12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Whirlwind updates the grand visions of Yes and Procol Harum with rich melodies, heroic lyric themes and complex arrangement structures. Lead singer/keyboardist Neal Morse turns in some of his most transfixing performances since his Spock’s Beard days, tempering his dramatic vocal gestures with a sense of vulnerability and longing. Also noteworthy is Roine Stolt’s expressive acoustic guitar work and the vigorous, rhythmically challenging drumming of Mike Portnoy. Epochal numbers like “Rose Colored Glasses” and “It is Really Happening” are bound to delight any prog-rock devotee. Equally impressive are more concise, poppier tunes like “Out of the Night” and “Pieces of Heaven.” The otherworldly grandeur of the 12-plus minute closing track “Dancing With Eternal Glory/Whirlwind (Reprise)” is worth the price of admission alone. The Whirlwind’s sheer scope seems demanding at first, but proves surprisingly accessible as it unfolds track by track. If it takes nearly a decade to make albums this satisfying, so be it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Whirlwind updates the grand visions of Yes and Procol Harum with rich melodies, heroic lyric themes and complex arrangement structures. Lead singer/keyboardist Neal Morse turns in some of his most transfixing performances since his Spock’s Beard days, tempering his dramatic vocal gestures with a sense of vulnerability and longing. Also noteworthy is Roine Stolt’s expressive acoustic guitar work and the vigorous, rhythmically challenging drumming of Mike Portnoy. Epochal numbers like “Rose Colored Glasses” and “It is Really Happening” are bound to delight any prog-rock devotee. Equally impressive are more concise, poppier tunes like “Out of the Night” and “Pieces of Heaven.” The otherworldly grandeur of the 12-plus minute closing track “Dancing With Eternal Glory/Whirlwind (Reprise)” is worth the price of admission alone. The Whirlwind’s sheer scope seems demanding at first, but proves surprisingly accessible as it unfolds track by track. If it takes nearly a decade to make albums this satisfying, so be it.

TITLE TIME
9:53
6:09
6:02
6:34
4:22
7:53
4:09
5:03
5:10
2:17
8:11
12:03

About Transatlantic

Drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment) had a brainstorm that gave birth to the band Transatlantic. He envisioned a band of himself, Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning). As it turned out, Morse was available, but Matheos was not. Morse came up with the idea of recruiting Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) instead, and all that was left was a bassist. Portnoy contacted Marillion's Pete Trewavas and the group was set. They recorded and released their first album, SMPTe, in 2000, working around everyone's main band obligations. The band issued two albums in 2001, the concert recording Live in America and the studio album Bridge Across Forever, before going on hiatus due to the departure of Morse, who had made the decision to devote his life to Christianity, and chose not only to leave Transatlantic and Spock's Beard, but mainstream progressive rock altogether. The band reunited (with Morse) in 2009 and released its third long-player, The Whirlwind, which was followed by a pair of live outings, Whirld Tour 2010: Live in London and More Never Is Enough: Live @ Manchester & Tilburg 2010 in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The group issued an eponymous fourth studio album in early 2014. ~ Gary Hill

  • FORMED
    1999

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