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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 762 ratings

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5 stars Stolt, Morse, Portnoy, Trewaves: four of the most highly regarded modern prog musicians collaborating in this short lived, but highly impactive supergroup. While a common supergroup could just be written off as a big jam-session, Transatlantic can not. Just as much thought and care is put into this as in their own groups.

While there are nods to the classic prog rock bands, as well as each members respective band, it is Morse's sound that comes out the most, leading me to believe that he is Transatlantic's primary writer, though I do know they all pitched in on all but one of the songs. Maybe it was just the input of the other three members, but Morse is stronger than ever. In fact, this, as far as I'm concerned, is the album that launched Morse into the realm of brilliance he is in today. Ever since Transatlantic, he has been churning out incredible albums one after the other, and quickly too.

On their debut, the guys don't hold anything back. The first track is a 31-minute epic. "All of the Above" stands out as one of progressive rock's finest epics. It's meldoies are memorable, often catchy, and full of feeling. This is no shock; I regard Morse and Stolt as two of the finest melody makers in music. It is marvelling how the group has this naturally cohesive sound, especially when considering how long they've been playing together. Not once do I get bored during this song.

Following that giant are two shorter pieces, "We All Need Some Light" and "Mystery Train." The former is a slower tempo piece, the latter being the opposite in that aspect, but both are uplifting. Again, memorable hooks and great emotion lead the way.

"My New World" is the last of the original pieces here, and it's back to the extended format. This one, however, is only 16 minutes, just barely over half the length of the other epic. The quality is equal to the prior songs.

The album ends with a cover of Procul Harum's "In Held ('Twas) in I." A good cover for sure, but I, not being a big fan of covers, often end the album without listening to this one. It is good though; don''t get me wrong.

To sum up all of the above (and to throw in a silly pun), the music is highly catchy, memorable and emotional. Fans of Spock's Beard will definitely enjoy this, as will pretty much any fan of [new or old] progressive rock. The music, as you would expect, is technical, but it isn't overly gratuitous (a common criticism for Portnoy's main band). I would rate the album 4 1/2 stars. It is not very original, but it is very, very good. Due to the high quality and my personal sentiment, I have to give it the 5 star score.

Moatilliatta | 5/5 |


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