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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 887 ratings

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5 stars Majestic, epic and catchy as all hell.

Ah, TRANSATLANTIC. Thank you! Hearing this album made me realise that I've been waiting a very long time for somebody to make an album just like this.

First things first, if you're looking for an album which literally progresses the art of rock by introducing new and bizarre elements, I'm afraid to say you'll be disappointed with this output. However, if you're looking for an incredibly well structured, well recorded album that borrows heavily from Yes, Genesis, ELP and King Crimson, there is no better place to look than right here.

While the influences on show may be very obvious, and they may be the same influences we always see, I would argue that no band has ever created an homage to 70s prog that even comes close to the excellence of this one.

I think this next point is an extremely important one for potential buyers - I do believe that this album demonstrates the best work of all 4 musicians involved.

At the moment, I only own one Spock's Beard album and two Flower Kings albums. I find these bands quite acceptable, but their discographies are somewhat patchy, particularly with Spock's Beard. And yet, the work of Stolt and Morse on this album is unequivocally superb. They really bring out the best in each other. Morse's sugary ballads benefit immensely from Stolt's emotionally affecting guitar work in such a big way that I can honestly say Morse's songs here are my favourite of his career. Similarly, Stolt's optimistic, boppy sound gains much needed depth from Morse's intricate, layered keys.

To speak of Mike Portnoy is to speak of a drumming legend. I think it's fairly clear that the man has always delivered a dizzying set of beats for whichever album he has recorded. Here he is just as polished as always, perhaps even getting better with age. Incidentally, the actual sound of the drums on this album is second to none. Whichever engineer had the task of recording them should win some sort of prize (i mean that seriously!).

The real surprise for me on this album is Pete Trewavas. I am a fan of 80s Marillion, but being fair, the early albums had a very simplistic, 80s bass sound. No bass lines for him to prove his worth on. Well, it seems the TRANSATLANTIC boys have a little more faith in his ability, because he goes crazy all over his fretboard and proves he is truly one of the world's premier bass guitarists. Wow. I never thought I would say that, but it's the god's honest truth.

This album may not represent a true evolution for rock music. What it does represent, however, is four talented men at the very highest summit of their powers, creating the single most respectful, majestic piece of symphonic prog ever created outside of the 70s. Highly, highly recommended.

Eapo_q42 | 5/5 |


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