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The Flower Kings - Desolation Rose CD (album) cover

DESOLATION ROSE

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 364 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
5 stars (This is an edited review, given the fact that I was a bit too quick to deliver my judgement.)

I have never cared much about Kaipa, to be frank. I guess I found them sort of dull, really. Then again I cannot say how I would feel about them nowadays. On the other hand, this feeling has been haunting me when it comes to The Flower Kings. I have been following their latest releases, reading about the albums, yet never hearing a single note. I have been hesitant, to say the least.

Then I stumbled across this, their new album, in a record shop and bought it on a wim. "Get over it and give it a go", someone told me. Must have been my friendly muse of music. It felt so right and I was not to be disappointed.

And now, after that wee introduction, I must apologize. What for? I will tell you. I apologize for not giving the album enough time to deliver a proper and just review. I hastened my review, so now I am going back to correct my mistake. Giving this album a mere four stars, which obviously is good at any rate, does not hold up to scrutiny.

The first track, "Tower One", is one of those timeless Epics capable of surviving the future intact, without losing any of it's powers. I really love it. The track has a retro feeling to it, yet it feels contemporary and urgent, in some ways. I am not much for pointing ut certain sections of tracks by way of leaving exact time for it but I feel I must for once do so. 9.30 minutes into the track there is a very powerful section, which gets it's power from the very variation it is surrounded by. This particular section always gives me the shivers. I love it. It is genius. I could describe it as a hard rock section, with angry attitude and a power that could make bones turn to dust. It is great. The track as a whole is not only one of this centurys best tracks, it could well match any song fråm the past 40 years, when it comes to prog. I do believe it is that good and I cannot stop speaking of it's glory, so I think I'll just stop there.

The concept of the album revolves around a grim present and an even grimmer future, lest we behave and change our ways. "Dark fascist skies" is very much to the point, with nationalist emotions of right wing character seems to flourish. Yet again, one might say. The way the album goes through emotions is amazing. It balances perfectly between hard rock, prog, beauty, ballads, emotions and ugliness in such an effortless way. Every track is fabolous and enthralling, which on it's own is a rare thing.

What I find so intriguing about this album is the sense of progressive rock's ability to build symphonies with recurring themes and an overall feeling of being cohesive. You listen to, what seems like, one track with all these different themes. It never gets boring. On the contrary. I could listen to this album forever, it seems. The sound is symphonic, heavy and at times distorted. All this seems very apt, considering the theme of the album. It may seem heavy handed and depressing but it isn't. It is engaging and uplifitng even. The instrumentation is superb, so are the vocals. Everything falls perfectly in place and is flawless but never flat and lifeless. It is vibrant and majestic. Genius and engaging. Brilliant is not an enough word to fully describe the album. It is beyond that. Actually I think this is one of the best prog albums made. Ever. It is that good.

My hesitant attitude towards The Flower Kings is washed away. I bow before you and will investigate further. This is magnificent, extraordinary and blissful music.

GruvanDahlman | 5/5 |

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