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Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 894 ratings

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I do not have high expectations when hearing a release by a band that emulates that great symponic prog from the 70's. Most of them are good , very professional records but I can't consider them in the same level as Close to The Edge , Foxtrot or the classic ELP albums. However Bridge across Forever is an unexpected exception to the rule. The line up includes modern progressive superstars like Stolt , Morse , Trewavas and Portnoy. And to be honest I wasn't familiar with neither Spock's Beard nor The Flower Kings catalogue but after hearing this record I found myself much more interested in their output.

One aspect of modern recordings I can't stand is their long duration. However , Bridge... somehow managed to keep me interested during 70 minutes. The only explanation I can find to this issue is that the band knows how to put memorable melodies in their songs: Everyone of the sections on Bridge across forever has really catchy melodies that will get stuck in your head. Personally , I think both 25min+ epics are up there with Suppers Ready and all the classic ones.

The first one of them is called Duel with the Devil , it opens with some really melancholic cello but believe me: this epic is far from being depressing , as soon as MP drums kick out this song grabs the listener by the balls! Motherless childern is the first section of the song and it will be repeated alongside this record. As soon as Roine Stolt starts singing an amazing wave of Mellotron can be heard. This section is very uplifting and energetic. The Walk Away part is very tranquil in contrast , the melody is superb. Lyrics are very positive , this could bother some Spock's Beard fans since I ve been told that Neal Morse can get really annoying with this aspect. Moving on.. the third section has a jazzy feel specially given by a saxophone solo.I think MP' s drums are too loud on the mix and this part could sound much better if they were toned down. One of the biggest surprises here is a gospel like section in the Motherless children reprise. The song closes repeating it's introduction only that this time the chorus is done by some children.

The Suite Charlotte Pike is just!! 14 minutes long and here the band starts jamming but soon that develops into a Beatle- esque section in which every member of the band gets some singing time. The melodies are very good as usual but some of the potential listeners may find them a little cliched or corny. It also features a jazzy section in which the Motherless children theme is repeated once more. The title track is the shortest song of the album , it's basically a typical Neal Morse ballad. In my opinion this simple track is the most beautiful moment of the record.

Then it comes the second epic called Stranger in your soul. It opens with the same cello as Duel with the Devil did. After an energetic introduction , the piece shifts into ballad-mode. Vocal harmonies are the main hook here. The second section is the heaviest of the record , but still retains all that optimistic mood present in this record. The transition up to the Awakening the stranger part , turns out to be one of the most athmospherical on the record sounding for a brief instant like Keith Jarrett while the word time is repeated. We can hear some classical instrumentation as well , right after that the synths appear and a powerful jam begins. Lastly , as in the previous epic the first section is repeated to give this piece a proper end.

This is one of my favourite records from the 00's I recomend it to anyone who wants to get into modern symphonic prog.

crimson87 | 5/5 |


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