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The Flower Kings - The Sum Of No Evil CD (album) cover

THE SUM OF NO EVIL

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 442 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, first of all, SUM OF NO EVIL it's a The Flower King's album, and as such, don't expect to hear anything but traditional TFK music, classical symphonic-prog played with the biggest passion, by some of the best musicians in the "business" (as people call the music world). If you come here waiting to listen to post-rock elements or incredibly revolutionary structures and harmonies and rhythms, well, you'll be disappointed, and it won't be TFK's fault, but yours, as the Swede band has proved with 9 previous albums that THIS is what they are, and THIS is what you can expect. But if you purchase THE SUM OF NO EVIL looking for lush, great melodies, huge songs with instrumental parts every second, a peace-and-love message delivered through true fountains of musical colors, then you're in for a great ride, as the album lives up to the expectations, if maybe doesn't manage to surpass them.

As opposed to PARADOX HOTEL which was probably one of the most accessible TFK's albums to date, THE SUM OF NO EVIL takes more listening sessions to start to get it, to start to love it. There are only 6 songs, four of those last more than 12 minutes and one of them more than 20. Not only that but some avoid traditional structures and playing the melodic-chorus card. There's a lot of instrumental moments scattered through the album, with enough jazz, fusion and typical "prog-rock show-off" to satisfy even the most demanding classical prog-fan.

As always, the band proves that each and every one of them is at the peak of their respective instruments' level of playing: Bodin with his generous, playful keyboards; Reingold with masterful jazzy bass lines that showcase him as one of this generation's greatest; Csorsz with incredible, amazing drumming that leaves the listener wondering why he's not included in best- of lists; Froberg with his ever-improving voice, vocals that really speak of love and peace, soaring towards the skies. But of course, the absolute master is the mastermind, Roine Stolt, whose guitar playing is nothing short of beautiful, his singing precise for his purposes, and his composing-skills in the same level as the best musicians in all prog (in all ROCK). The man has a vision, has stuck with his vision since he start back when he played for Kaipa, and constantly delivers huge opuses full of music, of colors, of living noises. That he manages to record 70+ min. albums almost every year (oftentimes DOUBLE albums) is only further proof of his passion for music, and his mastery of the art.

A REALLY brief mention about the songs:

One More Time (9.5/10) A masterful song with great melodies, a sticky chorus (try it twice at least) which is one of the best moments in the album.

Love Is The Answer (10/10) The big monster, the 25-min epic, the best song in the album (and among the best monster-epics in all TFK). It takes a while to start to get familiar with it. Remember: repetition, memory play probably the biggest part in our appreciation and love for music. Give this gigantic kaleidoscope a few tries, and you'll discover the art behind the sounds, the beauty behind the solos. A masterpiece.

Trading My Soul (8.5/10) A great track with a distinct flavor. Fails to grab my affection after a few listens, but it's very good.

The Sum Of No Reason (9.5/10) Another brilliant long track. It's clear by now that 10+ minute songs are what TFK do best, and they show it. The lyrics are rather unusual for TFK, as they don't speak of love but criticize, point out issues (religion, etc.) Stolt has done it before, he does it again.

Flight 999 (Brimstone Air) (9/10) An instrumental piece that paints the picture of a flying.van? You can hear the influence of Rimsky-Korsakov's classic "Flight of the Bumble-Bee" from THE TSAR ZALTAN here, and we would think we're hearing a little fly wondering around, yet the picture in the cover makes us think: is it a flying. van? No problem, anyway we fly with it.

Life In Motion (9/10) A great closing to a great album, near the end the song, which was not too optimistic, becomes overly optimistic, and we're conquered, again, by the light that Stolt and his team can produce in all of us who desire to listen.

All in all, an album deserving a 4 out of 5.

Recommended for: every lover of symphonic prog and classic prog. Every music fan who really wants to hear music being BORN.

.The Flower Kings are the sum of all virtues a band can have.

The T | 4/5 |

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