alone make up for nearly an hour of music. There is no need to push more in there. Or maybe they ought to have put the ballads on the bonus disc that came with my edition? That would have suited the album and the overall experience a lot. Still, it is a great album and really worth exploring. One of the major releases this year, I predict, though slightly flawed due to the presence of the less enjoyable ballads. It would have been such a cohesive affair had they not been on the album and the end result would have been an album worthy of five glimmering stars. The tracks Into the blue and Kaleidoscope are certainly worth exactly that amount of stars.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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