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Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 794 ratings

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4 stars This is the second (and last?) album of supergroup with members from other bands: Dream Theater (Portnoy), Spock's Beard (was, Neal Morse), Marillion (Trewavas) and The flower Kings (Stolt). It was kind of a project. The result was a music like The Beard - well, sometime it sounds like The Flower Kings as well. But nothing resembles the music of Dream Theater of Marillion. Even though most songwritings were done together it seems like Neal Morse (then with Spock's Beard) dominated the style.

"Duel with The Devil" is an excellent epic with five parts. The whole concept lies on main foundation which in this composition is sounded through the sound of keyboard. As the song moves from one part to another in some segments it comes back to the main foundation and moves to another segment. It's hard to deny the beauty of this composition in terms of structure, harmony as well cohesiveness that ties together all parts into one epic. Roine Stolt gives his stunning guitar solo here and there and especially during the interlude part. Neal Morse also quite busy with his tasks as keyboard player and lead vocalist. Portnoy provides great drum beats but very little variations as he does with his band Dream Theater. It's probably the composition does not require him to do so. Pete Trewavas with his Warwick bass guitar gives tight bass lines.

"Suite Charlotte Pike" is another epic with five parts but this time duration is lesser than the opening track. It starts with a kind of jamming work with groovy rhythm guitar and chock full of bass lines and keyboard only serves as rhythm section. As it moves into vocal part, the keyboard and guitar give their intertwining roles altogether. It's much more accessible than the opening track as the tempo and style changes do not happen quite frequently. The ending part of the track looks like being influenced by the music of The Beatles.

"Bridge Across Forever" is the shortest track with five minutes duration. It comprises ballad song with Neal Morse as lead vocal and piano accompanies the vocal line. It's not that impressive track but it's okay to give as a sense of break after relatively complex arrangements provided by two previous tracks.

The concluding track is another epic titled "Stranger In Your Soul" which consumes another long duration of 26 minutes - same with opening epic. Oh .. this album is packed with epics. Three out of four tracks are epic. It might be the band (the project) was willing something remarkable as Yes' "Close To The Edge" or even "Tales From Topographic ocean". Usually, by the time my disc is reaching this track my ears have been tired already with multitude of epics that seemed like being forced to be long. Some people think that prog music must be "long". The longer the better. But that's fundamentally wrong concept. It's great fallacy to force a composition for the sake of being long. I don't know which one should be shortened but definitely it's boring to have multi epics with basically no significant difference in style. I usually only spin this track on the next occasion (next spin) because I'm tired already being bombarded with long tracks.

Overall, it's an excellent album, put aside you ears might be tired listening to long tracks many times - like what I experience. It depends on you, you might bear with it. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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