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New Transatlantic Album - The Absolute Universe

Transatlantic, the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas, are pleased to announce their fifth studio album The Absolute Universe, set for release on the 5th February 2021. Representing the band's first new music since 2014's Kaleidoscope, with The Absolute Universe the band have 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).


As Mike Portnoy explains: "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." Pete Trewavas adds: "We did write some new music for the single CD," adds Trewavas. "What's more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records."

New Transatlantic Album - The Absolute Universe Photo: Tobias Andersson

Each album will be available on CD, LP and 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 and a Blu-ray that contains a 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals and a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have unique artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard. The full list of formats is below and pre-orders start on the 20th November.

The Absolute Universe Extended Version

The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version) is available as:
The Absolute Universe Abridged Version

The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version) is available as:
The Absolute Universe Ultimate Edition

The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition consists of the following:
Hey Transatlantic fans!
With all the excitement over the announcement of The Absolute Universe, there seems to have been a little confusion regarding formats. Yes, we do understand it’s a lot to take in, as it really is a massive and unprecedented undertaking! Let us try and clear things up:
  • The album comes in two unique versions, the Abridged version and Extended version. Both versions are available separately as either CD only, a Vinyl/CD package, or as a digital download.
  • The Ultimate Edition includes both the Abridged and Extended versions over 5LPs (exclusive clear colour) and 3CDs. The Blu-ray in the package comes with a special mix that combines both versions into a third unique version in 5.1 surround sound with visuals and a behind the scenes documentary. It also includes an extended 16-page LP booklet and 60x60cm poster all contained within a foil-finished lift-off box. This is the version that includes everything and more!
  • Regarding the Blu-ray, we listened to your concerns and have been able to come up with this option. We will be offering the Blu-ray as a limited standalone item that will be exclusively available via Radiant Records, InsideOut Europe and Racket Records.

We are so excited about this groundbreaking release and know this will be something you guys will love and will want to experience in as many ways as possible, as each version provides a completely different and unique experience. After all, we know with Transatlantic that More Never Is Enough!

Thanks for the support and understanding.

Pete.
Initial tracking began in September 2019 when the band met up in Sweden to write and arrange the new material. As Portnoy explains: "Over a period of ten to fourteen days, we mapped out the songs. 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."

"What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding," recalls Stolt. "Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete and Neal who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to on! 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."

This album also marks a return to the concept album for Transatlantic. "Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won't shock anyone, right?" laughs Portnoy. "What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today."

New Transatlantic Album - The Absolute Universe

"We didn't start out with the idea of this being conceptual," admits 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."

So, how does this new ground-breaking album compare to Transatlantic's previous four albums?

"I always try not to compare albums as much as possible," insists Morse. "It's very difficult when you're trying to be creative, because your natural instinct is to constantly compare. But in order to create you have to kind of step away from that. Having said that, I would say this would have more in common with The Whirlwind album (the band's third, from 2009) than others that we've created." For Trewavas, 'The Absolute Universe' is a momentous project.

"I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we've done. As the others have said, it compares very well to The Whirlwind, which I believe represents Transatlantic at our best. As on that album, we took our time to write and arrange everything, and that shines through. I am very excited for people to hear it."

For more information visit the transatlantic website: https://www.transatlanticweb.com



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