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Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe - The Ultimate Edition CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.49 | 35 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars What can I say here? I am just so excited for a new Transatlantic release. And of course, I had to listen to Forevermore, the extended version. Right from the get-go, we get that satisfyingly epic sound fans will know and love. Mike Portnoy sounds incredible as expected. Coming off of listening to some of my favorite Flower Kings tracks, I was hungry for more and I was all smiles seeing this finally reached "up next" on my queue of albums for the day.

I'm hard-pressed to not be impressed by these tracks, even when, compositionally, the songs are just okay. I mean, just exemplary musicianship; how could it not be? That all to say, as with the track "Swing High, Swing Low", the clearly Morse-penned neo-gospel Worship song, I even turned to enjoying tracks that I otherwise didn't really like. And as an album (see how the aforementioned track runs into the next, "Bully"), again, right from the start, as others have noted, it is clear that this is one purposeful piece, linked together by not-so-disparate parts. Big surprise there haha.

Excellent vocals and vocal harmonies, too, just as we know them to bring to the table. How could these parts not have been a blast for them to put together? From one review to the next, I go from jaded to excited (not that anyone asked). Random Aside Time: There is a guitar part at the end of "Higher Than the Morning" that I could have sworn was a David Gilmour line.

At the intro to "Looking for the Light" (following the excellent Beatlesesque Psych-soaked Power-Pop-turned-Symphonic-masterpiece, "Rainbow Sky") my jaw literally dropped haha. And is that Mike on lead vox? It's a great, beefy track. Fortunately here, by the middle of the first disc, we have plenty of interest and diversity, while still feeling like one whole piece of music. This carries on to the very end. Just like when I first heard The Whirlwind, all I can say is, "Impressive."

Far as I'm concerned, "Owl Howl" is the best track on the album. Give me as much of that Roine Stolt DARK ENERGY as humanly possible. A not-quite-close second for me was clearly "Looking for the Light (Reprise)"; quite the very-mini epic. Other personal standout tracks include "Rainbow Sky", "The Sun Comes Up Today", and "The Greatest Story Never Ends."

DangHeck | 4/5 |


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