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Transatlantic - SMPTe CD (album) cover

SMPTE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 673 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well, this album is certainly not any hidden gem of prog, it's a very well received album already gaining a classic status as a prog masterpiece of the new Millennium. TRANSATLANTIC is THE prog supergroup as we all know (and if you don't know the line-up, all you have to do is take a look at the cover). Already on their debut these guys work amazingly well together. The closest comparisons are naturally FLOWER KINGS and SPOCK'S BEARD, since Stolt and Morse are the main writers here. The resemblance with Marillion or Dream Theater are in a much smaller role, which of course doesn't mean that Pete Trewavas (bass) or Mike Portnoy (drums) were not equal members in the supergroup.

If you want epics, here's a 31-minute (!) opener, for starters. 'All Of The Above' fills excellently the ambitious length in six parts. It has inevitable moments of tight and complex prog attack (which would, on its own, be quite a tiresome listening to me) but also calmer moments of wonderfully melodic songwriting. It all forms a coherent suite with no out-of-place extensions. It is followed by a shortish, ballad-ish track by Neal Morse, 'We All Need Some Light'. A very good song, even if not anything very special. But the album need this kind of simpler stuff also, to be balanced.

The third track 'Mystery Train' is my least favourite in the album, noisier and rougher than the rest. Roine Stolt's 16-minute 'My New World' is another great track. It would grace any Flower Kings album too, as a midsize epic with a memorable, highly emotional chorus and a delicate dreamier section.

With 77 minutes in total, it's not a sin to use 17 minutes to cover an early prog epic. Yes, it's the one discussed recently in the forums whether or not it's the first full-blown prog epic. It must be if you ask me! PROCOL HARUM's fantastic 'In Held Twas In I' is actually very suitable number to be covered by a modern group. They take some liberties; if I'm not badly mistaken, some section is left out completely, while others are given some extra stretch. But I must say that I rather listen to the original from 1968.

4½ stars. With one unpleasant track, I'll round it down.

Matti | 4/5 |

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