Of the many things to like about prog monsters Transatlantic is that they love their fans. The record a fantastic, award-winning album in Kaleidoscope, and then tour in support of it on three continents and one ocean. Then to the delight of those fans, especially those unable to get to a show, they record one for audio and video. So here's KaLIVEoscope in three audio CDs and one DVD. The complete package is pretty darn fantastic so, don't hesitate, buy this forthwith.
While my main interest was experiencing and reviewing the DVD, some comments should be made about the audio recording. It's culled from two shows in Tilberg, Holland, and essentially follows the same list of the DVD show, filmed later in Cologne, Germany. But the Tilberg set also includes some cover songs not found in the German show. These include a tribute to native sons Focus with hits Sylvia and Hocus Pocus featuring founding member Thijs van Leer as a guest and yodeling away. I wish we would have had a visual of this performance. There's also a cover of the Moody Blues Nights in White Satin, introduced by Mike Portnoy with his usual humorous sarcastm and sounding mostly awesome.
To the DVD then, and a personnel note. To enlarge the band and communicate their songs, Transatlantic added Enchant's Ted Leonard to the band. As for the songs, the complete Kaleidoscope album is played, though not in consecutive order, which means they play both massive songs Into The Blue and the title cut. To which band spokesperson and resident comedian Portnoy asks the audience at the end of the latter, "Can you handle a long night of prog epics?" Well, yes, we can. Peppered within are songs from earlier material like The Whirlwind Medley and My New World and We All Need Some Light from their first album SMPT:e.
Visually, excepting some video running behind them, there's nothing really extravagent about the stage show. The music and musicianship trumps all things. Once again Portnoy is animated and vigorous at the drums sitting or standing, knocking away his seat, in emphasis. Morse is his passionate self, especially in his vocals, though you can hear some strain in his voice (not surprising after a long tour). And vocals and the vocal arrangements are one of the most compelling things about Transatlantic, as every member plays a part both in leads and harmony. Hearing that is one thing, but both seeing who, how, and when with visual reinforcement is quite entertaining. Once more to the musicianship, I'm always amazed at the depth and range of Roine Stolt's guitar work. Emotional and soaring, he's a true and traditional guitar player who always thrills. Finally, being the consummate musicians they are, the entire production is expertly recorded and mixed for your listening pleasure. However, I did notice within Shine the vocals were a bit 'in and out' at times. Nevertheless, the KaLIVEoscope DVD/CD package is marvelous, completely inspired and entertaining. Strongly recommended.
Transatlantic's KaLIVEoscope DVD/CD package is marvelous, completely inspired and entertaining. Strongly 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 ]