I don’t know for sure where I first heard about Transatlantic. It was either on Portnoy’s twitter, or in relation to Neal Morse’s departure from Spock’s Beard. Either way, considering I was familiar from the collaboration of the two from Morse’s solo Christian rock albums, I kinda knew what to expect.
I wasn’t let down. Or maybe I was a little. I’m under the impression that Morse’s influence in the band is the strongest of the members. In general the music of the album is very similar to his solo works, except there isn’t such a focus on religion. But the keyboard-heavy composition, the musical themes are all very Morse. Except for some heavier phrases that are ah so Portnoy.
Not that I’m complaining, since he’s a powerful composer, it’s just that I was hoping for something a bit more… different. Something like the bonus disc with all those covers of legendary rock songs.
As usually, I couldn’t not pay attention to the bassline. The keyboards and the vocals were so Morse, and I’d say Portnoy is so good at blending into his environment (while of course giving a very solid input), that I expected much from Marillion’s Trewavas on the bass. While for most of the album the bass just goes with the flow, there are a good number of occasions when it is the flow. I appreciate that.