Release Date: Jan 28, 2014
Record label: Metal Blade
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Art Rock, Progressive Metal, Neo-Prog, Prog-Rock
The fourth studio album from the contemporary prog rock supergroup picks right up where 2009's well-received Whirlwind left off. Beginning with the mammoth, meaty, and majestic "Into the Blue: Overture (Instrumental)/The Dreamer and the Healer/A New Beginning/Written in Your Heart/The Dreamer and the Healer (Reprise)," which allows each member the space with which to flex his considerable creative muscles, Kaleidoscope finds the venerable quartet flirting with gentle, '70s-hued pop hooks ("Shine"), richly detailed ambient soundscapes ("Beyond the Sun"), and thunderous, ELP-kissed stadium anthems ("Black as the Sky") with equal amounts of power and alacrity. As has always been the case, Transatlantic excel at making a four-piece sound like a marauding horde, a tendency best exemplified by the 31-minute closer/title cut, "Kaleidoscope: Overture (Instrumental)/Ride the Lightning/Black Gold/Walking the Road/Desolation Days/Lemon Looking Glass (Instrumental)/Ride the Lightning (Reprise)," a sprawling, serpentine, and resplendent slab of metal-infused, haters-be-damned prog rock goodness that invokes classic Yes, Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, and of course, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, and Marillion.
Considering the pedigree of players involved, it makes sense that progressive rock supergroup Transatlantic was born with a strong fan base already established. Fortunately, the quartet—which consists of Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), and Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings)—more than proved itself with its previous three albums, SMPTe, Bridge Across Forever, and The Whirlwind. Ripe with rich, technical arrangements, quirky timbres, invigorating melodies, and slices of trademark techniques, the band’s music truly feels like the culmination of its artists’ unique approaches.