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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 739 ratings

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JCDenton
4 stars I believe the Spock's Beard is evident. But it is evidently not the classically-inspired Spock's Beard. It's the epic, driving Transatlantic.

"All of the Above" (9.0-9.5 / 10) - This is a fantastic song. It's full of balance, great input from all members (though later works from this group will be appreciated for having all members take shots at vocals). Everyone came to play, and this song was executed so well. There's no idea that's lacking. I must praise the melodic sense of this group of artists. One of my absolute favorite moments from a bass guitarist is the absolutely tasteful "Soldier of Fortune" bass line. The song is so melodically pleasing, with occasional great harmonic moments in vocal lines. The rhythm section is solid, as is everything about this song! It's solid. There's nothing overly ambitious about the song at all. It's just a very complete, thorough 30 minutes of timeless Progressive rock music. I'm so inspired listening to this song.

"We All Need Some Light" (8.0-8.5 / 10) - A more laid-back tune than the first, but relaxed is not a way to describe it. It's passionate and moving. The Morse influence is evident on this track, but the song is filled with heart, is uplifting, and by many many can be generically summarized as "real". Though not too "progressive" I consider it for what it is. Really good track.

"Mystery Train" (7.0-7.5 / 10) - A decent jam. I like the noodling and stylings of Portnoy with his unhinged sense of time. The song makes some pretty good use of dissonance. Overall it isn't anything established as its own. It's just a fun song.

"My New World" (8.0-8.5 / 10) - This is another song that emphasizes the Transatlantic sound. Even though it may not be as significant as "Duel with the Devil" on the next album or "All of the Above", this style really represents the group well and gives some distinction between it and Spock's Beard Part II. The Portnoy influence with the tasteful bass playing of Trewavas to Roine leading on vocals and guitar melodies. I feel Spock's Beard also tried to show off more classically-inspired prowess, while these guys have a sort of emblematic "epic"ness about them. This is a fine tune. Not the best song, but it emphasizes what's distinguished about this group as its own and not just another puppet of primarily Morse influence.

"In Held 'Twas in I" (8.5 / 10) - This was an excellent choice for a cover! These guys sound fantastic putting their own spin on an old record while still keeping the original song intact. I like the modified time sigs, changed chords, and the added flare to the performances. Only minor quibble is I would've liked to see what Roine could've contributed to the psychedelia that roots the song, giving more spacey textures and changing some of the atmosphere, but never mind. The song works very well the way it is. Great cover. Great closer.

This album deserves a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Maybe even 4 and a half?. If only ratings worked as such.

JCDenton | 4/5 |

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