Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe: The Breath of Life (Abridged Version) Vinyl 2LP + CD
Transatlantic The Absolute Universe: The Breath of Life (Abridged Version) Vinyl 2LP + CD
Transatlantic - the prog supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas – deliver their fifth studio album, The Absolute Universe. Representing the band's first new music since 2014's Kaleidoscope, with The Absolute Universe the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version) and The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version). The former is presented here as a gatefold vinyl 2LP + 2CD-set.
Initial tracking began in September 2019 when the band met up in Sweden to write and arrange the new material. As Portnoy explains: "Over a period of 10-14 days, we mapped out the songs. Then we all went back to our home studios and did the recording. That's the way we always do it. At one point, though, it was suggested that instead of doing what was by that time going to be a double album, we should just be content to do a single CD."
"What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding," recalls Stolt. "Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete and Neal who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to one...But we were already recording, and it didn't seem feasible to cut it back. There were so many pieces that each of us loved in what we were planning and didn't want to lose. That's when we ended up in discussions over the best way forward."
This album also marks a return to the concept album for Transatlantic. "Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won't shock anyone, right?" adds Portnoy. "What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today." "We didn't start out with the idea of this being conceptual," admits Stolt. "The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment."
So, how does this new ground-breaking album compare to Transatlantic's previous four albums? "I always try not to compare albums as much as possible," insists Morse. "It's very difficult when you're trying to be creative, because your natural instinct is to constantly compare. But in order to create you have to kind of step away from that. Having said that, I would say this would have more in common with 'The Whirlwind' album (the band's third, from 2009) than others that we've created."
For Trewavas, The Absolute Universe is a momentous project: "I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we've done. As the others have said, it compares very well to 'The Whirlwind', which I believe represents Transatlantic at our best. As on that album, we took our time to write and arrange everything, and that shines through. I am very excited for people to hear it."
Transatlantic The Absolute Universe: The Breath of Life Track Listing:
2. Reaching For The Sky
3. Higher Than The Morning
4. The Darkness In The Light
5. Take Now My Soul
6. Looking For The Light
7. Love Made A Way (Prelude)
8. Owl Howl
11. Can You Feel It
12. Looking For The Light (Reprise)
13. The Greatest Story Never Ends
14. Love Made A Way
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