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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 904 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Disclaimer. We will not take responsibility for any emotional harm affected by reading this review. It's nothing personal, we sure can understand why Transatlantic are popular. I'd even say they are recommended to Kansas, Asia and Ayreon fans. But we just want to spread the message that this does not guarantee it will also work for you. And of course we wanted to have a bit of fun at bashing Transatlantic :-)

When looking at the Transatlantic album covers, Transatlantic seem to have crossed the Atlantic in some kind of primitive vessel around 2000. Then they reached mountain heights in 2001 and now 8 years later, they finally seem to have passed beyond the stratosphere. At this pace it will take them at least another 20 years to get to the moon. I'd call that pretty sluggish progress.

And so is their progressive rock. Lethargic.

Not that they don't play well or fast. Of course not, quite the contrary. When they jam a bit they are even quite enjoyable, but playing well doesn't give any guarantee for meaningful music. If they would abstain from injecting their music with those blaring pop vocals and horrible AOR melodies, it might even lead to something. Alas that is not the case.

What these songs crave for is a heart, passion, meaning, content or whatever name you wish to give it. Now it is merely "form without substance". An empty shell with syrupy melodies that come close to the sensations you get from average musicals (I could as well leave out 'average' here).

I can understand this focus on 'form' from Pete Trewavas. After all he's in a band that, in the last 5 years, has seemingly given up on playing anything challenging at all and instead has focussed entirely on the emotional delivery of its vocalist. So he's all about escaping his 'substance without form' trauma. Besides, his bass picking is really good here. I can also understand it from Mike Portnoy. True musician that he is, he would plaster just everybody's albums with drums. 24 hours a day if he could. Fine by me.

But what about the other two? Spocks Beard? Flower Kings? I've known those names for years now, but after hearing the first Transatlantic 8 years ago, I never checked them out and frankly, I don't see it happening now any time soon neither. They don't give me any reason to do so. Their vocal melodies are lifeless, uninvolved and uninspiring.

I expect music to be bright, emotive and stellar, but the stars? No, I don't think the Transatlantic spacecraft will get there in another zillion years. Since I reserve the one star verdict for albums that can't get any note in the right place, I will have to play my 2-star card. However, with the stars so far out of reach for Transatlantic, it should rather be regarded as 2 lightbulbs.

Bonnek | 2/5 |

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