Few supergroups are as beloved and consistent as progressive rock titan Transatlantic. Comprised of Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard, Flying Colors), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Flying Colors, Neal Morse Band), the quartet has previously released three revered studio works, including 2009’s single song epic, 'The Whirlwind.' Over the last few years, the band has been fairly quiet about its progress on a follow-up LP, which is why the announcement of their fourth effort, 'Kaleidoscope,' came as such a surprise a couple months ago. The disc looks to be another masterful collection of catchy melodies and complex musicianship.
Kaleidoscope consists of five tracks that range in duration from under five minutes (“Beyond the Sun”) to over thirty (“Kaleidoscope”). In addition, the band is releasing the record in multiple formats with bonuses including a behind-the-scenes DVD and an art book. They recently released a music video (their first) for “Shine,” which can be viewed here.
As for the band’s thoughts on the record, Mike Portnoy says musically, it’s “[mostly] the same formula. It kind of follows the format of the first two albums: a couple of huge songs and a couple of medium-length songs.” As for the title (which he came up with), he says, ““It just came to me one day as the perfect progressive, psychedelic album title. I was shocked to find that there was never a band or an album with that name before. It seems so natural to the music we do, like exploring all these colors and musical directions.”
*All quotes come from my latest interview with Mike Portnoy, which will be featured in the February issue of Rock Society Magazine.