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Transatlantic - More Never Is Enough CD (album) cover

MORE NEVER IS ENOUGH

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 115 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'More Never Is Enough' - Transatlantic (8/10)

Keeping in mind that I will be only focusing in on the pure audio aspect of Transatlantic's 'More Never Is Enough', it should be noted that this live release by modern prog's flagship supergroup is more of a boxset than anything. At five discs (three CDs, two DVDs), there is more than enough to keep any listener involved for at least a couple of nights. Also keep in mind that, while I regard each member of this band quite highly, the music of Transatlantic has never touched me in a particularly profound way. Perhaps it was just my sense that the music they played looked to the past rather than, well, progressing, but most of all, Transatlantic, to me, has always felt like 'prog for prog's sake', pulling out every imaginable cliche to create something that no right-thinking prog listener should be able to resist. To that effect, 'More Never Than Enough' takes the ambition and overindulgence typically associated with prog rock and pushes it to maximum. The audio-only material is three hours long by itself, and in that time, even a casual listener of the band will get a very clear idea of what a Transatlantic show is all about. For a band that prides themselves on virtuosic musicianship and what I perceive to be 'prog stereotypes' however, there is an intimacy and good nature to the band's performance that lifts 'More Never Is Enough' from being a run-of-the-mill, overdrawn live album to an excellent, overdrawn live album.

The band's album-long epic 'The Whirlwind' was my first earnest experience with Transatlantic, and that hour-plus monster is represented here in full. As far as the first disc goes, it may be the most powerful musically speaking, and it is also the most true to the recorded sound. There are the expected fresh inflections that the vocalists put into their delivery, but the first chapter of 'More Never Is Enough' feels a little too much like deja-vu. Short of being overly critical however, Transatlantic's skill as a musical unit shines here, and it should be clear even to the band's detractors that each member of this band are worthy of legend. Mike Portnoy's drumming has a much stronger focus on sounding dramatic than his work with Dream Theater, but his distinctive style of playing the kit translates well onto the 'symphonic prog' format. I admittedly could not say I am an expert on any of the other members, but the music feels largely like the brainchild of Neal Morse. Indeed, his vocals drive the music forth much of the time, although the other band members are often to contribute singing as well.

The latter two discs are where my views on Transatlantic began to change. While I cannot consider myself a fan of the band yet, hearing the band communicate so effectively with the audience debunked many of the preconceptions I had about the band; that they were taking the classic prog format too seriously. In actual fact, there are many times here where it's clear that the band is out there playing because they enjoy what they do, and they're having plenty of fun with it. Also underlining the talent and chemistry of the band are many times when they will go off on silly sections seemingly impromptu, be it singing about Boba Fett (the silent bounty hunter of Star Wars fame), or breaking into a 'Smoke On The Water' cover, or even taking a break in order to make a few light-hearted jabs at the progressive rock fanbase. It's clear that the crowd is completely into everything they are doing, and it is for good reason. 'More Never Is Enough' is a huge release that may only be suitable for purchase by adamant fans of the band and musicians involved, but based on this music, I'm feeling that I am now going to have to make a point to see Transatlantic live at least once in my lifetime.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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