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The Flower Kings - Alive On Planet Earth CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 114 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Although Roine Stolt first came to prominence in Kaipa in the 70's, it is since his solo album 'The Flower King' and the formation of this band that he has become popular outside of his native Sweden. This double live CD, with the first being from the North American tour in 1998, and the second from the Japan tour of 1999, shows just why Flower Kings are so highly regarded. Unusually for a prog band they have two guitarists, and with four of the five providing vocals there are also vocal harmonies to go round.

In some ways they are quite 'traditional' in their sound, and the one cover "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" doesn't sound at all out of place (although it has been given a Flower Kings treatment which includes an electrifying guitar solo). Six of the songs are in excess of ten minutes long, with two over fifteen, but the music is never boring or overly self indulgent. Sometimes the keyboards are just gentle piano combining with delicate guitar, while at other times the music is quite bombastic.

My personal fave is the title cut of the solo album, which is still a regular visitor to my deck. Here Roine starts gently, meandering up and down the frets as the band slowly comes to life. It is laid back and glorious, soaring keyboards combine with blistering guitar runs, as the gentle verse gradually leads into the singalong chorus.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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