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Roine Stolt - Hydrophonia CD (album) cover

HYDROPHONIA

Roine Stolt

 

Symphonic Prog

4.00 | 97 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Proglodita
4 stars Excellent album.

Ronnie Stolt gets besides The Flower Kings to create this instrumental album, which sound is quite different from that of The Flower Kings. OK, it has similarities, maybe the same style or whatever, and the inevitable Stolt's guitar. But clearly this is not The Flower Kings. So, is that good? It depends on what are you looking for. What I do can tell you is that Hydrophonia is one of the good works by Stolt.

The structure of the album it's like ***\___/***. It starts very good with 'Cosmic Lodge', maybe the most/only TFK song, and then, in my opinion, the best of the album, 'Shipbuilding'. 'Wreck of HMS Nemesis' is a kind of the epic of the album. It remembers me to 'The Battle of Epic Forest', but certainly with different sound and instruments. This one is center in brasses, with some mellotron samples, but it doesn't sound like King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator, maybe because its use is much more subtile.

So, then comes the weaker part. To me, tracks 5 to 7 don't add too much to the album. 'Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack' starts very well, with a great sound, but then falls in a lack of inspiration. 'Nuclear Nemo' has the heaviest riff of the album (together with 'Seafood Kitchen Thing'), but that's all.

And then the glory arises again with 'Hydrophonia'. What a lovely song, a ballad alternating guitar, keyboard and sax in the main voice. Then, a very different song, 'Lobsterland Groove', more dancing, boogie, electronic, I don't know. It's something like Porcupine Tree's 'Tinto Brass'. And the final song closes with a great level, completing the mentioned structure.

This album shows the versatility of master Ronnie Stolt. A mellow album with a main line followed from the beginning to the end (it's like a concept album only with music, and the theme would be the sea: hydrophonia, seafood, dolphin, seahorse, etc.), with a great mixing of instruments, including the sax as one more of the leading instruments, giving to the final work a really beautiful sound.

When comparing to previous work "The Flower King", the first thing to say is that they are very different. The focus of the albums is not the same. But if you ask me which one I prefer, definitely "The Flower King", kinda unreachable.

Proglodita | 4/5 |

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