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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 904 ratings

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MattGuitat
5 stars After hearing All of the Above, I didn't think that I could find a better song than that by Transatlantic. Boy, was I wrong.

This really is one long song and it's almost impossible to listen to one track at a time because it flows so well. The Overture has this amazing build up that explodes into the first notes in the most glorious way possible. The band members sound like they're having so much fun playing it, as can be seen in the Whirld Tour 2010 DVD. Once the overture is finished, they head straight into the first lines of the song and, surprisingly, the first voice is that of Roine Stolt (and apparently Pete wrote the opening lyric melody). Neal gives us a couple choruses before the song fades into the next...

The Wind Blew Them All Away is undoubtedly a Morse song, but the highlight is definitely Roine's fantastic solo. Seriously, this might be the best solo I have ever heard him do, with him souding a little like Steve Howe on Sound Chaser, but with that Roine Stolt style.

On the Prowl is just fun. Basically, it's a long keyboard solo with some verses at the end, but I love it. Neal can really solo and this song shows it.

A Man Can Feel is very dark sounding (but it's Transatlantic, so it can't really be too dark) and it's a little quirky with the harpsichord and everything. However, it's a good track and the end is great.

The next song is one of the "reprise" songs. Though most of the tracks reference the main themes, Out of the Night is pretty much built on previous themes with a catchy, Beatles-like chorus. And it leads perfectly into...

...the best song on the first half. Again, it's a Morse track, but it's absolutely stunning. He sings with so much emotion, and even if the lyrics are a little cheesy (a word I honestly don't use to describe things), it doesn't matter because of how good the melodies are. I just love how Neal sings the bridge before the solo. Speaking of the solo, another great one by Roine.

The next two tracks are more reprise tracks, which transition so well that I sometimes forget that they are changing. However, Evermore is clearly Roine and Set Us Free is definitely Neal. That's one thing about Transatlantic: it's really easy to tell who wrote which tracks and parts. One thing I'll also note is that I actually enjoyed Portnoy's singing on Set Us Free.

Lay Down Your Life is another dark/Neal track. with a great riff and a Paul McCartney esque vocal this track is really cool. The double time section with tthe solo is also neat, especially how they keep pushing the riff back a beat (listen to it to see what I mean).

Pieces of Heaven reminds me of a less heavy Dance of Eternity. Listen to the drums and you'll hear it. Is It Really Happening is one of my favorites. It's a Pete song, which you can tell by its atmospheric nature. After the chant we get a fantastically heavy instrumental section which speeds up to the climax. It'll keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time!

Now, I need to ask something, what's so wrong with Neal's Christian lyrics? What's so bad about him wanting to profess his faith? And couldn't we all use a little religion in our lives from time to time? I mean seriously, I keep reading, "the last track sucks, it's too Christian." Dancing With Eternal Glory is a great track, and better than any other Christian music. So don't hate it, just listen and you'll hear the beauty. The Whirlwind reprise is basically a wrap- up of the album. At the end, during the last three minutes, it hit. That same feeling when I listen to the end of Close to the Edge or Supper's Ready. That spine-tingling rush of hearing the end to a beautiful piece of music that any symphonic fan knows. A great ending to a grreat album.

So don't think this of album as retro or emotionless. If you do, you could miss out on some wonderful music played by those who really enjoy making good, symphonic prog.

Enjoy -Matt

MattGuitat | 5/5 |

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