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The Flower Kings - BrimStoned in Europe CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 46 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars If you like the instrumental side of the Flower Kings, without the catchy ballads or Yes like sweeping vocal parts, then this is for you.

While this might appear at first glance as a "fans only" type of release, I think it could have broader appeal. For one thing, it is more or less a guitar based live performance, featuring improv as well as compositions. The Compositions come from, not surprisingly, Stolt's solo material and The Flower Kings. The playing by Stolt, is as always, superb. He doesn't do album solos note for note, as long time fans will be well aware, but often he surpasses them considerably. This live album is a good example of that. This was also the first album I heard new (and now former) drummer Marcus Liliequist play on. This along with Tomas Bodin's I AM solo album, gave me great expectations for his addition to the band. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed with his performance on Paradox Hotel, but here he does an excellent job. Bodin and Reingold are excellent as always.

For me, it was great to finally hear a complete live rendition of Circus Brimstone, and it is a fantastic one on here. The Man Who Walked With Kings also is an excellent version, even better than the studio album I would say. The only real disappointment for me is the somewhat lackluster and overly loose Astral Dog, a song I love on Flower Power, but here it is just too laid back and loose to really work very well. It sort of degenerates into aimless random noodling after a bit, and then a kind of boring heavier part which I suppose is Hellhound. Aside from that (and the drum solo later in the CD, which is fine but really nothing exciting or particularly noteworthy), this is great stripped down version of the Flower Kings doing purely instrumental music. I only wish they would do more of this with Zoltan on drums. Anyway, for Flower Kings fans I would actually consider this essential. For everyone else probably good, but not essential. So I'll compromise with 3.5 stars, but round up to 4 since I like this band so much.

infandous | 4/5 |


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