All right, this is it, The Final Flight, is without any shadow of a doubt the best live prog rock record of this year, no, hold the line, it is probably the ultimate live prog rock record of the decade! I saw/heard this show in Tilburg in July last year (see review) and I was totally impressed and blown away by the sheer brilliance of Transatlantic and my conclusion then was: “It cannot get any better than this!”
The Final Flight, hopefully and wishfully it is not really Transatlantic's final show, was recorded in Paris and the setlist in the city of light was the same as the one in Tilburg. So, what do you get as a listener of this epic album (three CDs with Blue-ray or four LPs); well: almost three hours of the best prog rock music ever, a superb setlist, an almost immaculate sound, breath-taking emotional vocals (Neal Morse sounds better than ever here), soaring, melodic guitar melodies and solos from one of the most underrated guitar pickers ever (Roine Stolt shines) and of course epic prog “monsters” - or better said prog rock milestones - such as The Absolute Universe and The Whirlwind. Need I say more, all right, if you want to; what to think of beautiful excerpts from classic Transatlantic classics like Stranger In Your Soul, All Of The Above or Duel With The Devil. There is so much exquisite and beautiful music to enjoy here that I can go on and on but you have to “live” and experience this album by yourself as it really sounds so awesome that you have the feeling - when you close your eyes - that you are actually in the midst of the crowd in L'Olympia in Paris indeed!
The Final Flight is not going to leave my turntable and CD player for quite a while and while listening to it for the zillionth time at almost maximum volume I think that my neighbours are also Transatlantic fans by now; or maybe not.... But then f... them, ha ha, just kidding here, sorry... Highlights: Higher Than The Morning (so beautifully sung indeed), Looking For The Light, Owl Howl, Looking For The Light, The Whirlwind Suite and All Of The Above! As I already stated before: it cannot get any better than this and let's hope that The Final Flight was indeed not the last Transatlantic gig ever. A more than awesome album, so prog rockers out there buy or die indeed and of course I know that this really was not a very objective review, but that is what it is as I truly cherish and love the music of Roine Stolt, Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Pete Trewavas; so enough said, time to listen to The Final Flight again. Cheers.
***** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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