Transatlantic is a progressive rock supergroup consisting of Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings, Pete Trewavas of Marillion, Mike Portnoy formerly of Dream Theater and Neal Morse formerly of Spock's Beard. They formed in 1999 as a side project to their full time bands until 2002. They have reunited in 2009.
Originally intending to include Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos, Morse and Portnoy tapped The Flower Kings guitarist/vocalist Roine Stolt when Matheos was unable to participate. The band completed their lineup by adding bassist and progressive rock veteran Pete Trewavas from the group Marillion.
The name of the group was originally planned to be "Second Nature", but was changed to Transatlantic on suggestion by the cover artist Per Nordin.
Their first album, 2000's SMPT:e (a play on words, as both a combination of the members' last initials, as well as a common machine time protocol used in high end recording studios) received strong critical reviews, including "some of the best progressive rock music ever written" (Robert Taylor in Allmusic)).
A subsequent tour of the United States led to a double live CD, Transatlantic Live in America, and a video of the same name. The band showed their musical heritage on the live CD, presenting covers of The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever", as well as a medley of Genesis' epic "Watcher of the Skies" and "Firth of Fifth".
Though SMPT:e contained the thirty-one minute opus "All of the Above", the band's second studio album, 2001's Bridge Across Forever, found the band flexing their muscles further in the long form for which progressive rock is known. The CD contained just four tracks, the twenty-six minute "Duel With the Devil", the fourteen minute "Suite Charlotte Pike", and the twenty-six minute "Stranger in Your Soul" making up the bulk of the disc, with the title track coming in at a relatively scant five minutes. The limited edition also contains a cover of Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond".
Morse left his regular band Spock's Beard in October 2002 stating that 'God wants me to do something else', which meant leaving the mainstream prog scene to launch a new career as a Christian musician. This move also included ending his activities for Transatlantic. Portnoy reacted: 'This spells the end of Transatlantic as I wouldn't possibly consider continuing it without him.' A live DVD of the band's last tour was released in late 2003, featuring all aforementioned epics with "Suite Charlotte Pike" mixed with the Abbey Road medley by the Beatles. As an added bonus for progressive metal fans, Daniel Gildenlöw of the band Pain of Salvation sits in throughout the DVD as a "fifth member" of the band, playing keyboards, guitars, percussion, and even doing some vocals, both background and lead.
In the years to follow Morse continued to collaborate with Portnoy both in the studio and on stage. Morse' concerts frequently included one or more Transatlantic songs. A three-quarter reunion took place on August 23, 2008 when Stolt and Portnoy joined Morse at the Three Rivers Prog Fest in Pittsburgh for "We All Need Some Light" and "Stranger In Your Soul".
On April 16, 2009, it was officially announced that the band had reunited and begun work on a third studio album. The album was released in October 2009 and consisted of a single 77 minute title-track The Whirlwind. A special edition of the album was also released, including a second disc with four additional original tracks and four cover tracks. Additionally, a deluxe edition was released, which included a DVD documenting the making of the album. The album reached #21 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers chart.
The band toured North America and Europe in April–May 2010 in support of The Whirlwind. Dubbed the Whirld Tour, the band was again joined by Daniel Gildenlöw on stage.
- SMPT:e (Regular release and limited edition with bonus disc) (2000)
- Bridge Across Forever (Regular release and limited edition with bonus disc) (2001)
- The Whirlwind (Regular release, special edition with bonus disc, and deluxe edition with bonus disc and DVD) (2009)
- Live in America
- Live in Europe (2003)
- Whirld Tour 2010: Live in London (2010)
- Bridge Across Europe Tour 2001 (2001)
- Transatlantic Demos by Neal Morse
- SMPT:e - The Roine Stolt Mixes
- Neal Morse - lead vocals, keyboard, guitar
- Roine Stolt - guitar, lead vocals
- Mike Portnoy - drums, backing vocals
- Pete Trewavas - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Daniel Gildenlöw - guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, percussion (2001 and 2010 tours)