Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Whirlwind

Genre: Progressive Rock
Artist: Transatlantic
Album: The Whirlwind

Wait. Am I reviewing an album, or a song? The answer is BOTH! The Whirlwind is a nearly 78-minute long epic! It is divided into twelve individually named parts (tracks), but it is meant to be listened to as one great song. After a long seven years, the musical genius of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt, and Pete Trewavas come together to produce another brilliant masterpiece!

The Whirlwind can be interpreted on so many levels, but the heart of the message is that the whirlwind represents life's trials. We might think everything is going great, but suddenly life's storms come upon us and beat us down. We might think we are happy and successful, only to be torn down. Although the storm may seem merciless, there is a power at the center of it that is actually quite calm. In the eye of the storm lies the Savior. If you trust in Him, rather than being tossed by the storm, you will see how it can bring you closer to Him. You can dance with eternal glory, rather than be drowned by life's sorrows.

The CD is masterfully put together, with each of the four artists contributing so much material to make it perfect. One of my personal favorite parts is the segment titled Rose-Colored Glasses, which Neal wrote about his dad, who died earlier this year. In this segment, he talks about how there are times of suffering, but these times will pass and we will be reunited with those we love. He says that his faith is more than just rose-colored glasses; he trusts in something he believes to be real. It is by trusting that Source of faith, hope, and power that we can overcome life's trials.

I cannot even begin to describe the musical genius of the album. A blog post would be insufficient. There are several themes that connect the parts into one great whole--themes that represent the actual whirlwind, the calmness of the eye of the storm, the presence of the Savior, etc. And these are only the themes. There are also the amazing solos, the powerful harmony of the instruments coming together, and the subtle movements that lead from one part to the next. Then there are the vocals! Everybody sings and the parts they sing fit perfectly! All in all, this is a masterpiece never to be forgotten! Thank you, Transatlantic! I hope there is more in the future!