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Transatlantic - Live in Europe CD (album) cover

LIVE IN EUROPE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.45 | 202 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars During a brief trip to Holland (fulfilling a life long dream), I found this CD in a music store in Amsterdam. I was quite disappointed to find so few prog CDs in one of the biggest records stores in that town, so I ended up buying this CD because: a) at just 10 euros it was a bargain for a double live CD and b) although Transatlantic is not exactly one of my favourite bands it was a live album and I supposed the performances would be great. Fortunately I was right. The first two Transatlantic albums did not really excited me much: the combination of four members of four of the most important prog groups in recent history (Spocks Beard, Flower Kings, Marillion and Dream Theatre) promised more than what actually was delivered, In fact it sounded too much like Neil Morse's band (specially on their debut) and the production was too slick, burring most of the guitars and taking away some of their spontaneity.

But on stage the story was different: As I supposed, the tracks had more edge, they are rockier and doubtless the talents of the four members shine equally. Neil Morse, Roine Stolt, Pete Trewavas and Mike Portnoy finally show what they are capable of together. There are even some improvisations here and there, even if most of the songs are played with a surgical precision. The last comment may lead you to think if there was some studio overdubbing, but anyone who saw them live knows those guys can cut the most difficult material with a smile on their faces, even adding some fascinating vocal harmonies. This supergroup is really super live (to top it all they also count with the precious help of Pain Of Salvation mastermind Daniel Gildenlow. Not bad at all!).

There is not much to say about the performances themselves, since words like "perfection" and "impeccable" comes to mind all the time, and that pretty much sums it all. Of notice we have only the 30 minute Suite Charlotte Pike, where they pick up one of the less interesting tracks of their second CD and make it really special by intertwining it with the Beatles Abbey Road medley of the second side of that album. The results are stunning, with Transatlantic proving they can play the Beatles stuff with precision and respect. It is really impressive how their verses come and go with the Beatles, blending it all so seamlessly.

Live In Europe, finally, shows Transatlantic at their full potential mode, and it is far more convincing as a live group than in studio (at least until they released their third excellent effort, 2009's The Whirlwind).

Rating: something between 4 and 4,5 stars. Excellent addition to any prog music collection. And then some.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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