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Album Review

The obvious label to put on this band is "supergroup," because it consists Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings, Neal Morse of Spock's Beard, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, and Pete Trewavas of Marillion, but that would imply that this is just another jam session. Despite the fact that these gifted musicians put this session together rather quickly, there is a natural cohesiveness and maturity that would suggest that they have been playing together for years. In fact, it could be argued that as a collective work this is as good, if not better, than any of the aforementioned bands previous output. The influence of early progressive rock bands such as Yes and Genesis are obvious, as are the references to each member's "regular" band, but it is the influence of the Beatles, which is felt both musically and lyrically, that shines through the strongest. The opener "All of the Above" is a 30-minute epic that stands as some of the best progressive rock music ever written. The only two compositions under seven minutes are the uplifting "We All Need Some Light" and the whimsical "Mystery Train," which in an ideal world would both receive significant airplay (they didn't). "My New World" is another epic and is the most obvious nod to the Beatles, while "In Held (Twas In I)" is a cover of the Procol Harum classic. The lyrics are intelligent and thoughtful without being pompous and the music is challenging and tight without being gratuitous. A progressive rock masterpiece.

Customer Reviews

"Life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

Truly, this is without a doubt one of the greatest albums I have ever had the tremendous fortune to pleasure my ears with! Anyone who even slightly enjoys Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and especially anyone who listens to Spock's Beard should love this tapestry of artistic and creative music. Comparisons to the above mentioned bands are inevitable, but do not let them sway you. These gifted musicians are truly a genre within themselves, and are paving the road for the future of music, not merely repeating the formula of all the major prog bands from the 70's. Let's take this one song at a time: ALL OF THE ABOVE: I sat in the silence with only the walls for company as I let the darkness slowly engulf my mind, my every thought, as I allowed my subconcious to drift. All thought slowed, and eventually there was no thought at all, only the darkness and the walls. And, alas, eventually there were no walls as I allowed myself to be swept away by the vast wasteland of total silence... I fell into this state of mind, and then pressed play... Holy nipples! This is possibly the greatest song of all time, and I do not say that lightly. It is right up there with Thick As a Brick, The Great Nothing, Knight of The North, Octavarium, Mei, and Tranatlantic's Duel with the Devil and Stranger In Your Soul, competing for the most epic mammoth ever, and is possibly at the top of the list. The first 30 seconds are occupied by the distant sound of an airplane flying. Then, on the 30 second mark it quickly whips into action (this is the part heard on the itunes 30 second sample clip), and it is awesome! I just can't contemplate how four mortal men can weave such complex and intricate, yet very melodic sound. It's mind-blowing. Anyway, the first few minutes of the song are similar to this, but it never gets boring. Far from it, actually. At 3:45, a flute-like keyboard passage begins, and this carries the piece for another minute or so, and then at 4:54, the vocals begin. The very second Neal Morse opened up his mouth, it was official: THIS IS MUSIC THE WAY MUSIC SHOULD TRULY BE. The lyrics are deep and fantastic as well, but even if they weren't, this would still be a great song. And also, check out the section between 9:18 and 10:20. It's awesome! Well, I don't want to spoil too much, so I'll leave it at that. Seriously, though, this is EPIC! ?/10 (This is to godly to be rated with mere numbers.) WE ALL NEED SOME LIGHT: This a beautiful, mainly acoustic guitar-based song. It is the softest song on here, but once again, it doesn't get boring. Quite the contrary really. Most of this song is played on two guitars: one doing the picking, and the other playing the chords. (Probably played by Roine Stolt and Neal Morse.) The bass can also be heard in the background playing the main melody. At 1:29, the vocals kick in, along with a grand piano overlapping with the acoustic guitars, and it sounds fantastic. The vocals are incredible, maybe some of the best Morse has ever done. It's a shame, because a lot of prog bands today are capable of performing marvelous instumentation, but have a weaker vocalist. Well, that is not the case here! Anyway, great song. 10/10 MYSTERY TRAIN: Like the others, this song is good, but it is probably my least favorite of the group. The music is good, but the lyrics don't seem to mean much of anything, and it's not quite so "in depth" as the other songs. Don't get me wrong, this is still great music, but it's just got tough competition is all. 8/10 MY NEW WORLD: Hooray, we have another epic on our hands! This mastery begins similarly to Duel with the Devil and Stranger in Your Soul, with an orchestra playing a beautiful and very well thought-out melody. At the 0:48 mark, and electric guitar pickes up the same melody, followed by the rest of the band. At 1:36, rather unexpectedly, a solo piano takes the place of everything else, followed by Roine Stolt's vocals and a bass. There is a huge instrumental break in the middle, and it is EPIC, but I don't want to spoil it! 10/10 IN HELD (TWAS) IN I: Once again, Holy nipples! Transatlantic have picked the perfect closing to their masterpiece! All of the Above is the most epic song, but that definatly felt more like an introduction than a closing. My New World is fantastic, but it would have been a far too hopeful closing. This is definatly the darkest and most eerie song here, and let me tell you, it is an opus. It is a cover, however, of an old Procol Harum song of the same title. It begins with a minute and a half long poem being read off. I, for one, think this poem is brilliant and it really sets the mood. The poem closes with the line, "Life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?" and immediatly kicks into a simply awesome instrumental section, and... Oh, once again, I don't want to say any more, because I think that music like this cannot simply be described. It must be listened to truly understand the beauty of it. Listen, and be swept away! 10/10 I do believe we've got a bunch of true geniuses on our hands here! Pay close attention, because we are all witnessing the birth of a legend. Like I said before, these men are paving the road of music for the next generation. It's just too bad not many people know about them... (Also, props to the guy who said George Martin would like this. I agree!)

Good Music Lives

This is incredible; this supergroup of modern prog rock bands has made an album on par with some of the greatest classic prog rock albums. All of the Above is the longest prog epic I have ever heard and is truly great. I recomend this album to prog rock fans. I agree with the iTunes review; this is better than anything any of the bands whose members formed this group has ever made.

Prog Fans Need This

This is beyond a doubt, one of the best cd's to be released in the past 20 years. If you are a fan of Floyd, Genesis, Yes, ect.... you really need to take a chance on this. This is music the way it should be played. I cannot praise this band high enough. I just wish they were still together.

Biography

Formed: 1999

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment) had a brainstorm that gave birth to the band Transatlantic. He envisioned a band of himself, Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning). As it turned out, Morse was available, but Matheos was not. Morse came up with the idea of recruiting Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) instead, and all that was left was a bassist. Portnoy contacted Marillion's Pete Trewavas and the group was set. They recorded and released their first album,...
Full Bio
SMPT:e, Transatlantic
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