On February 5, 2021, the supergroup "Transatlantic" released its fifth studio album "Absolute Universe".
This is the first album of "Transatlantic" since "Kaleidoscope", which was released exactly 7 years earlier (a day less) on February 4, 2014.
So for those who don't familiar, "Transatlantic" is an international supergroup that includes the Swedish guitarist Roine Stolt known from the bands "Kaipa" and "The Flower Kings", the English bassist Pete Trewavas known from the band "Marillion", the American keyboardist and singer Neal Morse from the band "Spock's" Beard" and more and drummer Mike Portnoy originally from "Dream Theater", but since then has played in so many bands.
Formed in 1999, the group released their first album "SMPT:e" in 2000 to very good reviews and praise. After the second album and another excellent live album, the band broke up in 2002, but reunited in 2009, and in fact, since then, it has been active intermittently.
With the release of the news that this band is coming back with a fifth album after such a long period of silence, the internet was fired up and the expectations were crazy, since after all, this is the "all-star" team of progressive rock, the very commando of prog.
This album was released in two different versions: the single-disc version called "The Breath of Life (Abridged Version)", which includes about an hour of new music, and the double-disc version called "Forevermore (Extended Version)", which includes an hour and a half of music.
The reason for releasing both versions was related to a debate internal between the band members. After all the material for the album was recorded, the band members were busy with other commitments and it was almost a year + the Covid-19 crisis before they got together again to finish the editing. At this point, Neil Morse already thought that the 90 minutes of music written almost a year before should go filtering that would lead to a single disc. Bassist Pete Trewavas agreed with him, but Portnoy and Roine Stolt did not, they preferred the original version. This caused tensions and further delays in the release of the album. In the end, Mike Portnoy came up with the idea of releasing two versions of the album. All the band members agreed The record company also liked the idea. Morse was then tasked with creating the shorter version, titled "The Breath of Life", while Stolt was in charge for the longer version "Foverermore".
At the same time, don't think that whoever buys the extended version has all the new material. The shortened album provides different contents from the extended version, including renewed compositions, alternative material, a different mixing, especially in the vocals, and even one song that did not find its way to the double album called: "Can You Feel It".
The structure of the album is similar to the supergroup's third album - "The Whirlwind", in that all the songs together create one listening experience.
The list of songs in the extended version:
"The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)" Track-listing: Disc 1: 1. Overture 2. Heart Like A Whirlwind 3. Higher Than The Morning 4. The Darkness In The Light 5. Swing High, Swing Low 6. Bully 7. Rainbow Sky 8. Looking For The Light 9. The World We Used To Know
Disc 2: 1. The Sun Comes Up Today 2. Love Made A Way (Prelude) 3. Owl Howl 4. Solitude 5. Belong 6. Lonesome Rebel 7. Looking For The Light (Reprise) 8. The Greatest Story Never Ends 9. Love Made A Way
For Listening: Spotify