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Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 790 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars It never ceases to amaze me how a band can go into the studio only a year after recording such a great record yet come out with fresh and exciting material. That's exactly what Transatlantic did with this album, Bridges Across Forever. This is everything the debut was, and more. The songwriting is of course very strong, as is the production, but unlike the more morse-dominated debut, this album sees a more balanced contribution from the band, especially from Roine Stolt, but Mike Portnoy and Pete Trewaves see added contribution in the vocal department.

The opening 'Duel With the Devil' is arguably the band's single finest effort, and as of current is my favorite progressive rock song. It truly has everything; catchy melodies, complex instrumentation, strong and layered vocals, and a very diverse and flexible song structure. There are so many twists and turns, yet everything meets full circle to give a feeling of unity. You have the opening section which combines a neat strings arrangement and complex yet melodic instrumentation from the band. You then have the verses which exhibit the amazing vocal abilities of all the members. Despite the overall up-tempo intensity of the song, it relaxes in the middle for a rather atmospheric section in the middle with Roine's soaring guitars which give a loose, jam-like feeling. Of course, everything comes full circle at the end, as the main melodies are reprised with sax, and even a choir to create a dramatic close.

This segues perfectly into the next song, 'Suite Charlotte Pike.' I've always appreciated the fun and jammy side of Transatlantic, and this song is a great example of this. The feeling is really loose, but not sloppy. This song is really helped along by Portnoy's dynamic and musical drumming, as well as the vocals and harmonies to give this an almost Beatles feel as well. The song is diverse enough to have labeled sections, but so great musically it always feels much shorter.

The title track is the only song under 10 minutes, and can most accurately be described as a ballad. Despite this, I get a lot of enjoyment out of this one. It's very melodic, but also has a rather sentimental and almost nostalgic atmosphere to it.

Basically the same thing I said for 'Duel With the Devil' applies to the ending 'Stranger in Your Soul. In fact it's quite structurally similar, having a melodic, flowing intro, followed by a busy and complex section, a down-tempo but atmospheric middle section, and a dramatic ending. Perhaps one major difference between this and Duel is that this has some more harder rocking, almost "metal" moments. This is just as good as the opening; it's just a matter of preference.

I need not say more about this album, as the songs speak for themselves. This is easily my favorite prog rock record, and is flawless from beginning to end.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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