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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 734 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars As progressive rock fans, we support a genre that so often pleasantly surprises us. We love great prog even more when we didn't expect it to come our way.

With the Whirlwind, Transatlantic are completely predictable. This is not terrible in and of itself, although I feel this album has been terribly flamed by some simply because it's predictable. Transatlantic are clearly playing and writing for their fans, and that is to be admired, particularly if it results in some memorable music along the way.

(One exception to predictability, as noted by others, is the surprisingly great mix on this album--particularly Pete's bass, which really resonates nicely)

As for expectations, on one hand, we could see the 77-minute run time and hope for the most mindblowing, colossal epic in history. Or, we could be realistic and hope for some great moments while knowing that there would be a good deal of filler to wade through. As you can imagine, the latter is a more accurate description of the Whirlwind.

Highlights: Overture, On the Prowl, Rose Colored Glasses. If you pop this album in for the first time, during the overture you may be thinking something along the lines of "If this is just the first song, how great is the rest of the album going to be?" Unfortunately, Whirlwind is heavily frontloaded, with the best material coming first; however, it really is some good material, particularly the upbeat, energetic introduction of the vocals. On the Prowl is also a highlight: a nice rocker and catchy tunes.

Some will argue, but for me, the album is as good as over after Rose Colored Glasses. Here is the dramatic finale, with poignant lyrics, a killer emotional guitar solo, and even a brief, triumphant conclusion. The rest of the album is largely revisiting previous themes and has some serious difficulty with maintaining momentum. For example, Is It Really Happening comes to a near standstill, only to build into a jam that doesn't really fit with the rest of the album (including Portnoy's double-bass assault) and is almost painfully derivative of Morse's older work. It's not all filler, but the ratio sure increases toward the end.

I'm definitely thankful that Transatlantic are back together and still making some good tunes. That being said, I'm sure thankful they divided this "epic" by track, because I cannot imagine many occasions where I'd want to listen to all 77 minutes.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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