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Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars what have started as a side project is now 15 years later a permanent band with 4 albums and live dvds, the latest "Kalivesoscope" is taken from the album title "Kaleidoscope". To illustrate the concept, the band decide to include in the back a screen with visuals of constant moving forms. The band started their career live tour with medleys of covers because they didn't have enough material to make it a complete concert. Now they have to do medleys of their own songs, because they have too much material. So the band played a "Whirlwind" medley and a encore of medley of "All of the Above" and Stranger in Your Soul". The songs are long, but they did squeeze in some shorter and lighter song to get a nice flow to the show.

When you know all of the previous albums and songs from the band, it's normal to enjoy a bit more the new songs from the latest album. The music has always been a continuation of Neal Morse's solo music with long symphonic epic, but in song like "Behind The Sun", Roine Stolt can brings his output from Flower Kings. Ted Leonard of Spock's Beard and Enchant replace Daniel Gildenlow playing guitars and vocals. We can appreciate his nice voice despite the more present vocals of Neal Morse. It was interesting to include in the extras some covers versions of "Sylvia" and "Hocus Pocus" with Thijs Van Leer of Focus, taken from another show in Tilburg. The extras also contains a interview and a behind the scenes of the world tour with a long segment of the Progressive Nation at Cruise with Adrian Belew and Jon Anderson playing with the band. Mike Portnoy would say in the interview that, it was one of his top show in his career.

Report this review (#1302074)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2014 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars First of all, my edition is not the one pointed on PA. I have the 3 CD+DVD edition.

Anyway, by now everyone that pay attention on Neal Morse's career know that he's into the 'one studio album, one tour, one live album' situation. Of course that in one of his big projects, Transatlantic, would not be different! KaLIVEoscope (2014) was released following their tour to support their new studio album Kaleidoscope (2014) released earlier this year.

You might argue that we don't need yet another Transatlantic live album, after all this if their 5th (against 4 studio albums). But truth is, each tour has a different taste. I own Whirld Tour 2010 (2010) and I can say that KaLIVEoscope (2014) feels different, by many reasons.

First, this time we don't have Daniel Gildenlow as the 5th member of the band, as he was still recovering from his skin disease. Instead we have Ted Leaonard (Enchant & Spock's Beard) playing guitars, keyboards and singing (very well by the way). Second, the band changed the tracklist for this tour so they could play the new tunes and also play songs they weren't playing for some time such as 'My New World', there's even some Focus on the bill too. Unfortunately we don't have 'Duel With The Devil' but as it was always present in the past live albums I can understand why it's out this time.

3 CDs may seem too much but for Transatlantic is needed as their show is almost 3 hours long. The cherry on the top of the cake is the DVD that comes in the box. The nice thing about this set is that the CD was recorded in Tilburg (Netherlands) and the DVD in Cologne (Germany), this makes the experience of watching and listening unique instead of just a repetition.

Despite the weak joke with the name of the album KaLIVEoscope (2014) is a highlight for 2014, a year that for me was very weak in new releases, this album comes as a joy for as this ears are tired of the so called 'new prog'.

Go for it without reservations! Very recommended.

Report this review (#1328525)
Posted Thursday, December 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars This one is a bit tough for me: three stars seems a bit rough, while anything higher is unjustified. Well, consider this a 3.5 rating then.

I discovered Transatlantic only two years ago, shortly after getting acquainted with Spock's Beard music, and I was lucky enough to experience them live in Paris in 2014. I was literally blown away. Their music is incredible, they played it flawlessly, and the show they put together was certainly one of the best I've ever experienced.

This release, however, which by the way came to me as unexpected (well, older fans know the drill by now, but I don't see the point of releasing so many live albums), disappointed me in two ways. First, since I had decided to go for the limited edition of the Kaleidoscope album (yes, the big LP-sized one with heaps of bonus discs), and because I have a thing for those special editions, I just had to order the "limited deluxe special whatever" edition of this live album as well, and I expected the same kind of packaging. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the same kind of box set as the special edition of the Whirld Tour -- with less effort: many pictures, but no booklet. Well, that's only packaging, it isn't bad by any means, but still, this was disappointing.

Second, and more importantly: the music.

Now don't get me wrong: as usual, you get far more than your money's worth. The full Kaleidoscope album live, a Whirlwind medley, and most of their other epics that we know and love (although the full version of the last two would have been better than a medley). The special edition features two concerts actually (and a documentary that you won't really miss if you can't afford the special edition). But the band didn't feel as tight as it did to me on that magical evening back in Paris; I expected to be truly thrilled by this recording, but it didn't happen. Even though I'm fully aware that it's not supposed to be as good as the real thing, I expected something better. I guess the better the musicians, the more demanding the audience becomes.

The other thing that ruined this release for me was the collaboration with Thijs Van Leer. I can't speak for the rest of his carreer outside this recording, since I don't know it, but I just cannot bear what he does on this album. He makes the whole thing sound as a circus or a complete joke, and even though I've tried a few times already to bear his sung onomatopoeias, there always comes a time where he eventually gets on my nerves to the point that I need to skip to the next song.

All in all, if you only have money for one, I'd strongly suggest you go for the special edition of the Whirld Tour. It's Transatlantic at their best, and you definitely cannot go wrong with it.

Report this review (#1349565)
Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2015 | Review Permalink

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