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Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe - Forevermore (Extended Version) CD (album) cover

THE ABSOLUTE UNIVERSE - FOREVERMORE (EXTENDED VERSION)

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 269 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ComaEcliptic
5 stars Transatlantic returns from a 7 year album making hiatus to make not one but two incredible pieces of music. Forevermore and The Breath of Life are two totally different versions of the same album, with different songs, some songs are sung with different singers on both versions, different lyrics, some of the songs are longer or shorter, and lastly, some of the songs are played differently. So what does Transatlantic bring new to the table? Two similar yet different albums, a new production standards, and the new largest epic in prog. Today we are focusing on the extended version (I hate to say that its the extended version when the album was originally supposed to be 90 minutes long), Forevermore. With a beautiful album cover, much different art direction, new artist in general, just amazing album artwork. I found that I prefer versions of tracks on this one more than the Abridged Version, I like Heart Like a Whirlwind more than Reaching For The Sky for example. I also find that there is one song I love on this version that isn't on the Abridged version, The World We Use to Know, a settler track that sounds like The Flower Kings.... maybe thats why I like it. It's time to give my review on this 90 minute, 18 track epic.

Overture: 8 minutes, long but complex, whimsical, amazing musicianship, Roine opens with swelling guitars, Neal brings in large chords, not too much longer and everything just blasts off. Neal, Pete, Mike, and Roine all play exceptionally well on this with overwhelming style. An incredible way to open up the album. 10/10

Heart Like a Whirlwind: As much as I prefer this version of the song, Reaching For The Sky is still a great version of this track. I like the way this one is sung more than the version we got as a single. I found how this song was done on this version is just more to my taste, with a more Jazzy sensibility and a more catchy way of singing this amazing track. 5/5

Higher than the Morning: I actually enjoy the version of this song found on "The Breath of Life" version more, I love Roine's voice which makes it more Flower Kings-esc but the reason why I prefer the version found on the Abridged version is because of the prominence of the harmonies found on it. Still an incredible track from start to finish. 5/5

The Darkness In the Light: Very Flower Kings again, love this track a bunch as well. Prominent harmonies yet again, great guitars, great keys, lots of amazing basslines and fills from Mike Portnoy. Lovely. 5/5

Swing High, Swing Low: Amazing, amazing, amazing. Very Spocks Beard. I love this track so so much, Neal is a fantastic singer. Love this track so much, I love the acoustic transition. Beautiful. 5/5

Bully: This track continues the more Spocks Beard side of Transatlantic, really really cool. I love the way this track comes right from Swing High, Swing Low. 5/5

Rainbow Sky: More in the realm of The Beatles and Elton John. I love how psychedelic this song is, yet again, an amazing track. 5/5

Looking For The Light: A Song I wasn't a fan of when it first came out, it was more bluesy, after listening to this song within the album format... I love it so much more. I love Mike's voice on this track, I love how this song goes from Bluesy to Harmonies in heavenly prog. Absolutely incredible. 5/5

The World We Use to Know: Perfect... perfect beyond perfect. I love this song, I love how Flower Kings this song is. Fantastic beyond belief. 10/10

Disc Two.

The Sun Comes Up Today: Heavenly Harmonies open the second disc, this song features Peter on vocals, the recurring theme on this album, which shows at the start of the Heart Like A Whirlwind. Great. 5/5

Love Made a Way (Prelude): Short and Acoustic, lovely. Not much to say about this. 5/5

Owl Howl: A Song with a strong Neal Morse Keyboard Solo! Finally! Love this track, I sound like a broken record but its true. It's bluesy and jazzy at the very same time. 5/5

Solitude: Yet again, amazing, Spocks Beard, acoustic, fantastic. Heart Like A Whirlwind theme comes back again and again. 5/5

Belong: More and more of the recurring themes on this album show up more and more, this song just connects the entire album together and solidifies the idea of this entire album being an epic. So amazing. 5/5

Lonesome Rebel: Acoustic Track again, mellotrons, soft vocals, another track that makes this album have some good amount of dynamics. 5/5

Looking For The Light (Reprise): Just a continuation on the half found of the first disc. Still incredible, still a mix of blue and prog. 5/5

The Greatest Story Never Ends: Fast, impressive playing, and got a huge Gentle Giant vibe with those thick layers of solo harmonies. Amazing amazing amazing! 5/5

Love Made a Way: The best way to end the album, with amazing musicianship, fantastic soundscapes, and the album theme coming up yet again to tie this album into a neat little bow. Fantastic. 5/5

I can't believe I'm about to say it but... I have literally no complaints about this album, this version just makes this album so so much better for me. I love all the songs, I love the production, and just everything about this album as a whole. Beyond fantastic! In conclusion, I think that this album just beats Bridge Across Forever with a huge, thick whip. Transatlantic has made their magnum opus late in their career, and they did it after years of being in their own bands. With Mike being in Dream Theater for years, Roine being in The Flower Kings for over 27 years and working on Kappa since the 70s, Neal playing in Spocks Beard and his solo careers, and Pete Being in Marillion for over 40 years. This album shows all characteristics of all the bandmates in one, it has Marillion, Flower Kings, and Spocks Beard... no Dream Theater but Mike's input was more psychedelic and less heavy.

My final words on this, Transatlantic's Magnum Opus.

Disc 1 Fraction Rating: 45/45 Disc 1 Percentage: 100% Disc 2 Fraction Rating: 50/50 Disc 2 Percentage: 100%

Total: 100%

My final verdict: One of my Top 10 favourite albums of all time.

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

ComaEcliptic | 5/5 |

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