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Transatlantic Bridge Across Forever album cover
4.20 | 957 ratings | 79 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Duel with the Devil (26:43) :
- i) Motherless Children
- ii) Walk Away
- iii) Silence of the Night
- iv) You're Not Alone
- v) Almost Home
2. Suite Charlotte Pike (14:30) :
- i) If She Runs
- ii) Mr. Wonderful
- iii) Lost and Found Pt. 1
- iv) Temple of the Gods
- v) Motherless Children / If She Runs (reprise)
3. Bridge Across Forever (5:33)
4. Stranger in Your Soul (26:05) :
- i) Sleeping Wide Awake
- ii) Hanging in the Balance
- iii) Lost and Found Pt. 2
- iv) Awakening the Stranger
- v) Slide
- vi) Stranger in Your Soul

Total Time 72:51

Bonus Disc from Special Edition (covers, demos and multimedia):
1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (15:27)
2. Studio chat (4:50)
3. And I Love Her (7:53)
4. Smoke on the Water (4:20)
5. Dance with the Devil (9:01)
6. Roine's demo bits (11:58)
7. Interactive section (Video, Photos & Bio)

Total Time 53:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Neal Morse / vocals, piano, Hammond, Minimoog, Fender Rhodes, synth, addit. guitars, mandolin
- Roine Stolt / electric & acoustic guitars, Mellotron, additional keyboards, percussion, vocals
- Pete Trewavas / bass, Taurus bass pedals, vocals
- Mike Portnoy / drums, vocals

- Chris Carmichael / violin, viola & cello (1,4)
- Keith Mears / saxophone (1)
- The "Elite" choir / backing vocals (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Per Nordin (blimp) with Roine Stolt (logo)

CD Inside Out - IOMCD 086 (2001, Germany)
2CD Inside Out ‎- IOMLTDCD 086 (2001, Europe) Limited edition w/ bonus Enhanced CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever ratings distribution

(957 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars The all-star super group Transatlantic is back with a brand new studio album named "Bridge Across Forever". The band consists of multi- instrumentalist and vocalist Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), guitarist Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and bassist Pete Trewavas (Marillion). Their debut CD "SMPTe" (1999) received many top ratings in magazines throughout the world. This album follows the same musical direction as the first album.

The band has a modern sound while the music is rooted in the 70's progressive rock with heavy riffing, Hammond organ outbursts, beautiful harmonies, memorable melodies and lengthy instrumental passages. There are reminiscences to the band member's original bands as well as The Beatles, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Yes. The musicianship are as good as it can gets, as all the band members are maestros on their instruments. Neal Morse and Roine Stolt have strong and characteristic voices too.

The disc contains four lengthy tracks; two of them are over 26 minutes, one is over 14 minutes and there's one that is over 5 minutes. This album took 10 days to record. I don't want the band members to leave their original bands, but it would've been interesting to see what this band could've achieved if it was a "real" band.

"Bridge Across Forever" is even better than Transatlantic's debut, and they now sound more like a real band than a project. The album has everything you can wish for from a progressive rock release. This will end up as one of the best progressive albums from 2001.

Review by loserboy
5 stars Last time these guys graced my stereo I was completely blown away and with "Bridge Across Forever" they have repeated once again. Big difference this time is around is a much reduced emphasis on the SPOCK'S BEARD'isms and a more varied soundscape. Once again the incredible talents of Neal MORSE, Roine STOLT, Peter TREWAVAS and Mike PORTNOY will fill your livingroom with their musicanship and songwriting thoughts. "Bridge Across Forever" is comprised of only 4 songs (3 of which are quite long) with the whole package clocking in around 76 Mins. The last track "Stranger In Your Soul" (26 Mins) would have to be the best thing they have ever done yet with some real incredible and diabolical sonic twists and tempo climaxes. God, I hope these guys keep recording music as with each release they keep getting deeper and deeper. Go get this album kids!
Review by lor68
3 stars Actually you should have to erase another half star, following to a repetitive listen (if you are not tired at the end)...well I have already told you about my point of view regarding the music ideas by Neal Morse,above all in the period before his split from Spock's Beard (see also my review concerning the live by S.B. released on year 2000): that is a certain crisis and lack of freshness as well, within his recent compositions; and,even though my opinion is partially modified thanks to his good debut-solo work, I don't understand what's all the fuss about the present whole concept by Transatlantic!! The first suite has got a great mood at the beginning, by means also of its stunning crescendo in the vein of "The light", but the sense of tiredness begins to emerge: in fact- despite of the good range of dynamics- (thanks also to the cleverness by Portnoy on drums), the album is very prolix and such fact is disturbing me till the end!! The vocal parts by Roine Stolt are too much similar to those ones inside the Flower King's albums (above all in the period of "Retropolis") and probably the repetition concerning the arrangements and the main theme of the 1st suite, performed in the same manner by Neal Morse also in the second suite, doesn't let me change idea ... such concept becomes boring at the end, like that sound of a real transatlantic with its siren, which brings about my nervousness (it's a never ending effect!)

It's good in some circumstances, well performed in the majority of the instrumental breaks-through (especially if you listen to their technical execution), but anyway is not essential and, talking about the melodies and sometimes the harmonic solutions as well, the present concept album is not to be immortalized...make your own choice!!

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Who said no one makes long tracks anymore?

It looked for a while as if Transatlantic would carry the flame for true progressive rock for a number of years to come. Sadly, with Neal Morse's departure, the band folded, and it looks like this will be their final studio offering. That really is a pity, as this album (and their first) indicate that they could have produced many more "neo-classics".

The appearance of four highly talented individuals who have already enjoyed major success with other bands does not of course guarantee that this venture will also be successful, or indeed that it will contain progressive rock (see Blind Faith and Asia for respective examples). In this case however, the sum of the parts is far exceeded by the whole, and with just 4 tracks spanning over 70 minutes, the prog elements are well and truly there.

"Duel with the devil" may well be Transatlantic's best track, it has pretty much everything. A symphonic opening, fine vocals, mellotron backing, a sax solo, great lead guitar, time changes, repeating themes, powerful sections, soft melodic sections, children's vocals, almost 27 minutes of music, etc, it does indeed have "All of the above".

"Suite Charlotte Pike" is a little wordy, a similar but inferior version of the opening track, including a reference to the "Motherless children" section of that track. At (only!) five and a half minutes, the title track is the shortest on the album. It's very much a Neal Morse solo performance, with soft piano backing, and an uplifting, spiritual feel.

"Stranger in your soul" is the other enormously long track, at over 26 minutes. It's slightly softer that the first track, but builds to a powerful conclusion.

A superb piece of modern prog rock, if you enjoy the music of Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings, (who's borrowed members have the most influence here) chances are you'll enjoy this.

Review by Menswear
2 stars Supergroups... The ultimate line-up. The dream team. Transantlantic is to music what Fantastic Four is to comic books: a cool idea but not as good as the rumor says. Good, but strangely not formidable. With a crazy team like that, what could go wrong?

You know, when Portnoy's was in Liquid Tension, it was okay to hear those guys pulverizing amplifiers. But not because he's drumming here means that you have an automatical success. Same when Stolt or Morse joins side projects. It pleases the hardcore fan, but the new guys or the occasionnal listener won't see as much what's going on. Because this record, IMHO, is no way the beating what the Flower Kings did best (Space Revolver), or Spock's Beard best record (Kindness of Strangers) etc...

2 songs out of 4 are extremely long, and sometimes incoherent. You get lost in a big jambalaya of "talent". I don't know what's so good about this. I really can't see anything else than 4 friends jamming and having a good time if I judge by the intro of Suite Charlotte Pike. A nice and happy influence of the Beatles is present on Suite Charlotte Pike. This song and some meaner parts Stranger in your soul is keeping me from giving it 2 stars.

Basically this record is pumping a lot of patience from me. Songs aren't that well written and the a lot of good melody segments are too brief. It's not because you have a killer line- up that the whole thing will be better than the ignitial projects they've been in. Look at the movie industry. Troy, Alexander, The Hulk, Triple X. Ooh yeah talk about talent! Pheew, those stank big time.

Overrated, pompous and doesn't go anywhere near their outside reputation.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well, this supergroup is made of very talented musicians. The first track, "Duel with the Devil", is a tour de force! Wow! Near 27 minutes of uninterrupted progressive rock with vintage keyboards: mini moog, organ, piano, Fender Rhodes and mellotron, accompanied by many miscellaneous bells sounds! This track reminds me some of the best progressive bands of the 70's: Gentle Giant, Camel and slightly Yes. Past the 21st minute, you can appreciate a beautiful young choir. These musicians have a VERY developed sense of catchy & complex melody, which is always present and never the same. Actually, they have something better than the group of the seventies: their sound is much better, more shiny, more atmospheric, and they definitely do not sound outdated.

The second track, "Suite Charlotte Pike", is a very rhythmic prog lite hard rock song, slightly bluesy, on which the rhythmic guitar sounds a bit like Steve Howe's (Yes), and the overall sound and style slightly approaches prog band Kayak, as revealed by the omnipresent rhythmic piano and Beatle-esque backing vocals.

The third track, "Bridge across the water", contains a relaxing piano and the expressive voice of the lead singer, which clearly reminds me Mrs Amy Grant's soothing voice, especially on "If these walls could speak" of the "Lead me on" album; in the background, there is a mellotron-esque floating keyboard sounding like a gentle string ensemble.

The fourth track, "Stranger in your soul", is another outstanding epic masterpiece. Trewavas is VERY elaborated here: quite more than with Marillion. Past the 6th minute, they almost sound grunge for a couples of minutes; nevertheless is is more bearable than any alternative band. At the middle of the track, there is an atmospheric beautiful & relaxing part, with, again the lead vocals reminding the tender voice of Amy Grant!

Globally, the tracks are very rhythm and mood changing, assorted with some lite string arrangements; the keyboards are rather vintage: the ones used in the early 70's. This record is extremely hard top describe because it involves so much influences! All the musicians play very complete and complex parts, and nodody wants to steal the show: they rather work together to create unforgettable epic songs. The lead & backing vocals are a VERY strong element on each track: all the 4 musicians participate to the vocal arrangements! The tracks are NEVER dark, not psychedelic, always positive, and they do not sound neo prog at all! This record will be a classic progressive album in a couples of decades, like Yes - Close to the edge, Gentle Giant - Octopus and Genesis - Selling England by the pound, because it has only strong points.


Review by frenchie
4 stars I have heard a prog supergroup before... and i have to admit, they were far from super. Diabolical is a word that sprung to mind when i listened to them. Well i can safely say that Transatlantic aren't Asia. Transatlantic are very good, making more traditional progressive rock music, they have a bit of everything in them. This is brought on by the influences and styles of each member. I was attracted to listen to this album because Mike Portnoy is on it, he may be a bit of a show off at time but i really love his work, and i am a huge dream theater fan.

This album is very interesting from the start! A whole discs space of music spread over 4 pieces. Sounds very prog to me, and it is in sound and structure. "Duel with the Devil" is a really good piece. I was instantly drawn to this band, i was expecting some difficulties getting into this band but this piece was very inviting with its lively guitar work and continuously progressing structure. I really love the sad violin and cello intro which builds up to some expansive uplifting guitar work. There was an amazing sax solo around 13 minutes into this piece and the climax was very powerful and emotional, especially on the guitar. The vocals sections are short but work well to give more interest in the song. The only problem i had with this song was some of the passages of guitar and keyboard work were too long. Although they sound fine musically they just get really boring, sounds like they are showing off a bit, i never got bored of dream theaters instrumental passages but Transatlantic seem to go over the top.

"Suite Charlotte Pike" is a pretty decent piece, its quite long but it as it goes along it gets better and better, i really hated the attempt at putting humour at the begining of the track. The first track sounded very serious and had a great change of mood but that humour attempt was a very low point on this album. This album follows similar structures and instrument work as the first track, there are often some really annoying high pitched squels in the background though. Most of this piece is very good and listenable, not to mention strong flowing.

The title track is just beautiful, it doesn't have lots of complicated structures like the other tracks. This album deserves a simplistic piano driven piece like this. Neal Morse gets a spotlight here. The lyrics are very moving. This is my favourite piece on the album and certainly the easiest to digest.

The album closer is even longer than its opener, i love the way they used the violin entrance from the first track again here, it also moves into a more uplifting piece with some great drum work from Portnoy. This song has a very promising opening with the best guitar work on the album, and some really good vocals. This track is so captivating, i love it when it leads into the heavy guitar section with synth backing (although that synth gets repetitive). The vocal work here is really powerful. This piece is brilliant, captivating all the way. This is what the opening track could have been like if it wasn't for those over extensive instrumental parts. I really love the violin reprise agin half way into the song. The change of mood works brilliantly here. I love the bass work 20 minutes into this piece, it gets slightly repetitive here but i think there are enough good movements within this song to keep it captivating. The violin and guitar section is pure musical magic. This has a powerful climax and then this album is put to sleep with a lulling piano outro.

Transatlantic play really well together even though they come from different musical backgrounds. They have done well for themselves with this album. BAF may not be a piece that you can continuosly pick up as it is quite a demand to listen to but i am sure that everytime you come back to it you will enjoy it. Definetly worth checking out.

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Chances are that I'm not the first person to tell you that there's nothing really super about this group ... but then again I think that most of the parent groups that contributed members to Transatlantic are overrated. What I hear is a bunch of highly skilled musicians who have either forgotten (or never knew!) how to compose (I can imagine much gnashing of teeth at that one, but I'm standing by it).

Take the first track Duel With The Devil (which despite being 26:43 min long, isn't the longest track here). I was bored out of my mind before vocals started which wasn't until the 5 minute mark. And I found the chorus to be really lame and poppy. There was one nice keyboard solo and the laid back section with wah-wahs and sax that kicks off round 12 minutes ain't bad, but really when at the 18 minute mark our friends tried to do a pop-jazz thing I gave up ... what a snore-fest ...

The funky Suite Charlotte Pike is better, but despite some nice electric piano touches and some obvious attempts to infuse it with Beatlesque sensiblities, the main song is forgettable. The title track is the worst of the lot ... basically just a vocals and piano tune it sounds like a lame attempt to break in on the Christian rock curcuit with an "uplifting" ballad.

Stranger In Your Soul is by far the best track here. Weighing in at exactly 30:00 minutes, one would hope so. right? It's got a strong violin intro, pulsating drums, powerful organ, topped off with sizzling synth leads and sounds somewhat like an updated version of Kansas. Unfortunately it too meanders at times especially during the dull vocal sections and a long quiet bit that starts after the 13th minute, but a gutsy metallic bit and some very tasteful synth colouring save the piece.

I listened to this album twice through ... and I don't really see myself returning too often. ... 27% on the MPV scale

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What can I say about Transatlantic? They are indeed a supergroup, for they all play superbly and fluently on this album. This and the album before it are extremely technical and off the wall pieces of work. Taking Symphonic Prog, adding Hard Rock in some places, and Blues in other spots, they take the listener to another world. In Bridge Across Forever, we are graced with 2 epic tracks, the 26 minute Duel With the Devil and the 30 minute Stranger In Your Soul.

Let me take a moment and talk about the great musicians on this album. Roine Stolt has always been in my mind an underrated guitarist, and from a technical stand point, he is great on this album. He plays fluidly and has a crisp refreshing sound to his guitar. His work gets better with every album he records. Neal Morse, Ex-Spock's Beard vocalist, plays an incredibly precise and complex keyboard on this album. When he was in Spock's Beard, Ryo Okumoto had the duty of keyboards, so Morse never got the spotlight on the keys. On this album and the one before it, he shows off his skill and expertise at his respected instrument. Mike Portnoy has always been one of my favorite drummers, but on this album, the complex and intricate patterns I love to hear him play are somewhat absent. There are still complex parts to the album drum-wise, but they are few and often for a short time. Finally, Peter Trewavas has always been an excellent bassist. While not his best work, this is an incredible effort by him, one worth mentioning.

The two epics on the album are the tracks that stand out the most. Duel With the Devil is the first piece, but it goes through so many moods, tempos, and shifts that it goes by so fast that you want to hit the repeat button on your CD player/MP3 Player/Computer, etc. The female choir on this song does a phenomenal job, giving the track a more operatic sort of feel. Stolt and Morse also give incredible jobs on this track, Morse's organ work being the highlight. The second epic, Stranger in Your Soul, emulates a lot of the same features as the first epic. In this piece, Trewavas does a very impressive 10-15 second bass solo, and Morse's organ and Stolt's erratic lead guitar also take the forefront. My only complaint with this song is that it could have ended after 26 minutes, the last 4 minutes are completely useless.

Overall, I was very impressed with this album. I recommend it to any fan of Dream Theater, Marillion, Spock's Beard, and the Flower Kings. 4/5.

Review by Zitro
3 stars This is the second and last studio album by the band, and it is somewhat inferior to the debut. It is less exciting, and more spotty. It rocks harder, but these guys can't rock out that well. And last of all: it sounds like Spocks Beard.

1. Duel with the devil 5.5/10 : This Epic is a bit too long! The introduction feels very long and boring, The vocals in the first section are very weak, some of the jams seem random (tho impressive), the melodies can be a bit repetitive, just like the song is. Good ideas stretched too much.

2. Suite Charlotte Pike 4/10 : This is not good. It sounds very beatle-ish, but the melodies and jams are much weaker than anything you expect from the beatles. It tries too much to be a 2nd Abbey Road.

3. Bridge across forever 5.5/10 : A nice but somewhat dull piano ballad. It sounds like a Spock's Beard ballad.

4. Stranger in your soul 6/10 : Named once as the 'mother of all epics' in the Live DVD. Well, it is long ... It contains many things that are very likable, like its violin driven introduction, and the 'hanging in the balance' section which contains an amazing heavy metalish riff. The rest of the song is pretty, but a little boring , and the jams sometimes sound very uninspired.

My Grade : C-

Review by kunangkunangku
5 stars As a follow up to the groundbreaking debut effort "SMPTe", this album proves to be more than meets the expectation. The band not only once again successfully infuse freshly 1990s approach into 1970s progressive rock sound while composing memorable melodies with rich harmonies (even though over obscure lyrics). They easily continue to push forward as well.

With all four members of the band's remarkable talents and virtuosities are still there, one that is immediately noticeable is in this session the band share the task of lead vocals among them. This is a good move. Consequently, gone are the impression one might find out on previous effort that the band performances sounding much like Spock's Beard -- because of Neal Morse prominent role as a lead vocalist.

Four tracks, including a short ballad, selected for this session are all mighty songs with the opener, the 26-plus-minute epic "Duel With The Devil", serves effectively as the tone setter; it showcases delicate yet wonderful arrangement and the technical proficiency of each members dealing with the instrumentation. These elements are so strong that if it had not because of them the closing tracks, "Stranger in Your Soul", could have been a disaster as it is too long.

Without this album progressive rock will definitely still be alive and rocking. But ignoring it intentionally may result in losing the chance to experience directly the higher level of the genre Transatlantic has taken to. Unfortunately, the band has been disbanded.

Review by richardh
2 stars I used to like Transatlantic but now find their 'prog by numbers' approach somewhat wearing.Morse is a Prog God and what he doesn't know about prog isn't worth knowing and much the same can be said of Roine Stolte but together they don't really gel for me.The whole thing smacks of compromise and is not even worth comparing with classic prog from the likes of Yes and Genesis or even from their own individual groups Spocks Beard,Flower Kings,Marillion and Dream Theater.And thats the rub.Prog supergroups are best left in the past.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

Review by Moatilliatta
5 stars About a year and a half after SMPTe, Transatlantic released their second and final studio album, Bridge Across Forever. This one is very much like the debut. No covers this time around, this is all fresh. Four tracks, three epics (two of which reach 25+ minutes), and one shorter piece, which is a moving ballad. The writing is even tighter on this album. The epics all contain recurring themes, and they are used very tastefully, making this album extra coherent and meritorious. There aren't as many hooks on this one, but they make up for that with emotion. This is a very powerful album. Striking melodies are strewn about. It has a very stong opening, and a very captivating closing. Everything in between is great, but man, the first five or so minutes bring me so much excitement, and the segments that comprise the end of the last song building up to that climax just really hit me hard.

There isn't a whole lot else to say about Bridge Across Forever. Great musicianship, very controlled, very profound. Fans of it's predecessor will most likely share the same feelings toward this one. As before, it may not be one of the most historically important albums for progressive rock, but it certainly is one of the best.

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In the spring of 2005, I was finally giving newer groups some serious investigation. I was already a big Marillion fan, so Trewavas was no mystery. I had heard Dream Theater, but couldn't name a member of the band. The Flower Kings were on the "to do" list, and I had a few Spock's Beard Albums. Fast forward to the next year. I now knew much more, and a friend said that I had to hear Transatlantic. I get a bit nervous when I hear the term supergroup, but why not. "The Bridge Across Forever" became an instant favorite. I was absolutely enthralled by it.

The talent here is undeniable, but these guys play together like a group of best friends. There is a sense of utter pleasure that comes through. The lengthy (very lengthy) numbers keep moving along, without ever getting dull. There is absolute no resisting the groove in the beginning of "Suite Charlotte Pike." Then they go into a Beatle like run (see "Abbey Road'). The title track is almost a rest stop before the grand, 30 -minute, album closer. This is a prog epic in all of its glory, and I am always left with a feeling of being very uplifted at the end.

Homages are worn on their sleeves, and why not. Some of the purpose here seems to be honoring those sources of inspiration. Now, these four veterans are inspiring a new generation. But, don't forget that this is original music. Hats off to the guys for being able to pull it off.

This album just thrills me every time, but there is something that keeps me from giving it five stars. There is a sense that others may not like it as much as I do. Perhaps it is the more mainstream sound, I don't really know. I love it, and would give it 4.5 if I could. It is essential for me, but maybe not for everyone else. I still highly recommend giving it a try.

H.T. Riekels

Review by sleeper
4 stars The big questions facing prog supergroup Transatlantic on the release of their second album, Bridge Across Forever, was could they continue to create such impressive music and could they do it by creating something new? The answer, in short, was yes and no.

Transatlantic's first album is one of my personal favourites and it was always going to be a hard job to beat the excellent SMPTe. Sadly the group couldn't, but they did give it a damn good go at it by doing what, it seems, they do best, big epics. Of the four songs on here, and this is a full length album at 1 hour 17minutes, two of them are over 25 minutes in length and a third song is over 12 minutes, with only the title track being short at 5 and a half minutes.

Of course when a band makes numerous epics like this, they run the risk of having large amounts of pointless noodling that ends up going nowhere and doing nothing other than boring the listener to tears. Thankfully that isn't the case here. I don't know how they do it but these guys, when working together, are able to make a full half hour song seem like 15 minutes, it goes past so quick whilst you enjoy it that its unbelievable, a trait that they have carried over from their first album. In fact this album, musically, is a match for what they have previously accomplished and overall is just as enjoyable with lots of great music.

So why no 5 stars? Well, this album does sound almost the same as its predecessor without any real progress, they haven't moved on and, though they do this very well, it can get boring quickly if they don't change the formula. The other problem is the title track itself. It's a piano only track with Neal Morse doing vocals and seems to have little to no input from the other three members. Couldn't this have been left to one of Morse's solo albums, especially since I find it rather dull and sticks out like a sore thumb here.

What you do get is two rather brilliantly composed epics (Duel With The Devil and Stranger In Your Soul) that have each member of the band firing on all cylinders. The other track (Suite Charlotte Pike) starts off sounding almost like a jam but the structure of the song becomes stronger and more apparent the longer it goes on, very nice. Lyrically it seems that most of these tracks are linked by a common theme (another reason why Bridge Across Forever sticks out on this album, I don't think its linked) with phrases like "stranger in your soul" and "duel with the devil" appearing quite often throughout. I'm not sure what their getting at but it's a nice touch all the same.

Basically the only things wrong with this album is that its completely un-original and that the title track is a very big disappointment, so I give this a well deserved 4 out of 5.

Review by Fight Club
5 stars When I first heard this album a couple years ago, I overlooked it at first listen. It seemed far too long, too proggy, and I wasn't quite ready for that yet. Now don't make the same mistake. This album is a modern masterpiece. 3 of the 4 tracks are quite long, but let me tell you they do not drag at all. Since I first heard (well payed full attention to) Duel With the Devil I fell in love. It had great melody, and awesome musicianship. I was surprised to feel that way throughout the entire song. Then I felt the same with the next song, what a great surprise! And the 2 songs after that! It's just full of stunning compostion and musicianship. I don't really know what else to say. It's really upbeat and just some fun great music. If you like the crazy, melodic style of Spock's Beard with all the great musicianship you will love this album. Even if you're not into Morse and Stolt's style this album has something for everyone. Recommended!
Review by Flucktrot
4 stars Just to set up a confidence interval, there's no way this is lower than a three, and no way it's higher than a four. Of course, that's a personal opinion, but it's obvious that this is neither terrible nor groundbreaking prog. It's just four very good musicians who--for whatever reason--didn't cut things loose on the virtuosity or creativity criteria. Solid, but unspectacular, music.

Duel with the Devil. Very similar to SMPTe's opener, this one attempts to be heavier, though I think it fails in that respect. There is a great opener, with plenty of symphonic guitar and keyboard throw-ins, as well as numerous references (Gentle Giant most obvious), and a good melody and chorus (if you can get past some less-than-oblique lyrics). The song then moves through rocking, jazzy,and dreamy sections, as well as numerous refrains. It just doesn't work as well as before: the "motherless children" section is cheesy, the instrumental sections don't have the energy, and the closing guitar solo isn't as earth-shattering as necessary. Good material and intent, just not to maximum effect.

Suite Charlotte Pike. I love it. This is a happy jam that is perfectly structured, and a true collaborative effort. This doesn't replicate The Beatles' sound well, but nothing else I've heard has either. After the attempted depth of the first track, hearing the guys just rocking and having fun is a pleasure.

Bridge Across Forever. What a forgettable and generic title track--a real head-scratcher and confusing decision. Boring and skippable.

Stranger in Your Soul. I think that Transatlantic have really accomplished something here: great melodies, plenty of rocking, absolutely beautiful arrangements, shared vocals, and a lasting impact on the listener. For me, it just doesn't quite hold up. I like it every time, but it just doesn't move me. That is probably completely subjective, so take it with a grain of salt.

Half of me wishes Transatlantic stayed together, and the other half believes that they had no more to offer. Either way, this is a fitting, if not triumphant, send-off for one of the great prog supergroups...their hearts were in the right place, and for that I give four stars.

Review by progrules
4 stars Transatlantic is bound to be heaven for symphonicfans because some of the finest musicians are in this project or should we still call it a band ? Ok, occasional band. And they prove to be a great combination. When I originally heard this album I was in great admiration for it. Two fantastic epics (Duel with the devil, Stranger in your soul), a very nice "jamming" song (Suite Charlotte Pike) and a beautiful ballad (title track). I still have that opnion but especially the two epics are somewhat slipping away from my interest after many listenings. The tenability of these two songs is not as long as I expected. The other two are somewhat better in that sense and because it's still a very good album with great music, I still go for 4 stars.
Review by Chicapah
5 stars If your taste in prog tends to run along the symphonic side of things then this is over 70 minutes of unmitigated joy. However, I'm hesitant to label it a masterpiece because I usually reserve that distinction for albums like "Close to the Edge" or "Selling England by the Pound" (which courageously blazed new trails and are acknowledged landmarks) yet I can't bring myself to give it only 4 stars because this CD is vastly superior to many that I've awarded that rating to. So what's a po' boy to do? The important thing I want to convey is that if you're looking for wonderful, over-the-top, bigger-than-life epics that you once counted on hearing from bands like Yes, Genesis and ELP then I recommend that you get this into your changer or headphones ASAP. It's fresh and hot like it just came out of a prog oven.

Supergroups are more often than not a well-intentioned travesty. Few succeed in creating anything lasting or even listenable but this lineup of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas (Marillion) bucked the odds and, while they only lasted for two albums, gave us our money's worth. They don't sound like four "super" individuals at all. Rather, the pervasive collaborative, all-for-one spirit is one of the most alluring qualities of "Bridge Across Forever" and one gets the feeling that there was a strong sense of professionalism, trust and mutual admiration keeping them focused on the job at hand.

Starting things off with a string quartet is always a good sign, then Morse's confident piano playing leads to a kickin' instrumental where the band comes on strong and tight, performing a mini-overture for the first long epic, "Duel With the Devil." Right off the bat it's clear that Portnoy and his unbelievable drumming is in top form as he guides the group like a sleek locomotive and, as Neal's strong vocal begins "Motherless Children," you know this is gonna be good. A fat 12-string acoustic guitar introduces "Walk Away" and the softer tones of Stolt's singing style offers up another aspect to the proceedings as this excellent song unfolds. But don't be misled because this tune has teeth and Roine's Steve Howe-like licks and Mike's out-of-this-world drum fills are awesome. The jazzy groove of "Silence of the Night" follows and Stolt performs a striking, Zappa-inspired wah-wah guitar solo that will pin your ears back before guest saxophonist Keith Mears arrives and gives the track yet another intriguing angle to ponder. After a Yes-style musical interlude, "You're Not Alone" arrives with its smooth, floating aura as they revisit the "Motherless Children" theme that, like many other melodies, resurfaces throughout the entire album. Meanwhile Portnoy's drum mastery continues to amaze. On "Almost Home" an expansive chorale joins in as a slow, steady build-up gathers intensity, culminating in a grandiose climax and a "shimmering" fade out. Yowza! (Okay, I'll admit it. I'm an absolute sucker for this kind of bigger-is-better rock music.)

"Suite Charlotte Pike" sounds nothing like the previous cut and that's a plus because too much of a fine thing can achieve overkill. One way that musicians get their groove on in the studio is to make it funky for a spell before "rolling tape" and here you get a rare glimpse of that technique. It also shows that they're unashamedly reveling in the midst of having some serious fun together. "If She Runs" sounds a smidgen like Spock's Beard on the verse but it doesn't have time to get predictable as Roine soon interrupts with another fierce guitar ride that evolves into "Mr. Wonderful" with its Beatle-ish melody and a deep, full chorus of "His name is Wonderful/and it's wonderful just to be near him" which, in turn, describes both the devil and the savior. On "Lost and Found Pt. 1" things get briefly rock & roll raucous before Morse brings in his gritty attitude on "Temple of the Gods" and shares vocal duties with Mike. As I said earlier, they often resurrect their musical themes and on "Motherless Children/If She Runs (reprise)" they do it quite effectively as they ride the repeating refrain of "don't want to hear it now" to the end. Never a dull moment, that's for sure.

A simple but very beautiful lone piano introduces the album's ballad and namesake, "Bridge Across Forever." Obviously a Neal Morse tune from beginning to end (the only one not credited as a group composition), it's a gorgeous song augmented by a subdued orchestral score and a calming xylophone effect that they graciously allow to remain unbusy.

The last cut, "Stranger in your Soul," is another extended epic that starts with another wisp of the album's initial theme before huge, rolling drums come charging over the horizon accompanied by a Hammond organ, leading to an all-out prog assault of the highest magnitude. The first section, "Sleeping Wide Awake," has Neal and Roine singing both solo and as a duet. "Whatever you're looking for/don't ever start looking behind/whatever you want to change/you better start changing your mind" they advise. On "Hanging in the Balance" a new melody is introduced, then they drop into a hard, metallic guitar/bass riff while Portnoy entertains you with multiple eyebrow-raising "WOW, did you hear THAT?" moments from his drum kit. (The man never ceases to defy all description.) "Lost and Found Pt. 2" is a timely change of tempo and feel that soon transitions to a driving, power-trio jam where Stolt ignites an inferno with his guitar. This guy is GOOD. They climb to a peak and then explode into the spacey "Awakening the Stranger" where different words are sung over the verse melody from "Bridge Across Forever" and the original theme reappears. "Slide" features powerful riffs and vocalizations leading into a deserved break for the underappreciated bassist Trewavas to step into the limelight for a few bars (give the bass player some, will ya guys?). "Stranger in your Soul" is suitably gargantuan and cavernous in scope as they bring the prog party to a fitting end, then Morse's solitary piano fades into the distance playing the central theme.

If you hang on for a couple of minutes you'll discover the hidden, unnamed track that's a wild and crazy two and a half minute coda filled with dislocated musical snippets, bells and weird noises. It's no big deal, just some late-night fun in the studio.

As you would expect, the lyric content is somewhat obtuse and spiritually nondenominational but it doesn't insult your intelligence, either. I know in the future there will be times when I'm in the mood to hear some good ol' symphonic prog and this will more than satisfy that yearning. It's got everything I adore about this genre and there's not a weak point to be found so take my personal praise for what it's worth to you. It doesn't get much better than this. 4.7 stars.

Review by Prog Leviathan
5 stars While some critics may be harsh on 'Bridge Across Forever' for its similar delivery and stylistic 'by the numbers' approach to the genre, I maintain that very, very, very few albums come close to approaching this album's amazing level of intricate craftsmanship and likeability-- 'Bridge Across Forever' is, for me, THE genre defining album of modern symphonic rock.

Like Transatlantic's first release, this one features the four musicians playing finely polished, extended songs with huge amounts of proficiency and dynamics; melodies are astounding and the instrumental performances rate among each player's individual best. The paradox is, that no single player steals the show and the four of them work amazingly well together-- making some of the most memorable epics of the last 10 years (at least). Vocal duties are still handled mostly by Morse, but each member's contributions add a wonderful touch to end result (whether Stolt's part-time leads or Portnoy/Trewavas' consistently excellent backing vocals). Instrumentally this album contains more killer moments of excellence than one can count, with numerous melodic and rhythmic solos that will blow away fans of the genre.

In fact, if asked by a friend, just what is progressive rock?, I would probably reach for 'Bridge Across Forever'. It's a wonderfully composed homage to the greats who started the genre decades ago played with more energy, skill, and virtuosity than could ever be expected. From the majestic, soaring highs to delicate textures-- simply stellar. Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars A much more team effort than the first one, that´s for sure. Ok, I still think Neal Morse is the prominent force here, but the others clearly did their homework: finally they sound more like Transatlantic than Spock´s Beard, but not much. The songwriting, vocals and general arrangements are more interesting and varied, finally giving all four members more room to display their amazing musicianship.

Production is fine. I still think that maybe they never had enough time to really explore their full potential, but that´s quite understandable, since they are all key figures in great and very active bands. It is really jaw dropping how they even manage to produce two such long works of quality in such a short time and being writers on their own bands at the same time. Seeing things that way, Bridge Across Forever is great achievement.

Although it is not really my fave prog style, I liked this album. It is quite superior to their debut. Finally Transatlantic showed some true team spirit. Every prog fan should give it one try at least. 3,5 stars.

Review by J-Man
5 stars One of the greatest albums of all time simply put. This album is amazing and makes a huge advancement over their first, still great album, SMPTe. This album includes progressive metal influances on Stranger in Your Soul and Duel With The Devil, while Suite Charlotte Pike has a Beatle sound almost identical to the Abbey Road Medley. The title track a nice soothing melody of Neal Morse's and is a great song nonetheless.

Duel With The Devil 5/5, a great epic that has traces of Dream Theater in it all the way to The Beatles. It consists of wonderful harmonies and wonderful use of the organ.

Suite Charlotte Pike 5/5, a nice proto-prog song that is designed to sound like the Abbey Road medley. (Notice the name, Abbey Road and Suite Charlotte Pike's titles both refer to the road the recording studios are on. It's sort of telling you it will sound like The Beatles).

Bridge Across Forever 5/5, the shortest song on the album, but it still manages to keep up pretty well. While it's not quite as good as We All Need Some Light on the last album, it's still a great song.

Stranger in Your Soul 5/5, here it is. The closer on the album. The grand finale. The 2nd greatest song of all time (it's closely behind Supper's Ready). This song is an amazing song that almost nothing can even compare to. From the famous Strings opeing to the awesome guita solos, this song is by far the greatest song on the album, and TA's best song. (I saw this live at 3RP, and it was AWESOME!!!!).

Overall, you need to buy this album. There is not a single flaw noticeable, and is a must buy for anyone who likes prog even the slightest bit.

Review by LiquidEternity
4 stars This is another difficult album to rate as it's been a fairly important force in my prog music fandom.

It was a very importantly early step for me, a guy who was looking for some really neat music and hadn't gone much past Dream Theater at the time. But then along comes this album, this supergroup, and they sucked me in with the promise of really long songs and Mike Portnoy on the drums. Turns out, this is nothing like Dream Theater, but would certainly kick me down a much more Neal Morse and 70s prog influenced direction rather than the more progressive metal direction I would have gone otherwise. Fans of Dream Theater checking on what their favorite drummer is up to will find something pretty different here, but fans of Neal Morse or Roine Stolt will not be surprised--especially not in the case of the former. But even still, this is a fairly strong album with a lot of energy and excitement built throughout it. If you are into epic songs but don't much like the meandering and weakly combined tracks that a number of other prog acts stretch past the twenty minute mark, check this out. Neal Morse, already a prodigious force for producing some pretty sweet long tracks, is at the absolute top of his game here. That doesn't mean that the rest of the band sits back, though. It clearly is a united effort, even more so than the group's first project, and the results are quite inspiring.

The album opens with the first of the twinned bracket tracks (weird to call a near half-hour of music a bracket track, but there you go), Duel with the Devil. It opens with some lovely strings, segueing into a bright and upbeat full band section. There's some good old proggy noodling going on here, though these guys aren't necessarily as into speed as more prominent noodlists often are. The general energy of the song continues for the first ten minutes or so, including a down-to-earth vocal section by Roine that really gives him room to belt--something he needs more often, I think, as his voice sounds weak often on his Flower Kings albums. The music then drops off, building back up with a duel of guitar and saxophone. Very neat moments. The whole piece ends with a children's choir repeating a main theme, expanding and harmonizing quite effectively, if a bit in a cliche manner.

The album then moves into Suite Charlotte Pike, a suite (surprise) comprised of some more folky and Beatlesy tunes. More vocal rounds appear here. On the whole, while there are some good parts, it is not a very cohesive track, but more like a strictly structured jam session with a lot more vocals than instrumentals. In truth, I enjoyed this track a lot more before I saw on the DVD. Not that the DVD ruins it, but throwing in parts of the Beatles' Abbey Road medley throughout the suite makes it so much better. Thus, the studio version gets to be less exciting.

The title track is a very standard, very weak track that if you've ever listened to an album with anything written by Morse before, you've more or less heard. It's just a quiet piano ballad that, no matter how nice it is, is so overshadowed by the sheer genius of the two main tracks here that more often than not I forget it even exists.

Stranger in Your Soul is, to me, the highlight of the album. Opening with the same strings as Duel with the Devil, except in a different key, the song quickly moves in another direction. Instead of the bright explosion of band, we have a moody buildup driven by some lovely drumming. For the next few minutes, the song is pretty quiet and slow, with some nice vocal melodies and a general sense that it's not going to last. And indeed it doesn't. A return to a chorus seen in Suite Charlotte Pike flings the song into the heaviest moment Transatlantic has seen--Mike Portnoy clearly had a strong hand here. Fast paced and frenetic, the music serves as a unique background to a four man vocal round. The energy level continues through some well harmonized choruses and then a wild guitar solo. Backing down after all that, it slowly builds for a number of minutes after a gentle portion, expanding with a return of the beginning strings. The song then kicks back into energy mode for most of its remainder, save a powerful and truly epic, if I may use the word as an adjective here (a dangerous thing on a prog site), conclusion by Morse. The piano shuts down the tune.

A highly enjoyable album. It's not perfect. But out of all the supergroups, Transatlantic may be one of the strongest. The usual isses of excessive noodlings and lack of band/song cohesion are mostly defeated here, and so what we have might well be the most musically successful supergroup since ELP. And this is their better album, too.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 01. Duel With The Devil I. Motherless Children Long? No! What a fool that is beautiful! The beginning of bruno and violas are great for a beginning of this bombastic, the first part of the song has a great instrumental part. Instrumentalists sensational, I still wonder how to decorate so many parties and so complex. (yes! Decorate! Have they played live all right.) Can not notice a slight influence of Rush in the first part. And when the letter begins (at 4'40) not impossible to sing along. Heady chorus. II. Walk Away Guitar at the beginning to change. The 2nd part is very beautiful, the flower of skin sensitivity. The 2nd part of the 2nd part (laughs) has another great chorus, several vocal question and answer invade your ears and big voice at the end. Why did so between one part heavy and full of good irons and keyboards, drums quebradíssima (which is natural to Portnoy). The low-Pete always has a tone that I love, is what I call a 'knife', metallic sound that we inherited from Chris Squire (Yes).

III. Silence Of The Night The 3rd part calm to rethink everything. Closed for stocktaking, jazz means that part repeats the first verse of the song in a different tone of listening. The guitar melodies always doing sensational. Keith Mears there by both of its bounty with a saxophone which refers to the sound of Pink Floyd (always in the progressive rock saxophone will remember Pink Floyd, which is fine.) Which gives a touch even more sensational.

IV. You're Not Alone You're Not Alone is a great part, battery broken into 4 / 4 (and can?). Back to the chorus Motherless Children totally different. Emphasis on the bottom.

V. Almost Home The end of the music is a little distressing, to then return to calm. And the choir. Following a sensational touch to everything. An epic, without words.

02. Suite Charlotte Pike I. If She Runs That starts in totally relaxed pace, to 'mistakes' happen, and more were left. Most part full of charm. The groove is almost indecent! The other is finalzinho. 'It's hard ... It's hard ... It's hard ...)

II. Mr. Wonderful The emphasis here is on everything, melody master. Pianette bottom, low mandingo. A partezinha crazy, an ultra psychedelic keyboard for that then ...

III. Lost And Found Pt.1 Now begin the last portion of that there is legal in music. Without words, just sing along!

IV. Temple Of The Gods Back to previous melodies, gives me a feeling of comfort listening to a track that I already know a new music. Background vocals give a very nice touch. Why then ... new melodies.

V. Motherless Children / If She Runs (Reprise) You know what I think? What more analyzing the background as the disc now I'm more in love with him yet. If had been the first time I brought him home now so ....

03. Bridge Across Forever The song that gave name to the disk is typical ballad Neal Morse on piano (not that this is bad, however). When Neal composed beautiful ballads. Only the lyrics were changed with time for most subjects' as we say 'Christian, I think this is the beginning. Unfortunately after he found that was no longer legally participate in projects more say 'secular', whatever. It is beautiful, but I think the disk however, differs from the rest too. But the voice is worth it.

04. Stranger In Your Soul I. Sleeping Wide Awake New beginning of violins, violas and bruno, similar but different from the beginning. Then tones and keyboards that are not Genesis I do not know what it is (Caracas as Tony Banks is the influence it tecladistas progressive half of that came later). The melody that follows the guitar is unprecedented. Vocal undoubtedly amazing. You know what I feel listening to this? Ever seen those scenes in movies where the person puts his head out the window of the bus with a smile from ear to ear on the face and hair flying in the wind? So that is how I feel. Free, a new path for everything I expected out there.

II. Hanging In The Balance You then enter the party and I remember that life is reality and that reality is cruel. But it may be easier to go by way of your heart. Just pay attention to their surroundings. How I love the melody of the final.

III. Lost And Found Pt.2 'Do not you think if you could be lost' sing along. Karaoke progressive. If you did not wish to hear you sing as serious problems. Low sensational.

IV. Awakening The Stranger Weight! A lot! Guitars, bass and batteries, all followed closely by keyboards. What for the lull between then and again bring to light hearts.

V. Slide Passage of value and weight, unconditional love to the world of sound. Bela brought low. Neal of the keyboards are fabulous, fantastic timbre. A beautiful land of low end.

VI. Stranger In Your Soul The lyrics of the songs are wonderful existentialist. In his nearly half-hour epic that is fantastic, the proportion of any 70's, a band that few people know, we should search more for sure. PS. listen to the end, because only over when finished.

Since the first time I saw this disc, got the cover, I saw the names involved, I saw the time of songs, I put in the Sound and listened from the first time I felt privileged to have chosen the guys and these guys have chosen me, I more is that the world will hear when Transatlantic.

Review by crimson87

I do not have high expectations when hearing a release by a band that emulates that great symponic prog from the 70's. Most of them are good , very professional records but I can't consider them in the same level as Close to The Edge , Foxtrot or the classic ELP albums. However Bridge across Forever is an unexpected exception to the rule. The line up includes modern progressive superstars like Stolt , Morse , Trewavas and Portnoy. And to be honest I wasn't familiar with neither Spock's Beard nor The Flower Kings catalogue but after hearing this record I found myself much more interested in their output.

One aspect of modern recordings I can't stand is their long duration. However , Bridge... somehow managed to keep me interested during 70 minutes. The only explanation I can find to this issue is that the band knows how to put memorable melodies in their songs: Everyone of the sections on Bridge across forever has really catchy melodies that will get stuck in your head. Personally , I think both 25min+ epics are up there with Suppers Ready and all the classic ones.

The first one of them is called Duel with the Devil , it opens with some really melancholic cello but believe me: this epic is far from being depressing , as soon as MP drums kick out this song grabs the listener by the balls! Motherless childern is the first section of the song and it will be repeated alongside this record. As soon as Roine Stolt starts singing an amazing wave of Mellotron can be heard. This section is very uplifting and energetic. The Walk Away part is very tranquil in contrast , the melody is superb. Lyrics are very positive , this could bother some Spock's Beard fans since I ve been told that Neal Morse can get really annoying with this aspect. Moving on.. the third section has a jazzy feel specially given by a saxophone solo.I think MP' s drums are too loud on the mix and this part could sound much better if they were toned down. One of the biggest surprises here is a gospel like section in the Motherless children reprise. The song closes repeating it's introduction only that this time the chorus is done by some children.

The Suite Charlotte Pike is just!! 14 minutes long and here the band starts jamming but soon that develops into a Beatle- esque section in which every member of the band gets some singing time. The melodies are very good as usual but some of the potential listeners may find them a little cliched or corny. It also features a jazzy section in which the Motherless children theme is repeated once more. The title track is the shortest song of the album , it's basically a typical Neal Morse ballad. In my opinion this simple track is the most beautiful moment of the record.

Then it comes the second epic called Stranger in your soul. It opens with the same cello as Duel with the Devil did. After an energetic introduction , the piece shifts into ballad-mode. Vocal harmonies are the main hook here. The second section is the heaviest of the record , but still retains all that optimistic mood present in this record. The transition up to the Awakening the stranger part , turns out to be one of the most athmospherical on the record sounding for a brief instant like Keith Jarrett while the word time is repeated. We can hear some classical instrumentation as well , right after that the synths appear and a powerful jam begins. Lastly , as in the previous epic the first section is repeated to give this piece a proper end.

This is one of my favourite records from the 00's I recomend it to anyone who wants to get into modern symphonic prog.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I much prefered the debut maybe because it sounded a lot like early SPOCK'S BEARD but it also featured more individual moments like guitar solos, mellotron, bombastic drumming etc. They sounded like they were having more fun and I felt like I benefited from the individual performances. In short it was more exciting and more dynamic. Sure maybe they were all showing off to one another a bit, but it "rocked". This album is more of a team effort and the focus seems to be more on the songs themselves, making the actual individual performances less important. I know for many this is better, but not for me. It's why i'm not a fan of concept albums for the most part because the focus is more on the lyrics and the concept than the instrumental work.

"Duel With The Devil" opens with strings before piano then a full sound takes over. Nice guitar 2 minutes in. Vocals (Neal) don't arrive until after 4 1/2 minutes as it settles. Mellotron before 6 minutes. It settles again as Roine sings this time 7 1/2 minutes in. It kicks back in after 9 minutes and check out the organ before 10 1/2 minutes. Portnoy does his thing a minute later followed by a calm. Some guest sax before 14 minutes. Neal's back singing with some good organ runs 15 minutes in. It settles again 21 1/2 minutes in with some female backing vocals. Nice guitar before 26 minutes. "Suite Charlotte Pike" sounds great with an almost funky intro. Vocals before 2 minutes and it's not as funky now. It settles with piano before 5 minutes as Roine starts singing. Some harmonies to in this BEATLES flavoured tune. The piano and drums sound incredible 8 minutes in. A strong BEATLES flavour late.

"Bridge Across Forever" is a ballad. Not a fan of this one at all. "Stranger In Your Soul" is the best track on here in my opinion. Mainly because it rocks out pretty good at times. It opens with strings like the opening track for some reason. A good rhythm comes in and some excellent organ. Check out Trewavas on bass ! He really impresses me on this track. Reserved vocals 3 minutes in. It kicks in after 6 minutes. Great sound. Amazing drum and bass work after 11 minutes, then Roine rips it up a minute later. Best section on the album. A calm 13 minutes in and fragile vocals after 14 1/2 minutes. It kicks back in after 18 minutes with huge bass, then settles a minute later as the tempo and mood continues to shift. A powerful sound comes in late before piano ends it.

I do find the two TRANSATLANTIC records to be quite different from one another, this one is good, the first one is great !

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second Transatlantic album is tight and creative! It's clear that these guys were having a great time recording these songs since the music is fun and adventurous while keeping a perfect balance between it's nostalgia factors and the new ideas. Neal Morse has, once again, written an excellent set of compositions which have then been picked apart and put together by the band.

This is one of the few times when I can recommend buying the Limited Edition-version of the album because of the genuine fun factor of the second CD that will make you want to revisit it from time to time. Trust me when I say that you won't hear this version of the Beatles' And I Love Her anywhere else!

Of course Bridge Across Forever is not without its flaws like the very long intros and outros on the two longer tracks or the somewhat uneven Beatlesque track called Suite Charlotte Pike with the slightly irritating intro restart. I guess that this is one instant where the playfulness might seem a bit out of proportion, but the Suite Charlotte Pike Medley from Live In Europe is surprisingly even worse.

Still it's obvious that Transatlantic has stopped being a collective of big name starts and have actually taken a step in the right direction with this releases. If anything, it's a big improvement on the first album's formula.

***** star songs: Duel With The Devil (26:43)

**** star songs: Bridge Across Forever (5:32) Stranger In Your Soul (26:06)

*** star songs: Suite Charlotte Pike (14:30)

Total Rating: 4,17

Review by stefro
4 stars Faster, stronger, bigger and brighter, 'Bridge Across Forever' somehow manages to improve upon this super-group foursome's excellent debut, retaining the feelgood factor and genuinely pushing the envelope in terms of structure, instrumentation and complete and utter full on proggery. It's pretty obvious that Roine Stolt(guitar, vocals), Mike Portnoy(drums), Neal Morse(keyboards, vocals) and Pete Trewavas(bass) genuinely enjoy working together, never more so on the vibrant rock 'n' roll of 'Suite Charlotte Pike', a track that positively bristles with funky gusto, and the vibrant interplay, complex harmonies and stunning creativity is a testament to their burgeoning relationship. Those who enjoyed 'SMPTE' will again be thrilled by the kaleidoscopic brew of modern prog sounds and textures on offer here, with the special edition CD containing a second disc filled with the group's re-interpretations of classic prog anthems. Another treat, Transatlantic continue to delight their growing legion of fans across the world. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I quite liked the first album of this band and I was quite excited to discover their second opus. But what a deception!

This album is quite thin IMHHO. Overlong tracks (two) and a filler. Plus almost fifteen minutes of a jazzy self indulgent affair ("Suite Charlotte Pike"). This album clocks at over seventy minutes and could have been reduced by half.

I was maybe expecting too much from this "Bridge Across Forever". This highly technical music might please some prog lovers, but the great vocal harmonies of their debut, are almost absent. Symphonic parts are quite scarce. So, what's left?

Not very much, I'm afraid. OK, the second epic "Stranger In Your Soul" does hold some of these features but only during a portion of these almost thirty minutes. In all, this sophomore album is quite a deception as I have said during the introduction.

My advice is to stick to their great debut album "SMPTe". Two stars for this one.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars The second album by modern prog's premier supergroup continues where the first album left off. It showcases the four talented members in three excellent epic pieces, the shortest clocking in at over thirteen minutes.

While all three epic tracks are credited to the entire group, it seems that Neal Morse was the primary composer. All three pieces bear a strong resemblance to some of Spock's Beard's works (not a bad thing), and the last epic,Strange In Your Soul sound like a few riffs were lifted from The Great Nothing from The Beard's "V" album. Also, Morse does the majority of the singing, and while he's not bad, I wish he would do less of that pinched sounding inflection, that gives him a tone somewhere between Tom Petty and Popeye.

The other track on the album, a slow, boring piano ballad by Morse, I can do without. It really feels out of place on this otherwise great album.

Review by Warthur
5 stars It took me a long while to see the appeal of Transatlantic. Bridge Across Forever, when I first heard it, sounded a lot like their debut album, which meant that to my ears it sounded a bit like a lot of bits which fell off the back of a Flower Kings or Spock's Beard album and weren't especially missed.

Perhaps I'm coming around to it now because I've found myself warming to Spock's Beard and the Flower Kings, or maybe it's that I have a better ear for what they are doing differently here. The original SMPTe did, admittedly, sound a little like "Spock's Beard by other means", largely because of the major role Neal Morse played in the compositional approach; this can be explained in part by the fact that the Transatlantic project began with Morse and Portnoy getting together, and Roine Stolt and Peter Trewavas were later additions to the lineup.

This time around, things feel a bit more balanced. Mike Portnoy's letting rip on the drums a bit more and adding just a touch more fire, whilst Stolt and Morse's songwriting contributions seem to do a better job of finding an interesting common ground between Spock's Beard and the Flower Kings, so the music still sounds somewhat similar to both bands but a) there's a bit more Kings in the mix (note how Morse and Stolt share lead vocals on Duel With the Devil!) and b) the band feels like they are breaking into a niche which those two groups occasionally touch on but don't dwell in exclusively. (Indeed, some of the Flower Kings-ish moments on here, like the soaring conclusion to Duel With the Devil, end up pulling off the emotional side of the equation better than the Kings do.)

What of Trewavas? Well, there isn't really much of the Marillion sound here - neither in terms of what the band were doing at around the same time (the sessions for this came about at around the same time as the final touches were being put on Anoraknophobia) or way back in the Fish era. Perhaps the closest comparison I could draw with Pete's "home" band is the way that the band's sound seems somehow fresher and more modern than that of Spock's Beard or the Flower Kings, even though there's just as much 1970s worship going on here as in those two bands.

Then there's that instrumental section midway through Duel With the Devil which incorporates jazzy saxophone, spacey guitar, and feels like it might slip all the way into being a prog-trip hop mashup like Marillion's Interior Lulu or Cathedral Wall before it breaks back again - and come to think of it, there's enough 1960s pop influences in Morse-era Spock's Beard and late 1990s Marillion that there's that point of connection too. And the jamming at the start of Suite Charlotte Pike is absolutely held together by his bass line, as well as coming across like some of Marillion's poppier numbers from this era - it could have just as easily come off Radiation, come to think of it.

It's really only Dream Theater's sound which is less represented here, and that's largely because the centre of gravity of the album is very much in the realm of progressive rock, not progressive metal. At the same time, it's possible to get too hung up on the individual ingredients which go into this stew and lose sight of the main attraction, which is how the album successfully merges these sounds together into a seamless whole.

With Transatlantic finally finding their sound here, it would have been a crushing shame had Neal Morse's subsequent withdrawal from many of his previous musical projects caused the band to end forever. Fortunately, Neal would see a way forward to balance his spiritual commitments with re-engagement with old projects (as well as reuniting Transatlantic, he's made the odd guest appearance with Spock's Beard), but if he hadn't, this would have been an astonishing note for the supergroup project to go out on.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars In the interest of full disclosure it's only fair to admit that one of my reasons for visiting such an already well-received album is to kick the legs out from under "The Whirlwind" in a later review, without seeming like a spoilsport. The profound letdown of that next effort left me wondering if the band itself had slipped during the intervening years, or just my opinion of them.

But after hearing their sophomore album again, I'm convinced: it was the band. "Bridge Across Forever" is just as vital today as it was a dozen years ago, when the supergroup released what stands as their definitive collaboration, far ahead of the popular but uneven studio debut of "SMPT:e".

On close inspection it shouldn't have worked at all. This is an album of motifs instead of actual songs, arranged and repeated over three extended multi-section suites, with the title ballad positioned like a palate cleanser before the 26-minute climax of "Stranger In Your Soul", arguably Transatlantic's finest (half) hour, but not even the longest selection here. The band could have eliminated the track indexes altogether and run the whole thing as one 73-minute monster: the cut-and-paste aesthetic would have been the same either way. But the discrete separations give the larger album a manageable structure, far more effective than the sum of its individual parts, and allowing the listener to digest one set of musical ideas at a time (unlike the numbing one-and-a quarter hour-plus medley of "The Whirlwind").

Piece by piece it's actually a bit of a mess. Expect moments of Symphonic Rock bombast ("Duel With the Devil"); bogus machismo ("Temple of the Gods"); insecure vocal harmonies ("Lost and Found"); histrionic overkill (a Neal Morse specialty, as heard in the faux-soulful climax of "Duel..."); and more lyrics than would otherwise comfortably fit on a 73-minute CD. The obvious thematic spirituality is (thankfully) more universal than explicit, and lacking the Born Again blinders of later Neal Morse writings. But the glut of words is still an acquired taste, and hardly the album's crowning attribute.

"Whatever you're looking for / Don't ever start looking behind" is a fairly typical line, and pretty funny coming the poster boys of Retro-Prog conservatism. That may sound like harsh criticism, but keep in mind the music here isn't remotely progressive. This is pure, unapologetic Prog Rock, with a widescreen, neon-lit capitol letter 'P', and fully deserving four complete stars (on this web site, at any rate) for grandiosity alone.

There's even a thrilling episode of live-in-the-studio jamming, fading into "Suite Charlotte Pike". Such unexpected spontaneity provides easily the most liberating one-minute and fifty- seconds of music on the entire disc, and that includes the audio-vérité flub and recovery. Too bad the improv was prematurely stopped dead at the start of the song itself: yet another jumble of unfinished ideas crammed into a single 'composition'. This is clearly a band that plays well without a script, and I wish they had done so more often.

All of which underlines my key point. Examine the Bridge through a microscope and you'll see every structural blemish, wart and wrinkle, across the entire span. But in total it's a more balanced and well-rounded effort than their year 2000 debut, although I wish the vocal duties had been assigned less democratically (Mike Portnoy should have stuck to his drumming). Not unlike a Picasso collage, the album requires a little distance to see how neatly each theme fits into the overall canvas, particularly during the finale of "Stranger...", when many of the musical phrases heard earlier in the album are reprised to their fullest effect.

What it all boils down to is an ambitious, dynamic, and often gloriously redundant Golden Age throwback: a guilt-free guilty pleasure freshly minted for the new millennium. A pity the band didn't quit while they were ahead.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars The Prog supergroup are back with their second studio offering. Only four tracks on this album, but as two of these are over 26 minutes long and the other two are 14 and 5 minutes long respectively then I think we can forgive them. The title cut is a solo ballad from Neal, with good piano, but he has almost put himself into the background on this album in the way that he has managed to keep his normal prog writing style under wraps.

"Duel With The Devil" is one of the epics and it opens proceedings in a very Flower Kings/Pink Floyd fashion. The promo doesn't detail who wrote what, but I would be amazed not to see Roine's name on the credits. Broken into five sections it really does show the musical strength of this band. "Suite Charlotte Pike" starts, then stops with shouts of "Wassup!!" Take two starts almost immediately, and the band seem to be very much in a groove with a Beatle- esque slant on proceedings. After the title cut the other 26-minute epic "Stranger In You Soul" closes the album, which contains not only some very traditional Genesis-style keyboards but also some great instrumental passages, and vocals from both Neal and Roine. With both of them being very much the leaders of their own bands it is easy to overlook the rhythm section of Mike Portnoy and Pete Trewevas, but they are very much an integral part of the sound.

This is an album that repays careful listening, with four top musos having a blast in the studio. Apparently, the full version will be available as a digi pack with extra tracks (including "Shine On You Crazy Diamond") and some video footage.

Originally appeared in Feedback #64, Oct 01

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The birth of Transatlantic was praised through triumphant reviews and huge statements among prog fans, talking about the best Prog group to appear in the recent years.An impressive schedule of live appearances followed the release of ''SMPT:e'' with performances at the 2000 NEARFest and the opening day of Progfest 2000 among others.The live of the supergroup at the 930 Club in Washington D.C on June 24, 2000 was headed for the first live CD of Transatlantic, released in 2001.The same year the quartet of Prog veterans enters the Dark Horse Studios in Nashville, Tennesse to work on their second album.''Bridge across forever'' was eventually released in October 2001 on Insideout for the European market and Metal Blade for the American one.

Reputedly this was a more balanced effort in the studio with equal contributions by each member regarding the composing in order to move a bit away from the strong vibes by SPOCK'S BEARD and NEAL MORSE's influence in general.What I hear though is again a very SPOCK'S BEARD-like release, which is a good thing in my books, not because of Morse's voice, but all these sudden breaks, emphatic pomposity, complex parts and poppy lines recall the legendary US group.''Bridge across forever'' is basically an attempt by Transatlantic to offer dominant, intricate and delicious Progressive Rock at its best, with three out of the four tracks ranging from 14 to 27 minutes long and only a short break inbetween by the eponymous ballad.The arrangements are once again rich, captivating and adventuruous with lots of passionate vocals by Morse but also stretched instrumental sections with symphonic influences, stepping on the sound of YES, RUSH, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT and KING CRIMSON.Stolt's unique contribution comes in some good guitar parts with a jazzy inspiration, while the whole album is a dense mix of melodious textures with professional, instrumental interactions as displayed on the nostalgic analog keyboards, the multi-vocal lines, the furious modern keyboards and the atmospheric piano parts.And as expected, there are also plenty of rockier sections with sharp guitar moves by Stolt and a flawless, experienced rhythm section.

This is some very good to excellent music.But Morse's leading figure is again the force behind this release, which tries hard but never escapes from the SPOCK'S BEARD lines.I prefer their debut overall, which was a little more original, but ''Bridge across forever'' is impossible not to satisfy all fans of Classic-styled Progressive Rock.Including me...3.5 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars An album and band whose imitative/derivative sound had repelled me for years has finally earned it's respect and admiration.

1. "Duel With The Devil" (26:43) : (42/50) - i) Motherless Children - incredible opening two minutes, but then things become so derivative. At the end of the fifth minute the vocals begin. So much like ASIA. Fairly good melodies. Good performances though a bit loose and out-of-sync in places. (13/15) - ii) Walk Away - at the seven minute mark this odd pseudo-acoustic, pseudo-folk JON ANDERSON-like song is inserted. It amps up for the chorus while trying to retain fairy melodies from its start before launching into a full-on prog assault of bombastic proportions--guitar power chords and Hammond on full display. (7.75/10) - iii) Silence of the Night - at 11:35 everything slows down as if in a jazz porno dream. Talking wah-guitar soloing over wavering Fender Rhodes. Too sexy! And then add sax! Too much! And to come out of it with PINK FLOYD's "Eclipse" from Dark Side of the Moon is just too audacious, even impudent. (8.25/10) - iv) You're Not Alone - at 15:53 we change channels and find ourselves bouncing along a 1970s pop hit by AMBROSIA or THE LITTLE RIVER BAND. (4/5) - v) Almost Home - at 18:40 we have our final shift into a very TFK/YES-"Soon Oh Soon"-like steel pedal guitar solo before they launch into a Relayer-like instrumental passage. The vocal section that comes next is remarkable for it's "Elite" choir gospel-church-like backing vocals. This is wonderful! This is followed by a very TFK-familiar climax and finish. (9/10)

2. "Suite Charlotte Pike" (14:30) (29/35): - i) If She Runs - opens with a fade in to a jam like something from a PRINCE concert. At the end of the second minute the band congeals into a rock tune to support a EAGLES/BEATLES-like vocal section. The finishing instrumental section is very BEATLES-ish (intentionally so). Odd with all of the band members' studio commentary included. (8.5/10) - ii) Mr. Wonderful - at 4:40 we move into more 1960s styles, mostly the BEACH BOYS, despite Roine Stolt's signature voice in the lead vocal spot. Pleasant. (4.25/5) - iii) Lost and Found pt. 1 - a brief Richard Wright/PINK FLOYDian synth solo (4/5) - iv) Temple of the Gods - at 8:25 we move into a more aggressive passage of BEATLES-medley mix. (3.5/5) - v) Motherless Children / If She Runs (reprise) - at 10:55 we move into a mellow reprise of the Motherless Children theme and lyrics from the previous song. Nice guitar solo in the thirteenth minute preceding the return to the opening theme of "If She Runs." As is typical of the Stolt projects, the finale is the best part. (8.75/10)

3. "Bridge Across Forever" (5:33) Neal and piano. (8.5/10)

4. "Stranger In Your Soul" (26:05) (50.5/55): - i) Sleeping Wide Awake - cheap synth strings intro precedes "Watcher of the Skies"-like entrance and beginning before Yes bass and ASIA-like synth bring us up and into the organ-dominated motif that precedes the vocals. The vocal section--which is shared alternately and, later, collectively, by Neal and at least two other members--is very nice: simple music that supports the nice melodies and stylings--until (8.75/10) - ii) Hanging in the Balance - the jarring leap into thickness and heaviness at the six minute mark. This section is well constructed--though the drums feel out of sync with the sound of the rest of the music. (8.5/10) - iii) Lost and Found pt. 2 - around 9:45 we move into this Southern rock-feeling passage, which decays into a pleasant little interlude of BEATLES-like pastoral bliss before jumping into a full-powered, bass-thumping instrumental section for an incredible solo from guitarist Roine Stolt. Weird then to go back to the BUGGLES-like vocal section. (8.75/10) - iv) Awakening the Stranger - at 12:35 we descend into the crystalline waters piano with dreamy guitar, synth, and vocal incidentals in the background. At 14:15 this pretty section evolves into a very pleasant plaintive vocal performance from Neal over his piano. Great melodies, great nuanced support from the others. (10/10) - v) Slide - This then moves seemlessly and magically into a multi-layered "strings" passage. These two passages make up the best "song" I've ever heard from TMPTE. (5/5) - vi) Stranger In Your Soul - at 17:40 we slide into a new section in which there is a very impressive display of organ, bass, and drum mastery right off the bat. A PORCUPINE TREE-like vocal over jazzy drums and piano interrupts this temporarily, but the heavy organ-bass-drums motif reappears here and there to remind us that it's all part of the same song--and then by the 20-minute mark we are fully returned to it for a prolonged instrumental passage. Solos by synths, guitar, bass proceed to fill the next few minutes. At the end of the 22nd minute we return to the vocal motif, only with a little more power and thickness behind Neal's voice. (9.5/10)

Total Time 72:51

It sounds and feels as if the boys had a lot of fun playing the music on this record, but it also feels as if it was fairly easy to put together these songs--the motifs and styles of which have so many familiar predecessors and models.

B/four stars; a very nice addition to any prog lover's music collection--but definitely worth it if only to hear the wonderful epic, "Stranger In Your Soul."

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars When TRANSATLANTIC released its debut album "SMPT:e" in 2000 it was met with wild enthusiasm by both prog traditionalists as well as revivalists and the critics alike but had it not been heralded as one of the greatest prog albums of the second coming, it's unclear if the team of Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas would have continued. However since the album was a smashing success the band wasted no time crafting a follow up that was worthy in capturing the majesty of the debut without directly copying it. The answer was the sophomore release BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER which quickly followed the very next year.

One of the main criticisms of "SMPT:e" was that it was a bit overly dominated by Neil Morse's Spock's Beard compositional style along with his vocal performances so the band made a deliberate attempt to have each member participate on a roughly equal footing thus making BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER a much more diverse stream of music that like its predecessor featured a lengthy playing time of over 70 minutes with two massive sprawling compositions "Duel With The Deveil" and "Stranger Across Your Soul" which both featured multiple suites and clocked in over the 26 minute playing time. Together they sandwiched two shorter tracks with the tiny title track at nearly six minutes long a mere blip in comparison.

While very similar in construct, BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER wasn't just a mere clone of the debut although it was clear that TRANSATLANTIC didn't want to stray too far from the goose that had laid that golden egg. While all the expected Yes and Genesis symphonic prog influences were in full affect along with the respective band member's own projects ranging from Spock's Beard, Marilion and The Flower Kings (Portnoy's Dream Theater was the only influence least adopted), the band also experimented with new sounds which included guest musicians that added violin, viola and cello sounds as well as a bit of swinging saxophone and a beautiful backing vocal section referred to as The Elite Choir.

The near 27-minute "Duel With The Devil" begins the album and is arguable the strongest track on board with five fully developed suits stitched together with all the right proggy glue to make the proper sound collage complete with all the symphonic prog pomp and excess that made "SMPT:e" stand out and usher the classic prog sounds of the golden years into a new millennium. While the two massive tracks are very much in vein of the debut, the two shorter tracks sandwiched in between were quite different. Although the 14 1/2 minute "Suite Charlotte Pike" shows a series of evolving concepts and nerdy prog workouts, at its core was a simple blues rock jamming session only embellished with the keyboard heft of Hammond organs, Fender Rhodes and piano.

The track that makes the least impact is the overwrought piano ballad of a title track which serves as an intermission between the heavier rocking tracks and multi-suite epic tracks but in reality is a bit too winy and unfortunately breaks the continuity of the epicness. Personally i could totally live without this one. The final "Stranger In Your Soul" concludes the album in a grandiose way with a six-suite 30-minute performance that goes for the symphonic prog jugular and delivers all the expected prog gymnastics teased out into a series of varying instrumental workouts and lyrical earnestness, once again mimicking the success of the debut's appeal to the true proggers who just can't get enough of those ridiculously long suites that in the vinyl years could've swallowed up a whole album's playing time.

For my money BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER is a worthy followup to "SMPT:e" but a serious step down in continuity. Whereas the debut just had a certain flow that was perfectly maintained through its 70 minute plus running time, BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER just feels a bit clumsy in how it meanders from idea to idea without the proper connective tissues to pull it off. The two epic tracks are well worth the price of admission but the two middle tracks are less engaging and could've easily been nixed from the final cut. There was also a special edition with a bonus disc that featured everything from non-essential covers including a 15 1/2 minute version of Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" as well as studio casts, demos and other non-essential material. When all is said and done, BRIDGE ACROSS FOREVER is an excellent followup but for my liking lacks the masterpiece perfection of the debut.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 732

"Bridge Across Forever" is the second studio album of Transatlantic and was released in 2001. Due to the debut studio album of Transatlantic, "SMPTe", Neal Morse, without question, has become the pivotal figure in the progressive rock supergroup Transatlantic. But, for this second album, the group attempted to balance each member's contribution more equally, because of the criticism that their debut studio album "SMPTe" was too dominated by the musical style of Neal Morse. Anyway, "Bridge Across Forever", at times, sounds more like a Spock's Beard's album than an album from any of the other players' primary bands. Perhaps that's because Morse handles most of the lead vocals, but it could be something deeper than that. While isn't a concept album, the lengthy epics share at least one movement with another.

The line up on the album is Roine Stolt (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, Mellotron, keyboards and percussion), Neal Morse (vocals, grand piano, Hammond organ, mini Moog, Rhodes piano, synthesizer, guitars and mandolin), Pete Trewavas (vocals, Warwick bass and Taurus bass pedals) and Mike Portnoy (vocals and drums). It had also the participation of Chris Carmichael (violin, viola and cello), Keith Mears (saxophone) and Elite choir (background vocals).

"Bridge Across Forever" has four tracks. All songs were written and composed by Roine Stolt, Neal Morse, Pete Trewavas and Mike Portnoy except "Bridge Across Forever" which was written by Neal Morse and Celeste Prince. The first track "Duel With The Devil" is divided into five parts: "Motherless Children", "Walk Away", "Silence Of The Night", "You're Not Alone" and "Almost Home". It starts with good instrumental themes played in a classic heavy progressive style. After some minutes Neil's vocals starts with a heavy Mellotron sound. The lead vocals are shared by the band in a very effective way. After that, Roine brings a second vocal melody, which is also very strong, followed by a quieter part, with some guitar sounds and saxophone. After several minutes, the rest of the track mainly consists of themes that were introduced earlier, performed with some variations. This is a great and very exciting opening track to the album. The second track "Suite Charlotte Pike" is also divided into five parts: "If She Runs", "Mr. Wonderful", "Lost And Found Pt. 1", "Temple Of The Gods" and "Motherless Children/If She Runs (Reprise)". It has a more bluesy feeling and is the song most different from the other tracks on the album. According to the diary on the official website of the band, it was meant as an ode to The Beatles and a way to use some unfinished bits that the band had lying around. This is a track that sounds pretty good and that has a very strong retro feel, and where at the times the band is doing wild 60's rock. Sincerely, I don't feel this piece of music too much original, cohesive and progressive. However, we must say that it has some great musical moments like "Temple Of The Gods". The third track is the title track "Bridge Across Forever". It's a short and intimate piano ballad where the emphasis is on its melody, which is very beautiful, and is magnificently sung by Neal. A nice sensitive romantic ballad is a very good idea to break the all tension of the album, indeed. Like "We All Need Some Light" of "SMPTe", this lovely ballad it would have fitted very well on one of Neal's solo albums. The fourth and last track "Stranger In Your Soul" is divided into six parts: "Sleeping Wide Awake", "Hanging In The Balance", "Lost And Found Pt. 2", "Awakening The Stranger", "Slide" and "Stranger In Your Soul". It shares many similarities to the opening track, and in a way this reflection gives the album a cyclical feel. Again, some very good themes are used, and performed in a very fresh and energetic way. The mood changes from aggressive and bombastic to melancholic and subtle. Vocally, it's a very strong track, both on melody and on the singing voices. Some earlier themes from the album appear on this track, mostly effectively. This and the first track are clearly the best and worth buying the album.

Conclusion: "Bridge Across Forever" has the same formula of their previous studio album "SMPTe". Nobody can criticize the band as a low respectable band, because they always said that Transatlantic wanted to make classic prog rock music releasing all the musical influences from the old classical bands of the golden prog era. The two long tracks "Duel With The Devil" and "Stranger In Your Soul", are in the same vein that "All Of The Above" from the first album. This is where the band develops their own sound and at the time shows all the musical influences that they have. The performance is very good, providing the technical skills of each member. The vocals are excellent, giving the perfect balance between the classical symphonic rock and the freshness of the present day production. Between these two masterpieces there are "Bridge Across Forever", a typical beautiful ballad which isn't very well connected to the rest of the tracks and "Suite Charlotte Pike" a funny track with a lot of The Beatles feel were all band's members singing for a final unsorted but an interesting result. Concluding, here we have again a very good album with a high commercial potential, with two long tracks with absolutely stunning quality from the band that helps to cover the other weak points.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars I sit here listening to 'Bridge Across Forever', Transatlantic's most critically acclaimed record (at least according to the good folks at Prog Archives). The 2nd Transatlantic album I've listened to, and the second one released. If you like long, epic, building tracks, then I can do nothing but ... (read more)

Report this review (#2983913) | Posted by Frets N Worries | Thursday, January 18, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Transatlantic are the dream team of modern progressive rock. Comprised of Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Roine Stolt (guitars, vocals) and Pete Trewavas (bass, vocals), the project brings together some of the best musicians from the best bands (Spock's Beard, Dream The ... (read more)

Report this review (#2569192) | Posted by lukretio | Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Transatlantic is really one of my favorites modern prog bands. They made 4 albums and they're all great ! Bridge Across Forever is the best Transatlantic album for me. "Duel With The Devil" is one of my favorite tracks of all time. This song is just wonderful, 26 minutes of pure delight. This epic i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1193480) | Posted by floflo79 | Sunday, June 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Transatlantic is modern prog preeminent supergroup, formed not to try something new, but to double down on all the classic prog staples, particularly the "super epic". Those are pretty typical, a bunch of songs stitched together and united by a repeating theme. But to their credit, they are cat ... (read more)

Report this review (#1177850) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, May 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#771410) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When Americans Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals) of Spock's Beard and Mike Portnoy (drums) of Dream Theater dreamed of starting a supergroup, they imagined working with some Prog Rock masters from overseas. They recruited Roine Stolt (guitars, vocals) whose band The Flower Kings moved the Yes sou ... (read more)

Report this review (#442798) | Posted by BobVanguard | Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars BEST YET As good as its predecessor "SMPTE", "Bridge Across the forever" is an indisputable masterpiece, which remains one of the best albums of the decade and one of my favorites ever. The opening epic "Duel with the Devil" is a monster of the current progressive rock and easily my favorite s ... (read more)

Report this review (#319922) | Posted by voliveira | Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I love Transatlantic, the idea, concept and execution. This is a phenomenal album with only 1 questionable track: Suite Charlotte Pike. Now, it may just be me, and I am not a fan of the Beatles, but this song does nothing for me. I have read that it is an homage to the Beatles, but I cannot see t ... (read more)

Report this review (#307585) | Posted by pagan97 | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Supergroups can be quite a curse, look at Blind Faith, The Traveling Willbburries, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Chas &Dave (I just wanted to play spot the odd one out). But I think these guys are the only successful supergroup...ever. These guys actually take the genius from all 4 contestants and p ... (read more)

Report this review (#292339) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I used to be obsessed with Dream Theater. They would be all I listened to, day after day. One day, I heard about a band named Andromeda. I soon realized there was a lot more progressive music out there. So I began to branch out. I was listening to a Dream Theater radio station, when a band n ... (read more)

Report this review (#263848) | Posted by godfrey11 | Monday, February 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this album is a masterpiece through and through!!!!....transatlantic music bring out the BEST in EACH members song writing ability, their technical ability, and their ability to just simply make classic music without a single second of time wasted within any given song.....the first track is t ... (read more)

Report this review (#260989) | Posted by EVE123 | Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars can it get any better than the unforgettable smpt:e where they just made the word music into something even more meaningful....after smpt:e i viewed music as a whole other universe a whole other way of thinking at things a whole other way of life almost is so much more than just music ... (read more)

Report this review (#252572) | Posted by dddddougjonathan | Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Consists of very well constructed music and imaginative instrumental passages that are extremely well composed, as all of the instruments are fully explored in order to extract the full potential of what each separate part has to offer without sacrificing the sound of the whole. After a quick lis ... (read more)

Report this review (#239509) | Posted by EMLonergan | Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is my favorite album. ever. There is a certain magic to this album and I can't listen to it without getting choked up because of how special it is to me. Transatlantic is like a dream come true for me. My three favorite bands are Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, and The Flower Kings, and thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#226448) | Posted by natewait | Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There is not much news I can add to the other 123 reviews other than my personal interpitation of this album. Which is the whole point of PA, I guess. The story behind TRANSATLANTIC is well known. The band has members from NEAL MORSE (solo), SPOCK'S BEARD, KAIPA, THE FLOWER KINGS, DREAM THEAT ... (read more)

Report this review (#201512) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars WOW. This music is amazing. Truly a landmark in Progressive rock that won't be forgotten. Not so much a super famous album like Dark Side of the Moon or In the Court of the Krimson King, but believe me, this is perfect for progressive lovers. I found Transatlantic through Dream Theater, I saw ... (read more)

Report this review (#197699) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Wednesday, January 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Transatlantic is the greatest band ever. No band has ever written such epic music, and no one will ever come close again, unless by some miracle. Neal Morse is my favorite musician of all time, Roine Stolt is my second, and Mike Portnoy might be my favorite drummer ever, oh and Pete is sic on the ... (read more)

Report this review (#150195) | Posted by King Crimson776 | Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When hearing about the existence of this super-group, I didn't expect anything that super from it. One half of the members of Transatlantic come from bands that I personally can't stand for more than a few minutes. The other half come from bands which I love for half their career and hate for th ... (read more)

Report this review (#128963) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Foreve great album .this is soogood to listen to it .it should be called ''epics'. ' 1. Duel with the devil (26:43) a fantastic song from start to goes a lot of good melodies and everybody shines in this song . 2. Suite Charlotte Pike (14:30] a fun ... (read more)

Report this review (#126033) | Posted by martinprog77 | Saturday, June 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think this is the best record of Transatlantic, although SMPTe is also a masterpiece (All Of The Above!) The first track is Duel With The Devil, which is almost thirty minutes long. It's really worth listening throughout the whole song, and it has extreamly good melodies. Eventhough it ki ... (read more)

Report this review (#125605) | Posted by Tall Hair | Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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