Exposé Online banner

Transatlantic — The Whirlwind
(Metal Blade 3984-14771-2, 2009, 2CD+DVD)

by Dan Marsh, Published 2010-07-01

The Whirlwind Cover art

The Whirlwind was one of the most anticipated CDs of the year and it does not disappoint. Disc one is a 78-minute piece which is broken out into 12 sub-sections. Many people are concerned about Neal Morse’s proselytizing and yes, there are moments of this during the epic, but what the heck, the music more than makes up for it. Neal is not trying to convert anyone, he is singing about his spirituality, which to me is totally different and acceptable. All four musicians brought strong sections to the sessions which are emphasized on the DVD discussed below. The majestic main theme of the piece comes to pass in the first section, “Overture / Whirlwind.” Full of life, majestic chords, epic vocals, all form the basis for this magical piece of music. The piece ebbs and flows throughout its duration. Most tracks are in the six minute range with the longest clocking in at twelve. Not a dull moment to be had during the entire piece. Disc two gives us four shorter pieces and four covers of classic rock songs. Of the shorter pieces, the two that stand out are “Spinning” and “Lending a Hand.” “Spinning” (a Stolt tune) deals with new beginnings and how life changes are continual and amazing in scope. It is quite an uplifting tune, with hints of classic Flower Kings song structure. “Lending a Hand” (a Trevawas tune) is a dreamy tale about fragility of relationships. The four covers are from Genesis, Procol Harum, America, The Beatles and Santana. All of the covers are faithfully done and add to the overall enjoyment of the set. The mash up of “I Need You’ by America with The Beatles is of particular interest. The “Making Of” DVD is one of the better of its type. We get a very detailed picture of the week spent in Nashville writing and recording the main piece, including a short section of the band recording the percussion jam to “Soul Sacrifice.” What is apparent from watching the video is how much the four musicians really like and respect each other. I believe this is one of the reasons all three of their studio CDs and two live CDs are all full of monster epics that never wear you down, even at over 30 minutes (and 78 minutes) in length. The only negative to the DVD is watching the vocal overdubs. Fifteen minutes or so of this gets boring very quickly, but with the DVD at close to two hours, this is a very minor complaint. The Whirlwind is easily is a 10/10 in my book. Bring on the tour.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): The Beatles, Genesis, Roine Stolt, Transatlantic, Procol Harum, Neal Morse, Carlos Santana / Santana

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mastermind - III - Tragic Symphony – Upon first hearing "Tiger! Tiger!" (a neo-prog/hard-rock adaptation of the famous William Blake poem and the first song on the album), I didn't have high hopes for the rest of the album....  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues