Transatlantic will open the new year with a new album.
The prog super group is scheduled to release its fifth album, The Absolute Universe Feb. 5, 2021 through InsideOut Music. Its release will come more than six years after the release of the band’s then most recent album Kaleidoscope, which was released in Dec. 2014 through Metal Blade Records.
Drummer Mike Portnoy talked about the forthcoming album during a recent interview.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Portnoy’s Transatlantic band mate Pete Trewavas expanded on Portnoy’s statements with his own comments.
“We did write some new music for the single CD,”he said. “What’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”
Each presentation of Transatlantic’s album will be available on CD, digital, and LP. The platforms’ details are noted below.
‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’
Special Edition CD Digipak
‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’
Special Edition 2CD Digipak
‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’
Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set – contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster
According to information provided about the album, it is a concept record. Portnoy said of the move and the album’s concept, “Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won’t shock anyone, right? What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today.”
Fellow Transatlantic band member Roine Stolt (also of The Flower Kings) added to Portnoy’s comments.
“We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual,” said Stolt.“The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.”
Initial tracking for The Absolute Universe started in September 2019 in Sweden. Portnoy had the following to say about the process.
“Over a period of 10-14 days, we mapped out the songs,” he said. “Then we all went back to our home studios and did the recording. That’s the way we always do it. At one point, though, it was suggested that instead of doing what was by that time going to be a double album, we should just be content to do a single CD.”
Stolt picked up where Portnoy left off.
“What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding,”said Stolt. “Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete [Trewavas] and Neal [Morse] who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to one…But we were already recording, and it didn’t seem feasible to cut it back. There were so many pieces that each of us loved in what we were planning and didn’t want to lose. That’s when we ended up in discussions over the best way forward.”
More information on Transatlantic’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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