With the Transatlantic-Reunion 2008 (at the Three Rivers Prog Rock Festival Neal Morse played together with Roine Stolt and Mike Portnoy "We All Need Some Light" and "Stranger In Your Soul") an eight year long dream came true for most Progfans. Another five years later Neal Morse (ex-Spockʼs-Beard), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, ex-Dream-Theater), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas (Marillion) present their fourth studio album "Kaleidoscope". As the successor of the widely praised 77-minute mammoth work "The Whirlwind", "Kaleidoscope" has a hard time, of course, and yet the new album largely lives up to the immense expectations. It is above all the two colourful longtracks "Into The Blue" and "Kaleidoscope" that fascinate from the very beginning. If you exclude "The Whirlwind", which can also be regarded as a twelve-part track because of its merging tracks, the title track of the new CD is even the longest song in Transatlantic history and as such even tops "All Of The Above". Both epics offer exactly the grandiose fireworks of melodies, emotions and joy of playing that one expects from Transatlantic. In comparison, "Into The Blue", in which Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation) also has a short guest appearance, is the more coherent variant, whereas "Kaleidoscope", corresponding to the title, represents a playful picture rush. Framed by the longtracks are three shorter tracks, of which the inclined eclipsed-reader can subject the most grooving "Black As The Sky" on the current CD supplement to a first test. But "Kaleidoscope" also has small weaknesses. The ballad "Shine", which was decoupled in advance as a video, is nothing more than a gap filler in this form, which you can clearly hear that it comes completely from the Morse solo fund. The second ballad "Beyond The Sun" shows how to do better, but it doesn't come close to the extra class of "We All Need Some Light" or "Bridge Across Forever". On the second CD Transatlantic continue their cover tradition with a humorous potpourri. Among the eight songs are "And You And I" (Yes), "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (Elton John) and "Indiscipline" (King Crimson). Whether "Nights In White Satin" by The Moody Blues would have been necessary, however, can be doubted. As usual, "Kaleidoscope" comes in different configurations, whereby the limited 2CD+2DVD artbook in LP size with additional artwork, liner notes, lenticular cover, a bonus DVD with the usual "Behind the Scenes" documentary as well as a 5.1 mix of the album represents the highest of feelings.
Top track: Into The Blue