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Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever CD (album) cover

BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 808 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

natewait
5 stars This is my favorite album. ever. There is a certain magic to this album and I can't listen to it without getting choked up because of how special it is to me. Transatlantic is like a dream come true for me. My three favorite bands are Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, and The Flower Kings, and this supergroup consists of a member of each. There is prog mastermind Neal Morse who takes over keyboard duties and most of the vocals. Then you have the incredible drummer Mike Portnoy and The Flower Kings mastermind guitarist, Roine Stolt. Topping it off is the bass player from Marillion, Pete Trewavas. Together they make an amazing combination and have produced some of my favorite music.

When I was first investigating newer prog after having heard the "classic" prog bands (Gentle Giant, Genesis and Yes) I came across Transatlantic. I found out from researching about them that they were a modern prog supergroup, so I decided to download a song each from the bands that made up Transatlantic and one song from Transatlantic themselves. The Transatlantic song I downloaded happened to be Duel with the Devil, which opens up this album, and I was truly blown away. When I heard it for the first time I had a moment where I thought, this is MY music. It was pretty much a revelatory experience, and led to the discovery of many great bands whose works I cherish dearly and have meant a lot of me in my life.

"Duel with the Devil" is a powerhouse of a song that moves through many movements. It starts with a symphonic opening of strings (that will later be revisited on a future track). Then the piano comes in and the whole band kicks in for an impressive introduction to the track. The first section where vocals come in is Classic Morse and is a very dramatic section. This moves into a section that is led by Roine Stolt who has his chance to sing the lead. From there the track moves from sections that rock hard to more jazzy sections that are really cool. This all leads up to the grand finale where Neal sings emotionally and Roine Stolt performs a goosebump inducing solo. This is prog at its best in my humble opinion, just a captivating song for the whole 26 minutes.

"Suite Charlotte Pike" is a chance for the band to have some fun. It is a very Beatles inspired track, in fact, in concert they would infuse parts of Abbey Road by the Beatles into this song. This song moves through many sections that are equally fun as the band jams in the style of one of their most influential bands. It is a pleasure to listen to. "Bridge Across Forever" is the title track, and ironically the shortest and least proggy song of the bunch. That doesn't mean it isn't wonderful, though. It is a brilliant ballad done by Neal Morse that is truly touching and connects with me emotionally. It is mainly Neal playing piano and singing, but it is a nice breather between all the epic tracks and a song that drips of pure emotion.

"Stranger In Your Soul", in my humble opinion, is the greatest prog song ever written. It has everything you could possibly want in a song. It starts with the same string melody from "Duel with the Devil" before the drums come pounding in, causing the adrenaline to start pumping. The song moves from hard rocking sections (one in particular has the whole band trading vocals) to emotional ballads and everything else in between. To me, this song is a metaphor for life and what we as humans go through in our lifetime. We are born as strangers and we spend our life trying to figure out who we are. We try to figure this out by looking into our past and grasping onto things that aren't of any worth. This search to find our true selves is what drives us and can ultimately lead us to awaken that stranger in our soul, to find out who we truly are and what our potential is. There is a lot of bad stuff happening in the world outside, but we can always find comfort in knowing who we truly are and what we can become. This is what life is all about, finding out who we really are- awakening the stranger in your soul.

The moment that makes this song my favorite is the ultimate climax at the end that is the most grandiose, beautiful ending for an album/song ever. This is a huge chill inducing moment as the first part of the song is repeated, but the lyrics are changed ever so slightly to have the complete opposite meaning from the beginning. No longer is the individual lost and a stranger to himself...now he has found himself and awakened that stranger in his soul. He can rise up to his potential and do that which he was meant to do! This is brilliant and gets me emotionally everytime I listen to it.This song is a true masterpiece and I can't imagine any song ever surpassing it. It is the perfect description of everything I love about music and about life in general.

Sorry if this review is too lengthy and personal, but this album is so meaningful to me I didn't feel I could do justice to it any other way. I recommend this album strongly to anyone who considers themself a fan of progressive rock. It has everything you could possibly want: creativity, fun, emotion, complexity and virtuosity. I am blown away every time I listen to it and I never get tired of it. This is the true mark of a masterpiece. There is no other option than giving this album the five stars it truly deserves.

natewait | 5/5 |

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