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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 744 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Prog for a new millennium

If there was any doubt at the start of the new millennium that prog would continue to flourish, along came Transatlantic to reassure us that all we well. As the label on the box says, this supergroup features (ex) members of Dream Theater, Marillion, Spock's Beard, and The Flower Kings.

The album consists of just five tracks, yet it lasts well over 70 minutes. "All of the above" contributes almost half of this time, being a 31 minute epic. For reference purposes, the track has 6 sections, but it is very much a single piece. All four members get writing credits, but its primarily a Neal Morse composition. The track is pure prog from start to finish, guitar solos, keyboard breaks, time changes, the lot!

A couple of shorter (i.e. under 7 minutes!) tracks follow, both again Morse contributions. "We all need some light" is a softer song, almost a ballad, while "Mystery Train" is probably the most commercial track on the album. The final two tracks are Roinne Stolt's "My new world", another great prog piece, and finally a cover of Procol Harum's "In held ('twas) in I". I've always loved the original version of this, and this new version is pretty faithful, apart from some lyrics spoken on the original being sung here. It doesn't therefore really improve upon the 30 year old piece, but it is good to hear it again.

The album is slightly lighter than Spock's Beard, less jazz influenced than The Flower Kings, less metallic than Dream Theater, and generally happier than Marillion. The band was always intended to be a side project for the members, and with it now apparently disbanded, we at least have a legacy of two superb studio albums.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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