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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 904 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A nice surprise in a year full of nice surprises! Not bad at all! I have to sayI was never a big fan of Transatlantic. Not that they were bad, no way. I have both their first albums and I think they are quite good. But I felt something was missing even if their sound had most of what a prog fan wanted: great musicanship, good songwriting, good production and the right influences (meaning symphonic rock of the 70´s). But it lacked a kind of spark. Besides, Neal Morse was clearly the main protagonist on those CDs, making them sound a bit too much like Spock´s Beard (never one of my favorite bands).

Well, I´m glad to say that with The Whirldwind they finally made the album we were all waiting for when we heard those musicians were assmbling a group. The record drips with the power and conviction that lacked on the previous CDs. And Roine Stolt definitly takes the spotlight here much of the time. Now the band sounds fully like a band. Peter Trewavas is playing some of the heaviest bass in his career (much in the vein of the great Chris Squire), while Mike Portnoy shows he is a truly prog drummer, with a subtlety I had never noticed before. The interplay between those four guys finally reached a point where they sound like no one else, even if the familiar influences are all there.

The songwriting has matured a lot and the CD, a long suite divided by several different segments, is something every symphonic prog lover should listen to. Great guitar and keyboards interplay! Tasteful arrangements and inspired perfomances. What else could a fan ask for? The production is also very good. It´s a joy to listen to, from start to finish. Exciting, powerful and perfectly done.The main CD is sure 5 star affair.

My copy of The Whirldwind came with a bonus dics that includes four new songs and 4 covers. Stolt´s Spinning is the best of them, a fine prog rock that shows him (and the others) in his top form. On the other hand Lenny Johnson is definitly not on par (it is ok, but, as another reviewer noticed, it seems he tried too hard to write and sound like John Lennon). Morse´s For Such A Time is a good acoustic number, while Trewavas Lending A Hand is defintily the weakest track of the whole CD, too long and just plain boring.

The four covers are a treat for all fans: all done with passion and respect for the original ones. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed ispretty much like the original which is a compliment (great drumming!). The classic Procol Harum´s A Salty Dog does not work that well. I guess it would be asking too much to duplicate Gary Brooker´s terrific interpretation (though they do try!). the mix of America´s I Need You with the Beatles song of the same title was a very good idea (even including the riff of Day Tripper in the middle!). The vocal harmonies here are the highlight and show theose guys are not only brilliant instrumentalists. The last cover is Santana´s classic Soul Sacrifice, a fine showcase of everyone´s virtuosity. they just bring the house down. awesome!

Conclusion: Best Transatlantic CD to date! The one the finally fulfilled the great expectations of having such extraordinaire musicians doing something as a group. But be sure to get the special edition two CD editon. Even if the bonus disc is far from perfect, it has too many merits to miss it. Final rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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