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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover

THE WHIRLWIND

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 747 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars In my review of Bridge Across Forever I said I was surprised about how a band could write two fantastic albums in just two short years. I believe I am more amazed at how, after seven years the supergroup has still got it. Surely they would have run out of ideas in this time period, given that they use a lot of material for their main bands but this couldn't be further from the case. This is every bit as exciting as their first two releases. With that said, there really isn't too much different from their others, as this relies on the sound and style since established on the debut. Perhaps this is the band's most equal as far as contribution. Neal probably came up with a good majority of the melodies here, but the contributions from the others has increased significantly since their debut, especially Trewavas, who adds some truly great stuff.

The opening overture is probably the strongest part of the whole song, and is packed with interesting and catchy melodies. It is an opening that is to be expected from anything Neal Morse related, at this point, as he is most likely behind most of the themes. 'The Wind That Blew Them All Away' is another great part, with some dramatic vocals from Morse. Roine's guitar seems to be the dominate instrument, for which he plays some soulful guitar pasts.

'On the Prowl' is based on a chunky bass line from Trewavas, but has pleny of interesting riffs to make it varied.

The following two songs have Roine's footprint all over them. 'A Man Can Feel' is slightly haunting, with Roine's unique vocal style taking the lead. The rest of the band adds some great backing vocals in harmony. The latter 'Out of the Night' I believe originated as one of Roine's ideas for which the band built upon. It mixes an up-tempo, cheery section, as is so common with The Flower Kings, with a reprise of the Whirlwind theme.

'Rose Colored Glasses' originated from a little diddy Neal Morse wrote on acoustic guitar for the passing of his father. I believe Neal and band do a great job of passing on that sentimentality in the music. The guitar solo from Roine is what I would consider one of the climax's of this lengthy piece.

'Evermore' and 'Set Us Free' both are very jam-oriented piece. The flowing bass, and Roine's signature guitar lines along with the musical drumming of Portnoy gives them a rather loose feel.

'Lay Down Your Life' is a rather heavier piece with plenty of string use that is so common in Neal's solo work. Neal's vocal work on this is also very interesting, and much different from his normal style. I especially like the main riff, in addition to Portnoy's drumming which gives it an odd rhythmic feel in spots.

'Pieces of Heaven' is probably the most complex song on the album despite being only two minutes. It changes time signatures frequently; with some parts in 11/8 is a very hectic song with some parts in 11/8, and not to mention some interesting syncopation parts.

'Is It Really Happening' opens with a rather melancholic atmosphere which builds up beautifully into what I would consider the best few minutes of the album to make this the appropriate climax.

The ending 'Dancing Eternal Glory' is a rather lengthy concluding section with Neal's soaring, dramatic vocals. The song isn't terribly special, it simply reprises many of the melodies found in the earlier sections. Though most people do not think highly of this, I believe it is an epic conclusion to an epic song.

The bonus tracks of the two-cd set consist of some covers and some orinigal tunes. The covers are alright, but I never care them anyway. The original songs are written mostly by the individual band members. The highlight is the band's 'Spinning,' but Roine's 'Lenny Johnson' and Pete's 'Lending a Hand' are rather nice.

There we have it, a journey of flawless musicianship and musicality that should define the band and modern prog in general. While I prefer Bridges Across Forever, this one easily ranks within my favorite prog albums.

10/10

Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |

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