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Transatlantic The Absolute Universe - The Breath of Life (Abridged Version) album cover
3.70 | 147 ratings | 5 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture (5:53)
2. Reaching for the Sky (5:40)
3. Higher Than the Morning (4:32)
4. The Darkness in the Light (5:43)
5. Take Now My Soul (3:31)
6. Looking for the Light (4:04)
7. Love Made a Way (prelude) (2:13)
8. Owl Howl (5:26)
9. Solitude (4:24)
10. Belong (2:22)
11. Can You Feel It (3:17)
12. Looking for the Light (reprise) (4:57)
13. The Greatest Story Never Ends (2:57)
14. Love Made a Way (9:02)

Total Time 64:01

Note: "Extended Version" and "Ultimate Edition" of this album also available, see other entries.

Line-up / Musicians

- Neal Morse / vocals, piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron, acoustic guitar, charango
- Roine Stolt / vocals, electric & acoustic 6- & 12-string guitars, ukulele, keyboards, percussion
- Pete Trewavas / vocals, bass
- Mike Portnoy / vocals, drums & percussion

- Josee Weigand / violin, viola
- Gideon Klein / cello, viola, string bass

Releases information

Mike Portnoy says: "We've got two versions of this album. There's a two CD presentation (Forevermore), which is 90 minutes long, and a single one (The Breath of Life) which is 60 minutes long. The single CD is NOT an edited version of the double CD. They're new recordings. What we have done are different approaches to the songs for this! We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different."

Artwork by Thomas Ewerhard (airship created by Pavel Zhovba)
Band photo by Tobias Andersson

Pre-Production done at Fenix Studio, Varnhem, Sweden - Sept 2019
Overdubs by band members in United Kingdom, USA & Sweden - 2019-2020
Mixed and Mastered by Rich Mouser @ The Mousehouse Studio, Los Angeles, CA - 2020

Label: InsideOut
Formats: 2LP+CD, Limited CD in digipak
February 5, 2021

Thanks to projeKct for the addition
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TRANSATLANTIC The Absolute Universe - The Breath of Life (Abridged Version) ratings distribution

(147 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

TRANSATLANTIC The Absolute Universe - The Breath of Life (Abridged Version) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars In September 2019 the four-piece of Neal Morse (vocals, piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron, acoustic guitar, charango), Roine Stolt (vocals, electric & acoustic 6- & 12-string guitars, ukulele, keyboards, percussion), Pete Trewavas (vocals, bass) and Mike Portnoy (vocals, drums & percussion) met up to discuss what would be their fifth album. After a couple of weeks of working on material and mapping out songs each musician returned to their own studio to work on the recording. It was during this period that the album kept growing, and discussions were had as to whether this should be a double or single CD. Pete and Neal favoured the shorter version while Roine and Mike preferred the longer, so in the end they decided to do both. But it is important to understand that one is not a shorter/longer version of the other in that there are alternate recordings, new recordings, and even different singers on the single album.

'The Breath of Life' comes in at 64 minutes long, so some 26 minutes shorter than the other release. Some songs have been cut in length, others have been cut out altogether, but due to the relationship between the two releases it is virtually impossible to review them both, as in many ways they are different sides of the same coin, and the largest variation is actually in time. Yes, we have different recordings and singers, different versions and edits, but this is pretty much the same album, just shorter. 'Short" is not a word often associated with Transatlantic, as they have built a reputation on not only being master songwriters and performers, but also stretching performances. I still remember the first time I heard 'Live In Europe' ? I was absolutely blown away, even there were only five songs on a double CD release which was 140 minutes in length.

We don't want brevity, we want excess, and while 'Forevermore' isn't massively overly dramatic, it does give us 26 minutes more than this, and if I was only to own one then it would be that one, and not this. But, given I am reviewing both it is obvious I have both albums, and love them dearly. I guess the only real solution is to buy the limited deluxe clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set ? contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster. This is yet another superb release, yet not quite as good as the longer one.

Latest members reviews

4 stars [Review of both extended version (Forevermore) and abridged version (The Breath of Life)] It is well known that the world of prog rock is quite bizarre. Just take a look at the dozens of memes on the internet about 60-minute long prog songs, three-hour concerts and endless drum solos, and you'll ... (read more)

Report this review (#2523587) | Posted by lukretio | Friday, March 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

2 stars More of just the same. However I enjoyed it more than the full version, and found it to be more direct, including mostly the best tracks from the full version of the album remixed/altered in some certain way or another which was a pretty cool idea. It makes me happy that I checked this album becau ... (read more)

Report this review (#2508131) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Some bias in this review as I heard Forevermore before the Breath of Life (Abridged). To be fair, this review is largely a comparison of the two albums. The first almost half of it is very similar to Forevermore. A different name here and there, and a bit trimmed (which is done well, actually). ... (read more)

Report this review (#2507555) | Posted by AngleofRepose | Sunday, February 21, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Forevermore broke the record for longest epic in progressive rock history, The Breath of Life version also enters the top 10 with 64 minutes and 12 seconds of prog goodness. I do like the idea of having a more digestible version of this album, this version has a song that isn't included on the Forev ... (read more)

Report this review (#2502261) | Posted by ComaEcliptic | Thursday, February 4, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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