CD-2: (Special & Deluxe Editions Only)
DVD : (Deluxe Edition Only)
Just about eight years since the last Transatlantic album. The first two : SMPTe and Bridge Across Forever were very good albums, but were a little bit to close (for my taste) to what Neal Morse was doing at the time, dixit, very long tracks with all the twists and turns that were present on his last Spock's Beard and early solo albums. Since then, Neal Morse is still doing pretty much the same things he was then, Roine Stolt has been putting out Flower Kings' music under any name he can imagine, Pete Trewavas has been playing his bass slower and slower to go with what Marillion has been doing lately and Mike Portnoy has been doing what Mike Portnoy does best... drum his heart out on any project he has been involved with. Sooo... to say I was expecting a great album from this bunch would BE exagerating a bit.
To my surprise, The Whirlwind is a very good album, perhaps the best of the three Transatlantic studio albums. The main cd features a 78 minute track. Still, again to my surprise, it's not the typical Neal Morse Epic exploring the same old themes with very little new stuff to get your theeth in. Perhaps the other guys were more involved in the composing? Sure does seem like it to my ears. Anyway, even after a few listens I am not tired of "The Whirlwind". Morse does not dominate the vocals as before, and his keyboards are less predictable than usual, Stolt is inspired with his guitar soloing, Trewavas' bass is very noticable and quite interesting and Portnoy's drumming is inventive and powerfull but with a sublety he does not usually have.
Time will tell if this is a lasting impression, but if you are a Transatlantic fan or a fan of one of the mother bands... The Whirlwind is certainly an album to seek out.