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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 577 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Nice standalone album, average album in perspective

These recent years, specially the last couple of them, (2008 and 2009) have been special to progressive rock as it comes to impressive new releases of new material from both young and old bands. I have, however, most of times enjoyed better the new releases from old bands, such as the new Cynic album, the new Delirium album, the new Maudlin of the Well album, the new Ayreon album, the new Meshuggah album and so on, mainly because they allow be to look (or listen) in perspective what they have done in the past and what they did in the recent years and enjoy better their past or recent album(s). With Transatlantic it was no different.

Upon listening repeatedly to their newest album, The Whirlwind, and their first two albums, A Bridge Across Forever and this one (SMPTe), I was able to put all of their works in perspective and, therefore, was able to enjoy more the band's two most recent studio albums wile their debut left me more and more cold: when compared to their other releases, SMPTe sounds less like a teamwork than Transatlantic's other studio albums. Some reviewers went as far as saying that this is simply a Spock's Beard album or a solo Neal Morse effort with other great and talented musicians but, despite the obviousness of Neal Morse's strong influence in the production of this album, that did made it sound somewhat close to some of Neal's work outside Transatlantic, the influence and the work of the other band members can be noticed throughout the album many times. So it is clear (or it seems so) that such result was mainly caused due to the lack of interaction in the daily work in the studio they had with one another until recording SMPTe, because, as far as I know, they had never worked together before Transatlantic's debut album.

Regarding the songs, musicianship and related features

As the title of my review and what I wrote before can show, SMPTe is one of those albums that shouldn't (or couldn't) have anything after its release. That is because, if the band keep on working, improving itself and making its music more refined, as has happened with Transatlantic, the flaws of such album become terribly apparent in the same pace as the qualities of the refined album become more and more appealing. So, when considered by itself, SMPTe is a very nice album, but when put in perspective and compared with other albums by the same band, it becomes obvious the drastic improvement they have done over the years.

The Highlights go to: All of the above and We all need some Light.

Grade and Final Thoughts

All in all, STPMe is a very interesting album. It is fun to listen and have some impressive music inside it, but due to its roughness and crudeness, the 3 stars grade seem to fit the album perfectly.

CCVP | 3/5 |

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