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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 722 ratings

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stewe
3 stars Majestic sounds and chords with noise opening signs there's gonna be something special... beginning of The Overture, though, with the strings in obligatory vein of Morse's solo overtures, disappoints me. The song is divided to many different parts. Some of them are really cool (3:16 and on), and especially when Hammond organ with bass drive the song and Stolt'voice enters and after him Morse change the lead vocals and intense solos.

The Wind Blew them all Away led by Morse is quite good, but a lot similar to his solo albums, pompous, in the end over-the-top. On the Prowl is good, mostly instrumental, but quite forgettable for me. A Man Can Feel led by Stolt is track I totally adore, so relaxing, great spooky verse (in vein of TFK's A Vampire's View etc., with immediately catchy bluesy refain and thunderous, melodic bass line). Out of the Night, again catchy, Beatles-like lively song, led by Stolt again, then quite nicely trading with Portnoy, in second verse with Trewavas and finally Morse in refrain. Beautiful.

Rose Colored Glasses again sounds like Morse's solo, so seriously pompous.. There is small hint to Pink Floyd (coincidentally as it is on latest Porcupine Tree album). On Evermore Stolt is in charge and it is one of better, airy tracks. Set us Free mostly develop motive from overture, seems to me here like lack of ideas. Lay down your Life is led by voice of Morse, who tries to be heavy and angry, but it sounds forced and a bit comical to me, as the whole heaviness of the song.

Odd rhythm of Pieces of Heaven is so obvious and also somehow unnatural in this case, but it is playful and fun. Is it Really Happening? is the most moving piece and one of the best on the album. Unusually minimalistic and silent for these musicians, surprise. One motive culminating almost through the whole track, in the end of it Portnoy gets really mad. The final track is again mixed bag of feelings, typical sentiment of Morse latter days, too much pomp... it has its parts again, moments (segue to A Man Can Feel, Whrilwind), but doesn't work as a whole.

Second bonus CD I like, because it sounds way more relaxed, though not too ambitious. Spinning reminds me a lot SMPTe, My New World (which is good thing, as it is one of my all time fav albums), led by Stolt. Starting as simple, romantic piece, sweet Hammond sounds and infectious refrain. Then it turns out into evil 6/8 jam. Lenny Johnson sung by Stolt again has reference to Agents of Mercy I think, relaxed bluesy track. For such a Time is simple mostly acoustic Morse's piece, god-inspired, listenable at least. Trewavas's piece, Lending a Hand sounds a bit naive, but it is fresh and different, Beatles-like, though long-winded.

Cover of Genesis's The Return of Giant Hogweed with Morse's singing is quite good and fun. Then we have Procol Harum's A Salty Dog (it happened that original I heard last month sung by Brooker himself in Petersburg). Though original is unsurpassable, this is great as well. Portnoy puts his heart into it and do surprisingly nice job (he sounds raspy a bit like John Mitchell on It Bites or Kino). I Need You is beautiful piece, composed cleverly of tracks of the main band's influence - The Beatles, and also band America. Santana's track I don't know, but it is great jam.

Overall view - both discs have their moments, but I also tend to skip a lot. I miss more new and original, often it is still the same routine. What I like very much is sound of bass, listening to it is pleasure itself. As a whole, their return haven't dissapointed me, but it is not on par to their previous albums. 7 years profiled writing of members too much (especially Morse's) and seems to me it is not possible to write album strong as two previous anymore. But still some signs of collective genius and spirit survived, it is something that I didn't have big expectations for.

3,5 stars

stewe | 3/5 |

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