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Transatlantic - SMPT:e CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 796 ratings

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Hector Enrique
4 stars TRANSATLANTIC was probably the most successful supergroup of the 2000s, and their first work, SMPT:e (after the initials of the last names of its members) one of the best releases. Many essential bands from previous generations were a source of inspiration, whose works, belonging to the symphonic side of the progressive genre, are clearly recognizable in SMPT:e.

The album begins with the long All of the Above, a typical 31-minute progressive suite divided into 6 fragments, where a short, very jazzy sequence of keyboards stands out, arriving 10 minutes into the song, and an aroma of JETHRO TULL without flutes but with melodic airs from the Ian Anderson group around the 19 minutes-mark, to face the last section with spatial ramblings of the guitar in the style of Hackett in the more mature GENESIS, and the occasional reminiscence of YES as well. Summing up, this theme is a statement from its main architect, Neal Morse.

The beautiful ballad We All Need Some Light sums up melancholy in all its melody, loaded with feeling. With its less than 6 minutes, in addition to being the shortest song on the album, it is also the easiest to listen to. Similar in length, Mystery Train is a combination of Beatleanian influences from Sgt. Pepperīs? and a superficial modernized psychedelic that doesn't add as much to the work.

My New World is an excellent symphonic exercise of more than 16 minutes, full of variations and tempos, with clear influences from the early works of YES, E, L & P, GENESIS, all together and scrambled but without being cloying. At times it seems that Steve Howe, Keith Emerson, and similar legends are accompanying them, but far from trying to copy them, they are more like a magnificent tribute to the genre, with the particular touch of its main manager, the leader of THE FLOWER KINGS, Roine Stolt.

The cover In Held ('Twas) in I, taken from one of PROCOL HARUMīs best albums, Shine On Brightly from 1968, finishes SMPT: e, another imposing theme of more than 17 minutes, reproduced with great taste, and recognition of the value of one of the original groups of the genre.

TRANSATLANTIC, perhaps without having it as its main objective, gives a fresh and renewed air to the movement with SMPT: e. In a nutshell, one of the best of the 2000s.

Hector Enrique | 4/5 |


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