Transatlantic and it's members, founders Mike Portnoy and Neal Morse with Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas, need little introduction. From the start, the band has been seen a prog rock supergroup and, probably, rightly so. All four members have been busy with their respective bands and/or solo careers. But after five years, the band has gathered for their fourth creation Kaleidoscope.
And it's rather epic in scope, but Transatlantic never does anything half way or half-hearted. You should know two things from the start, and the first won't surprise you. This is a long album, better than 75 minutes. Second, more often than not it sounds like a Neal Morse album. Some of that comes from the simple fact that Morse had lots of material left over from his Momentum album.
However, in true TA fashion, as the band gathered at his Tennessee studios, all four tossed around ideas, co-conspiring in song development. Therefore, while my ears may hear Morse, the music is truly a collaborative Transatlantic event. The band chose Shine and Beyond the Sun from Morse, with the latter getting his specific songwriting credit.
Kaleidoscope consist of two massive tracks, Into The Blue, in five parts at 25 minutes, and the title track, in seven parts at nearly 32 minutes. Suffice to say it's prog rock indulgence, pure prog gluttony, as the songs move from subtlety to crescendo many times and the players packing the songs with multi-instrumental bliss. Sandwiched in between are three shorter numbers, the aforementioned Shine, Beyond the Sun, and also Black As The Sky. Starting with the last, it's less prog and more a melodic rock song sometimes with a heavier edge in the guitar; Beyond the Sun, the shortest song here, is a solemn quiet number, mostly vocals and light keyboards; Shine is driven by first by Morse's acoustic guitar and then later by Stolt's slick guitar leads. Even with it's better than seven minute length it may be the most accessible, radio-friendly, piece here. It's also a reflection of Morse's Christian faith, with the lyrics: 'If the light of the world (of Jesus in John 8:12) lives in you, Then no matter where you go, You can let the darkness know, There's a little light left in you.'
Hey, my prog friends, it's all good: another significant and entertaining Transatlantic album. Get yours today. Quite recommended.
Kaleidoscope is another significant and entertaining Transatlantic album. Get yours today. Quite recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]