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FancyFluid - King's Journey  CD (album) cover





2.91 | 21 ratings

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3 stars A charming fable about a King with a problem

King's Journey was another nice find, an ambitious and charming combination of 90s neo-prog with 70s symphonic conceptual fantasy rock. It is the story of a worried King, who frets about the famine of prosperity and spirit that his subjects are going through. He went for long walks trying to figure out the solution to the problem and finally had a revelation that a great adventure must be undertaken to solve things. This is the story of his magical journey.

"The Kingdom" is a short keyboard instrumental to wet the appetite. "The Start" begins perfectly with a melancholic tin whistle and acoustic guitar. The vocals on the album are nicely done and in English with a pleasant Italian accent. The story of our King begins as the tempo picks up into a neo-proggish gallop with near constant lead guitar, bass and drums. About half way through comes the first of many wonderful electric guitar solos, displaying good chops and a Fender sound. "Sitting on the Edge" is a soft brooding piece where the keyboards and bass create the imagery of the river flowing by, where our King is resting on one of his walks. There is a lovely flute solo and an up-tempo section at the end that is very early Marillion. "The King doesn't Sleep" features violin and acoustic before the vocal turns into first person narrative for periods. The song picks up briskly and the violin rocks out with band. "Lady of the Lake" is a mostly mellow acoustic driven track whose purpose is the storytelling. Nice though. "The Fool's House" is a hard and heavy neo-prog rocker with raucous, eclectic jamming. Nice tempo shifts and differing passages make this one of the liveliest tracks. The song closes with a saxophone solo. "The Maze" is next on the CD although this song and "Fool's House" are reversed in order in the CD booklet which is an unfortunate printing mistake. The song is a mid-tempo rocker with plenty of lead guitar squealing away. "Alchemic" begins eerily with some sinister trippy vocals and features some trumpet which is a nice change-up from the prominent guitars and keys so heavily featured. "The White Winged Deer" is a lovely instrumental combining piano and saxophone and is tragically too short at less than 2 minutes. "Winter you've Finally Come" begins with the lovely piano melody and quiet hopeful vocals. Tenderly picked acoustics perfectly compliment the lyrics of renewal and redemption. "The End" is our 4-part epic closer clocking in at over 13 minutes long. It begins perfectly with stately solo piano for the first minute before the vocals begin. The next part features a beautiful acoustic guitar and flute interlude that brings to mind the most esoteric 70s fantasy prog classics. They're throwing in everything but the kitchen sink here and it sounds like an ode to the Genesis style epic. There are some rocking parts alternating with mellower ones just drifting from one passage to the next. The later part of the track features a "Solsbury Hill" sound and even the appearance of a bagpipe dueling with our synths. Unfortunately the ending is a fade-out which is something of a letdown.

Musea has done another fine job with our booklet, featuring the complete story of the King printed first. Then we have our lyrics printed with delightful little drawings for each song, and good credits telling you which instruments are played by whom on each song.

Recommended for 80/90s neo-prog fans but also fans of 70s fantasy concept albums. The production isn't the best as it was likely a low budget affair but it's certainly passable and if the music sounds interesting to you I wouldn't let this stop you. 3.5 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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