(9/10) I don't want to use the word 'supergroup' too much, since it is used often in a bit of an inflationary way. But Transatlantic for sure deserves to be named as a supergroup. Just looking on the band members tells you that we have the 'who is who' of the prog rock scene combined in one band. Neal Morse, Roine Stolt, Mike Portnoy and Pete Trewavas are just great musicians. But in my point of view it needs more than just putting together a bunch of excellent guys. It's also about the cooperation of those outstanding musicians. This is the case with Transatlantic. They are equal with each other and listening to their music gives the impression, that it's not the different egos which needs to be represented as much as possible and compete with each other. It is more that the passion for music is leading the band and makes them standing as a rock.
The result is an album like "Kaleidoscope". Their newest release has in total 5 songs. Two of them are with 25 / 31 minutes even longer than some EP/album from other bands. Those songs are building the framework of this album. "Into the blue" is with 25 minutes the opener of the disc, while the title track "Kaleidoscope" finalises a phantastic journey through sound. Both songs are like an exciting story. You just want to listen how it continous. It never gets boring. Transatlantic build so many different ideas, parts and elements into those masterpieces that it's pure pleasure to listen and dream. Great melodies are combined with interlligent arcs of suspense and awesome harmonies are creating a soundscapes which is just to enjoy. Again, the music and the song is in the lead - not the individual ego and a ambition to play as much as possible tunes within an as short as possible time.
Embedded into these two epical tracks there are another 3 songs. Less long but same quality level. There is "Shine", written by Morse even before his "Momentum" album, which gives you the idea of an morning dawn. Starting with an acoustic guitar the songs develops into a beautiful rock song with great harmonies and a cool lead guitar. "Black as the sky" is rocking even more. Keyboards creates the base for dense sound. It's amazing how easy it seems for the band to write awesome melodies without getting even close to pop. It's prog rock on an extremly high level. With "Beyond the sun" the album also has a real ballad. Piano- and string based the song is really touching since it transports a lot of emotions and feelings.
After 80 minutes the story is told and Transatlantic leaves you behind with a mix of astonishment and obeisance. "Kaleidoscope" is for sure a highlight of the year.
- Into the blue
- Black as the sky
- Beyond the sun
Label: InsideOut Records
Genre: Prog Rock