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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 749 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rosenfield
5 stars A progressive Dream Team? Hell yes. Their name is Transatlantic, and the four members Morse, Stolt, Portnoy and Trewavas come from Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, Dream Theater and Marillion. Really, not joking! This record is just incredible, and any symphonic prog fan will be literally in paradise with it. Altough sounding a little bit retro at times, especially during the only cover in the record, In Held ('Twas) In I by Procol Harum, it contains some of the most highly enjoyable moments that neo prog scene has ever had, and it displays all the creativity of the four members of the band, the smart and melodic Trewavas's work on bass, the energetic and beautifully sounding drumming of Portnoy (which is surprisingly different from what he usually plays with Dream Theater), and the marvellous compositional skills from Roine Stolt and the great Neal Morse, surely my favourite neo progressive composer. Overall it has an incredibly variegate range of musical ideas and suggests lots of images and colors and sensations. Quite rare in a record, to be honest.

The record starts with the big and majestic epic All Of The Above, which is a marvellous creature created probably for the majority of its parts by Neal Morse since it has some Spock's Beard reminiscences, so full of beautiful and joyful melodies and themes. Especially the opening part Full Moon Rising and the more folkish part Undying Love are incredibly emotional, and wonderfully arranged, with lots of dynamics and beautiful polyphonics backing vocals.

Then the mood slow down a bit with the heart-breaking ballad We All Need Some Light. Superb music, incredibly emotional, with a great performance from Morse.

Then comes Mystery Train, which is clearly inspired by the Beatles (remember Magical Mystery Tour?) , like almost all the other stuff from Transatlantic, as John Paul George and Ringo are one of the declared inspiration for this side project. Once again outrageously good music, pure prog rock at its best.

Then comes My New World, which is probably the best song from Transatlantic, together with Stranger In Your Soul from the Bridge Across Forever album. What can I say about this one? Stolt sings very well, and the overall mood is extremely eterogenous. From the majestic beginning, which is based on one the most memorable themes from Transatlantic, we move on to the verses, based on a marvellous chord progression and a fabolous rhythm that alternate between 5/8 and 6/8 flowlessly. Chorus is catchy and incredibly happy, as for most of their music. After a funky 9/8 jam it concludes with more epic and very touching moments. Perfect song guys, excellent job!

The record finishes with In Held ('Twas) In I, which is an interesting arrangement of the Procol Harum original, and concludes a masterpiece of contemporary progressive rock music. Fabolous!

Rosenfield | 5/5 |

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