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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 673 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Transatlanticīs debut album SMPTe was a nice surprise to me when it was released in 2000. I was a big fan at the time of both Dream Theater, The Flower Kings, Spockīs Beard and Marillion, where the members ( Neil Morse of Spockīs Beard on vocals and keyboards, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater on drums and backing vocals, Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings on guitar, vocals, mellotron and percussion and Pete Trewavas of Marillion on bass and backing vocals)of Transatlantic normally spend their working hours. My expectations were of course very high regarding this supergroup and they were met to some extent. By that I mean that I was expecting a new sound for Transatlantic but as it turned out Neal Morse wrote most of the material and SMPTe ended up sounding like a Spockīs Beard album most of the time.

I donīt have many reservations about this as I like Spockīs Beard allthough I could have wished for a more original sound with four such outstanding musicians. Here on SMPTe it just shines through who is in what band a little too much.

The album consists of five songs. Three of the songs are long epics while the two last songs are more simple while still in a progressive vein. All of the above is a 31 minute long epic song predominantly written by Neal Morse. It sounds mostly like a Spockīs Beard song and one of the better ones that is. All of the above is followed by the two shorter songs We all need some light and Mystery train which are also Neal Morse compositions. We All Need Some Light is a ballad type song while Mystery Train is a rock song. None of them makes the biggest impression on me. The epic 16 minute long My new world is a Roine Stolt composition and just as the Neal Morse compositions sound like Spockīs Beard My new world sounds very much like The Flower Kings. I like The Flower Kings so this is a treat for me. The 17 minute long epic In held ('twas) in I closes the album. Itīs Procul Harum cover song and even though I donīt know the original this version is very good.

The musicianship is outstanding as you might have guessed with these musicians and of course there are millions of parts in the long songs and lots of soloing to satisfy most symphonic prog rock fans.

The production sounds very much like a Spockīs Beard album even though the drums have a different sound.

SMPTe might not be the most original album as it is very seventies retro in sound, but it is certainly a welcome addition to my prog rock collection. The compositions are of high quality and the overall impression of the album means that I will rate it 4 stars. Itīs a long way from being a masterpiece but itīs far too good to only be rated 3 stars so 4 stars it will be.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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