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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 762 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars The last supergroup of the 20th Century is here. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) thought it might be fun to work with Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), and a few e-mails later the line-up was completed by Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas (Marillion). The impression coming strongly through the music is that Neal and Roine have been the two largest musical influences, although Neal plays much more Hammond organ than would normally be found with the Beard.

The opener manages to kick in at over thirty minutes in length, and there are two other tracks (one of which is a Procul Harum cover, "In Held (Twas) I") which are over fifteen minutes long. They make the other two songs (both over five minutes long) seem very short in comparison. This is much more about traditional Seventies sounds, with a huge chunk of Steely Dan style sound being incorporated at times. Neal and Roine both sing lead vocals, while the others provide harmonies.

The music is very intricate, very complex, very prog, but doesn't move into the prog metal style beloved by Mike and (at times) Neal. It is certainly the most progressive album to involve Pete for some years.... It is an album that any proghead will be queuing for when it hits the shops on April 10th. These guys prove that it doesn't need loads of volume. All it needs is a tune, some vocals, and some interplay (okay, so the tune is moving through different time signatures, and is extremely complicated and diverse while the vocal harmonies are spot on). "Mystery Train" is the one that sounds as if it could have been lifted straight from 'Day For Night' as the restrained verse leads into a very Spock's Beard style soaring chorus.

Just simply, a superb album.

Originally appeared in Feedback #57

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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