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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2014
Prog Rock royalty release their 4th studio album and I am sure it will sell well just because of their history and media coverage (eg. last months Prog Rock mag). Transatlantic have been described as a prog rock 'supergroup' consisting of 4 individuals well establish in the genre, each with a substantial music back catalogue with other well known and successful bands. By definition much is expected of these 4 musicians as a group and in the past whilst they have delivered easily listening traditional prog/ classical rock easy on most ears they have never really pushed the boat out to create anything dramatically new. The question is how long can they continue fall back on the same formulae without fans recognising a flaw to this concept and getting tired of hearing very much the same. I purchased the deluxe version with the covers and studio DVD, the later being very informative. I'll cover these in reverse.

The Studio DVD is a great insight of how the music is made. Clearly the boys come in armed with ideas but NM seems to be the major player with RS rather hesitant coming forward. MP comes over as the groups main arranger (linking the pieces) but primarily it shows what a great drummer he is when listened to in isolation.

The 'covers' CD is of limited value. I don't fully appreciate the difference between a 'cover' and a 'copy', these are all copies which to me make little sense, I could grab the originals. I am sure there is an art to making exact copies but not sure the listener gets that much out of it, the originals are normally better, especially vocally (the only bit that cannot be 100% mimicked). The choice of tracks is bit of a cop out and not very inspiring considering their musical genre, only 'Indiscipline' actually excites but even then MP does not take on the Bruford drumming solo at the start. I would have preferred them cover these songs with their own character as Kevin Gilbert, Jakko Jakszyk, Rewiring Genesis did with old classics but maybe they are now so middle of the road that they can't do that.

These new pieces of music could come from any Transatlantic release to be honest, there is nothing to make this stand out from their other music, infact in may be slightly inferior. The title track is apparently an 'epic'. I am not sure what their definition of an 'epic' is but pretty sure it should not be defined as quantity over quality. The 'epic' is made up of 8/9 separate pieces of music cellotaped together, not many of those individual themes would stand out by themselves. 'Into the Blue' again takes time to get going but does have a great laid back bubbling-up instrumental in it. 'Shine' is bubblegum with a video to match.

I am not sure what value Transatlantic have to the prog rock scene today, they don't progress, they play it very safe, they re-hash main themes to death and fill out tracks with doodles. This will make money for them and gets them to tour (more money) but these 4 guys are hardly doing anything new, they are so far in their comfort zone that they are dithering on automatic. There are very few highlights here, a lot of middle of the road prog rock noise and nothing we have not heard before. I am sure this will please the hardcore Transatlantic fans out here but for us prog rock fans expecting something special from this talented combination this is a disappointing release. Take a chance next time boys,
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on 12 May 2014
So hear we have album number four from the multi-talented musicians that are Transatlantic.
I absolutely love everything this group have recorded; in the studio and in concert.However with this recording i have to say that this is such a poor album.The problem? Neal Morse! Now don't get me wrong i really like Morse solo stuff,and some of his music he recorded with Spocks Beard,and his own records are superb.And that's the problem with Kaleidoscope.To my ears it's a Morse solo record,with three guests! Actually this feeling of Morse being the " main man" in Transatlantic , really began on CD 3 ( The Whirlwind),but has become more apparent on this latest one.Epics Into the blue,and the title track are prime examples of this.By comparison i got more enjoyment out of the three shorter tracks than the two over-blown epics!
I was expecting so much more than this very ordinary release! Disappointing!
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on 2 March 2014
I have loved every Transatlantic album, and for me The Whirlwind was an almost perfect concept album. Somehow, they've managed to further improve, and for me this album (even though released in January) will probably be this years best as it is always extremely difficult to beat near perfection. I say 'near' perfection because Pete Trewavas should try to stay away from the mic because if he had have done throughout the song 'Kaleidoscope' it would probably be my favourite prog song of all time. I have their 2010 DVD release 'The Whirld Tour' and Trewavas doesn't do too badly but it really doesn't sound as good on this album. However, for me it's a definite 5 star album, and anyone looking at getting into Prog should definitely start here. That is of course, after listening to Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and Steven Wilson.
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on 27 January 2014
Those who are familiar with the firstTestimony album by Neal Morse will find much to identify with when listening to this latest monumental album by Transatlantic. I have to say that I was rather anticipating an anti-climax with this album having heard some pre-release material on the internet and on a sample cd. To me the songs Shine and Black as the Sky sounded weak. Placed in the context of the whole album, however, these songs are really strong and make up a collection of tracks that define everything that Transatlantic are about, namely long complex arrangements complimented by shorter, often beautiful, short pieces. It is difficult not to hear the Neal Morse imprint throughout and the cello brings back those Testimony memories. Beyond the Sun is stripped back and allows Morse and the cello accompaniment to bring a serene beauty that will resonate with those who have lost a love one. This song in particular reminds me of the feel of Bridge Across Forever. Roine Stolt's guitar playing is charaterically clear and precise and what more can be said about Pete Trewavas and Mike Portnoy who just keep things ticking along wonderfully. Yes, the formular is pretty much the same as on previous albums and this will no doubt draw criticism within prog circles who demand something just a little more demanding. I, for one, will need to get to grips with the rotating vocal duties for a few more listens! If you like though the security of knowing what you are going to get then all I can say is welcome back to the quality world of Transatlantic and enjoy their latest offering.
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on 8 May 2014
The two long songs are brilliant and the short songs not up to the usual Morse classic short standard The covers album is a waste of time and add nothing to the originals (from my perspective of not being interested in cover versions apart from jealous guy and she said she said). The long songs are both great though and showcase the many talents of this group,
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on 26 February 2014
Prog rock fans. Put those Gabriel Genesis cds away for a week and try these guys. This is the 4th studio album by Transatlantic and as with the others it's modern prog with a twist. Think Yes, Floyd, ELP, ELO, Tull all rolled into one. 25 minute opuses. Ballads. Mellotron. It's all here. Going to see them at the Forum in London in March can't wait. Believe the hype because these 4 old stalwarts are good. Close To The Edge of perfection.
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on 5 March 2014
They continue to amaze me with the quality of the playing & compositions. If you can, get hold of the bonus disc as well. For an international band, it's good to hear them cover and pay tribute too mostly classic British songs.
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on 10 February 2014
Ambitious as ever, impressive as hoped, memorable as wished for and as much fun as possible, Transatlantic prove once more that some supergroups really can be even greater than the sum of their parts – and in this case, that's really saying something.
As far as I’m concerned it’s another winner from the guys that call themselves Transatlantic. It's actually kind of nice that the band have managed to keep this thing going, not overstaying their welcome, but popping up every few years and dropping some wonderful, epic symphonic prog in our laps. Let's hope they keep it going for years and years to come.
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on 1 March 2014
If you like your prog rock, you will love his. Every track has been carefully made to give the full potential of classic prog rock. Cant wait to see this being performed live or a DVD of the concert.
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on 6 February 2015
Another excellent album, full of classic prog tracks that you can really listen and get your teeth into. Definitely one that grows on you the more u listen too it. A real indulgent treat.
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