Transatlantic — the multinational progressive rock supergroup featuring vocalist/keyboardist Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard, The Neal Morse Band), drummer Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, ex-Dream Theater), bassist Pete Trewavas (Marrilion) and guitarist Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings). — will release its fifth studio album, “The Absolute Universe”, on February 5, 2021 via InsideOut Music. Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s “Kaleidoscope”, with “The Absolute Universe” the band has 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)”.
Transatlantic has launched the video for ‘Overture / Reaching For The Sky‘, taken from “The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)”. Watch the video below.
Portnoy comments: “‘Reaching For The Sky’ is the first single off Transatlantic‘s latest magnum opus ‘The Absolute Universe’. It’s a great introduction to this epic album as it sets the tone in traditional Transatlantic style: preceded on the album by an extended instrumental overture and then launching into this upbeat first song.
“I love that it features one of my favorite qualities of the band in the sharing of the lead vocals…in this case: Neal singing lead on Verse 1, myself singing lead on Verse 2, Pete and Neal sharing the chorus with myself and Roine on backups and Neal taking the glorious bridge… all leading to Roine‘s distinctive guitar solo. Also interesting is that this version exclusively appears on the Abridged 1CD Version of TA5 (‘The Breath Of Life’) while the Extended 2CD Version of TA5 (‘Forevermore’) opens with the alternate version ‘Heart Like A Whirlwind’ which has different lead vocals and lyrics.”
For the upcoming album, the band have created two versions of the record: “The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life” (Abridged Version) and “The Absolute Universe: Forevermore” (Extended Version). Each album will be available on CD, LP & Digitally. But there will also be what has been called “The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition,” which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LP’s, 3CD’s & a Blu-ray that contains a 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals & a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have unique artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard.
Speaking about the upcoming album, drummer Mike Portnoy says, “we’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is not merely an edited version of the double CD. They each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.”
Bassist Pete Trewavas adds, “we did write some new music for the single CD. What’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”