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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 742 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

npoczynek
5 stars Note: This review is of the Deluxe Edition, which includes The Whirlwind, a bonus disc with a couple original songs and a couple of covers, as well as a 100+ minute DVD chronicling the album's creation.

After my first couple of listens to The Whirlwind, I had settled on a 4 star rating. But after taking into consideration the extra material, as well as the fact that the only part in particular that I don't like is Dancing with Eternal Glory, there's no way I can't label this as "essential".

I think I'll start by emphasizing how much I loved the making-of DVD. Seeing how all these amazing players collaborate with each other and manage to put together the bulk of such a beautifully epic project in a matter of one week, is really inspiring to me as a musician. So if you can get your hands on it, watch this DVD and I think it'll give you a greater appreciation of this project. The only downside was that Roine didn't have time to shoot any of his individual footage... Most of the writing process documented here is focused on the interplay between Neil and Mike it seems, although there is a section that makes it clear how instrumental Pete is in the writing. It's obvious that Neil loves Roine in particular - he says something along the lines of whenever Roine is present, it's a whole new level of magic. We just don't get to see much input that he has in terms of the actual song structures.

Enough about the DVD, though. The Whirlwind is broken into 12 tracks, with the only weak point in my opinion being the final piece. I've always been awful at breaking music down on a track-by-track basis because I'm prone to ramble. I will say that overall this is Transatlantic's best album - it feels the most coherent to me.

I've found that the vocal melodies and lyrics are sticking with me more this time around than on the previous albums. I'm a huge fan of Roine's voice and I couldn't help crack a smile when I discovered that he sings the first couple lines of The Whirlwind. One particular favorite track of mine is Out of the Night - again, Roine has a large presence here and that probably has something to do with it. It's got a great upbeat chorus with lots of vocal harmony. The beginning of Evermore sounds a lot like Neal's solo material (think Sola Scriptura).

There are very few lowpoints throughout. It basically alternates between material that sounds like solo-Morse, old Transatlantic, and maybe a bit of TFK. Honestly I love all three of the styles listed so it's great for me.

If you're one of the people that think Transatlantic is prog-by-numbers or just emotionless music, this material will probably bore you and won't change your mind. But I think this combination of musicians is great together and they have a unique writing style as chronicled by the DVD - there's room in the prog world for music that has has been mulled over and left to stew into a tasty meal, as well as for music like this where it's a very spontaneous production. I don't think they're churning out material for the heck of it - they put a lot into this and it shows.

npoczynek | 5/5 |

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