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Transatlantic's 'Whirlwind' was an appropriate title

Neal Morse couldn’t have chosen a more prophetic title for the band’s reunion disc: The album's tour was almost canceled by Iceland's volcanic ash cloud.

By Will Romano

Once they reconvened, Transatlantic recorded 2009’s Billboard-charting “The Whirlwind” and, in 2010, released a massive triple-disc live collection, an accompanying 2-DVD set, and a 5-disc deluxe edition, titled “Whirld Tour 2010: Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London,” boasting such epic compositions as “All of the Above,” “Duel with the Devil,” “Stranger in Your Soul” and the 80-minute (you read that correctly) title track of “The Whirlwind.”

Morse couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate — and prophetic — title for the band’s reunion disc: There were moments when it appeared as though the entire Transatlantic touring caravan would derail. “Pete [Trewavas] had created this audio collage of natural disasters and newscasts [for the record],” says Morse. “It was very fitting, because at the time we were doing the tour, there was this volcanic ash cloud [emanating from Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland] that was precluding all flights into Europe. We didn’t even know if we were going to be doing the tour.”


“Our lighting guy and our merchandiser missed the U.S. leg of the tour because of the canceled flights,” says Collin Leijenaar, Transatlantic tour manager. “I was constantly following the news, adjusting tickets and travel plans. For me it was a whirlwind.”

Turbulence continued to wreak havoc even after the tour. Stunning the prog community, Portnoy announced he was leaving Dream Theater, crowning the entire topsy-turvy cycle.

“Symbolically, the whirlwind captures the turbulence that can happen in our lives and, also, in the world,” says Morse.

Read the an interview with Neal Morse on his solo project with Mike Portnoy and Randy George by clicking here