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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 732 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This band was originally Mike Portnoy's idea, he contacted Neal Morse first who gladly said yes, Jim Matheos agreed to play lead guitar, and the final piece of the puzzle MARILLION's Pete Trewavas who signed on for bass duties. It should be noted that Mike Portnoy is a big fan of all three of the bands that these guys play (played) with. Unfortunately because of numerous delays Jim Matheos from FATES WARNING wasn't going to be availeable. So Neal suggested Roine Stolt to Mike who agreed. Hence we have 2 Americans and 2 Europeans: TRANSATLANTIC. Neal took the bull by the horns and became the leader of this band. Everywhere I read about this debut album from them people say it sounds like SPOCK'S BEARD, and I have to agree. Neal himself said that this recording is much more progressive than a SPOCK'S BEARD album, but the fact is that Morse's finger prints are all over this record. I was surprised it took about 4 listens before I started to really enjoy it,but now i'm a big fan of this album.

"All Of The Above" is the almost 31 minute opener. The first 1 1/2 minutes are classic SPOCK'S BEARD in my opinion .It sounds amazing. Great organ work. Pete is prominant throughout this song on bass. This is just a fantastic ride with Portnoy sounding awesome as usual. I love when Neal starts to sing 5 minutes in. Roine offers up many solos, I especially like it when he starts to rip it up 18 minutes in, and he sounds incredible later around 23 minutes. I really like the uplifting calm 24 minutes in. So many highlights on this epic track.

"We All Need Some Light" opens with some beautiful guitar, mellotron a minute in. This is a mellow track that does get quite powerful 5 minutes in. "Mystery Train" is my favourite. Mainly because of Portnoy and Trewavas. Portnoy is having a blast. "My New World" is actually a refreshing change with Roine on vocals. I like the lyrics too speaking about life in the sixties and how Jim (Morrison) and Janis (Joplin) got us higher. This song is over 16 minutes long. Another great tune. "In Held (Twas) In I" is a cover of a PROCOL HARUM song. It opens with a spoken word story before the music kicks in aggressively before 2 minutes. Great sound after 3 minutes. Check out the organ and drums after 7 minutes ! Portnoy's great again 9 minutes in. So many highlights though. Lots of mellotron in this one too. Roine is ripping it up 15 1/2 minutes in.

Easily 4 stars and my favourite of their two releases.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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