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The Flower Kings - Back In The World Of Adventures CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 547 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Flower Kings is a very prolific Swedish band from a even more prolific leader : Roine Stolt. He is participating in so many projects running at the same time (even more than Clive Nolan from Pendragon & Arena amongst many others as well) that I wonder how he can manage all this. Anyway, TFK (to make it shorter) plays a rather sophisticated music filled with lots of inspired guitar and nice keyboard sounds.

The first time I listened to "World Of Adventures" (the track) , I was really impressed. I was brought back to where Yes had left me (GFTO in 1977). I could find a similar atmosphere at least on this title track. This is truely a wonderful number. It synthetizes very well all the TFK world. Magnificent. Listen to the end of this beautiful song and tell me that it does not make you think of "Awaken". OK, sounding as Yes, does not mean per se that you are a good band; but in this case, they are.

It is always difficult to decide the track listing of an album. Once you open with such a grandiose number, expectations are high for the other numbers. And this is the problem with their first album. We won't get anything coming close to it.

Of course, "Atomic Prince Kaleidoscope" is very pleasant, full of these guitar sounds I will love so much in their music. Very melodic, this instrumental is actually a very good following piece. It will almost sound Crimsonesque (ITCOTCK, era) during a very light and quiet moment; almost bucolic. A very peaceful track. I think this is just beautiful music.

"Go West Judas" is a much harder number. TFK will alternate the most emotional sounds with a dark and repetitive riff as KC produced so many. Another good track, I must say. The mellow ballad "Train To Nowhere" sounds as beautiful as the opening track, but only for a very, very short time (near the end). If this part wouldn't have been included, I would have said that it was a rather dull.

The album won't gain in quality with the instrumental "Oblivion Road". A jazzy improv sounding as...yes, KC. Would you believe ? Too much experimental to my ears. "Theme for a Hero" is again more symphonic. At times, the grandeur of the band is back for this other instrumental piece. More keyboard oriented. TFK will produce an enormous amount of such tracks throughout their career. I guess I just like this...

Still, TFK will also alternate the best and the worse on this albums, but on future ones as well. .. After the useless interlude of "Temple of the Snakes", we'll get the disco - Oriental "My Cosmic Lover". A new genre, I guess. Press skip. "The Wonder Wheel" ends the trilogy of rather poor and unintersting songs.

We are, fortunately, brought back to the good side with "Big Puzzle". A soft jazzy mood with good percussion, adds an original flavour to this track. At times, this number sounds as a good old Santana one ("Oye Como Va"). Lots of off-beat rhythms for this long and almost instrumental piece. At times spacey as well. A complex number, with no real structure.

My favourite moments here will be the vocal parts. I really like Roine's voice, can't help that. The finale is remarkable and this is how I prefer this band. They can provide with lots of enthusiasm but at the same time, I also have difficulties with some numbers.

If you enjoy Yes and King Crimson, you should really give a try to TFK. This album is of course not their best one but you'll find here all the musical approachs that they will investigate later on. As such, this debut album is interesting.

TFK might sound nostalgic. But I am a nostalgic person. So, for me there is nothing wrong here. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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