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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 904 ratings

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LunarSea
2 stars If I may be so presumptuous as to first add a note on my opinion of supergroups in general : The only supergroup I was really ever truly impressed with was Asia. The combination really worked and I still have that album as part of my cherished collection. However..... in spite of many other supergroups which have appeared on the scene for a brief period, I haven't yet come across another one which really works. Somehow - to my ears at least - and regardless of past achievements of individual members, supergroups just never seem to gel properly, and in spite of the musical prowess these four have previously demonstrated in their respective 'other' bands I find Transatlantic to be no exception. I've tried to like them to the point of buying 3 of their albums including this one, and have listened to them all several times but something just doesn't cut the mustard.

In terms of musicianship I can't really fault this as it's as good as anything else out there and I particularly like the slightly restrained and tasteful guitar work from Mr Stolt. There are no Petrucci-esque type solos played at 1000 miles per hour on here and everything Stolt does on this album is done tastefully and with grace, but not with speed, so if you're looking for a kind Dream Theater mk II, forget it because 'you wont find it here' (unintentional pun there - think about it..! ) . There's lots of lovely acoustic work and some nice vintage sounding electric guitar work and overall I have to admit to being very impressed with the guitar skills demonstrated on this album.

The bass sound is awesome too - punchy, clear and quite toppy and the playing is superb. Quite upfront in the mix too which works for me.

Keyboard sounds are many and varied and as with the guitar very vintage sounding which is again a plus in my old ears.

Then we have Portnoy - what can I say..? The guy is a superb skin basher and he doesn't disappoint on this. Drum and bass synchronisation and chemistry on this album between Portnoy and Trewavas is very fine indeed.

The big disappointment for me - and it is huge enough to knock 3 stars off the rating in my opinion - is in the vocals. Both in the quality of the actual singing and the lyrical content which is at best cringeworthy. In fact it's downright bloody awful. Perhaps if they had kept religion out of the subject matter I might not have been so cruel about it but I find the concept of having someone elses religious beliefs rammed down my throat to be distasteful in the extreme, and especially on an album which I've paid for with my hard earned cash and where I am in effect a member of a captive audience. Very poor show on that front.

In conclusion : despite the great musicianship I find that I really just can't listen to this album without cringeing so it doesn't get a place on my playlist and I've sold my CD copy of it on ebay. 2 stars only. :(

LunarSea | 2/5 |

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