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Transatlantic: The Whirlwind (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)

The release of The Whirlwind has certainly caused a stir, and I suppose it's easy to get wrapped up in all the hype that goes with such a CD. Not all super groups deliver but so far the progressive rock band Transatlantic have, with two studio and one live releases, then taking an extended break. The CD/DVD release of The Whirlwind is probably the version most fans will desire, and with good reason. The DVD contains a rather lengthy and very insightful journey with this band of elite super proggers. Namely Neil Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas as they reunite and go about recording Transatlantic's newest album. Clearly they have a great chemistry between each other.

The Whirlwind is a twelve part epic, running just short of 78 minutes, not that length would prove to be an obstacle for those involved given their past accomplishments. Arising with an orchestral introduction, the customary cool progressive instrumental arrangement follows, and that Transatlantic sound returns as they introduce the music that reappears later, including some short-lived MP double kicks that also can be heard elsewhere. I enjoyed MP's playing on this release, being a nice change from the drumming required for Dream Theater. Transatlantic is quite a different beast, so Mike can play a much more rocking/grooving style like that on "On The Prowl" where he hooks into the cool bass groove of bass player Pete Trewavas, who's engaging bass contributions are heard loud and clear on The Whirlwind. Vocally there is more input from the others this time around; in fact Roine's is the first voice you hear on the album. Speaking of Roine Stolt I was reminded at times of the feel of his main band The Flower Kings. The keyboards of Neil Morse don't take a back seat to his vocals, his playing is a highlight. There are many fine arrangements, and I like how "A Man Can Feel" goes into the great groover "Out Of The Night", the combined vocals of the chorus sound wonderful. The Whirlwind has ample twists and turns to maintain your attention, with their enthralling musicianship Transatlantic have once again given us a fine release, though time will tell if it has the staying power of Bridge Accross Forever.

Onwards to disc two and four Transatlantic originals and another four cover songs are featured, a nice addition to this package, but disc one really is the draw card. Since it was announced earlier this year that Transatlantic were returning, speculation has been rife as to what The Whirlwind would be like. I have read mixed comments on this release, including many about this being a Neal Morse solo album which it isn't, and the religous content in the lyrics, with titles like "Dancing With Eternal Glory"- yes it is on here, but not as dominant as many seem to think.

This is not an everyday band, but a group of accomplished musicians who have come together; to do what they do best and record the sort of progressive music both they and their fans are very fond of, so give The Whirlwind the time it deserves to digest. This new Transatlantic CD deserves inclusion in your progressive rock collection.

Track list:
Disc One:
1. Overture/Whirlwind
2. The Wind Blew Them All Away
3. On the Prowl
4. A Man Can Feel
5. Out of the Night
6. Rose Colored Glasses
7. Evermore
8. Set Us Free
9. Lay Down Your Life
10. Pieces of Heaven
11. Is It Really Happening?
12. Dancing With Eternal Glory Whirlwind (Reprise)

Disc Two:
1. Spinning
2. Lenny Johnson
3. For Such a Time
4. Lending a Hand
5. The Return of the Giant Hogweed
6. Salty Dog
7. I Need You
8. Soul Sacrifice


Added: December 24th 2009
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 6826
Language: english

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