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The Whirlwind: XII. Dancing With Eternal Glory / Whirlwind (reprise) by Transatlantic

1970s progressive rock is one of my favourite eras of music – bands like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant produced adventurous sonic tapestries. If you broaden the definition of progressive rock outside of symphonic rock acts, you can include art-rock like Pink Floyd and Roxy Music, and experimental German acts like Neu! and Can. But progressive rock was sidelined by punk in the late 1970s, and arguably the genre had already run out of steam.

Bands that have revived the progressive rock genre since then are often labelled as neo-prog. As a whole, the neo-prog bands have existed outside of the musical mainstream, enjoyed only by dedicated fans. I’ve only scratched the surface of neo-prog, but my favourite band from the movement thus far is Transatlantic.

Transatlantic themselves are a super-group, plucking members from other successful neo-prog acts. Bassist Pete Trewavas is the veteran, a member of Marillion since 1982, while drummer Mike Portnoy is a former member of Dream Theater. Guitarist Roine Stolt comes from The Flower Kings, while keyboardist and lead singer Neal Morse was originally in Spock’s Beard.

Morse became a Christian in 2002, and the group disbanded, as Morse focused on his solo career. Transatlantic reformed in 2009 for their third studio album, The Whirlwind. The Whirlwind is a 78 minute suite, but my favourite part is the twelve minute climax, ‘Dancing With Eternal Glory / Whirlwind (reprise)’, which is a pretty effective Cliff’s Notes for the record. If you want to hear progressive rock colliding with God rock, this is the song for you:

And as the summer turns its head
Cowering to the ground
At night the winds abate to the chase
Tomorrow to be found

A whisper of such tenderness
Peels through the skies of grey
The voice of one who holds the better way
Hey…

All we are, all we are, this is all we are
Just a page, just a life, reaching from afar
Take a breath, close your eyes
You’ll see what you are
When you look inside your mind

Take a step, take a chance, take it where you will
Ask the light for a dance, moving standing still
Reaching out for his hand
Blowing daffodils like a million stars in the sky

And you’re dancing with eternal glory
Taking a step to another land
You are dancing with eternal glory
This is much more than time and chance
When the giver of life is asking you to dance

What can we in ourselves really ever know
Just a blink in the life’s swooning ebb and flow
But there’s a way
There’s a side you will come to know
When you go outside our time

And you’re dancing with eternal glory
Taking a step to another land
And you’re dancing with eternal glory
This is much more than time and chance
When the giver of life is asking you to dance

(Solo)

And you’re dancing with eternal glory
Taking that step to another land
You are dancing with eternal glory
Don’t be afraid come and take his hand

And you’re dancing with eternal glory
Taking that step to another land
You are dancing with eternal glory
There’s a reason you’re here, this is not by chance
When the giver of life is asking you to DANCE!

(Solo)

A man can feel his spirit hit the sky
Like a window open wide
Like a sunlit valley floor
A man can sense when all the storms are gone
And he’s back where he belongs
Walking through an open door

(Solo)

We’re on trip in a foreign land
Reach for home, where the kingdom stands
There is the key he has given you, search it out
All who seek will find the truth!

After all the storm will pass you by

There is, in the heart of the whirlwind
One who has been for all time
And he was sent to deliver
And bring forth the river of life
And we are, here in the wilderness
Seeking some shelter inside
And now that it’s done
Out of the whirlwind
Comes forth the true breath of life

And from the whirlwind
Comes the breath of life…

7 thoughts on “The Whirlwind: XII. Dancing With Eternal Glory / Whirlwind (reprise) by Transatlantic Leave a comment

  1. Neo-prog. It’s a funny old term, isn’t it. Guess it means ‘progressive music, but not from the first half of the 70s’.
    Been listening to a couple of 21st C outfits recently: Big Big Train and Beardfish. Good stuff, really.

    I like the first two Transatlantic albums quite a lot, but don’t have this one. Seems the more Transatlantic/Spock’s Beard/Flower Kings preach at me, the more my ears turn away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like Big, Big Train, the singer sounds a bit like Peter Gabriel and they have Dave Gregory from XTC, which are both selling points for me. What are Beardfish like?

      I don’t find the Transatlantic album particularly preachy – Morse’s solo career can be more like that – it’s more like a concept album with a redemption theme at the end.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fair enough Graham. It’s probably that I overdoes on Christopher Hitchens this morning!
        Early days on Beardfish, but promising. I’m rubbish at finding band comparisons, but it’s neither show-offy nor bombastic, and rocks out a bit too.

        Liked by 2 people

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