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The Flower Kings - Retropolis CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 492 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. Having enjoyed "Back In The World Of Adventures" and Roine Stolt's "The Flower King" a lot, I felt this was a step down from those two records. There are in my opinion at least 4 average tracks, which I sure couldn't say about the other two mentioned albums. Having said that, there are also at least 4 killer songs on here. So yeah I like this one a lot, it's just not very consistant that's all.

"Rhythm Of Life" is a short tune with the sounds of two people playing ping pong before a yell and breaking glass. "Retropolis" is one of my favs. An instrumental that opens with mellotron, with a full sound right behind. The heavy soundscape with different noises has a Rio flavour to it. Guitar then comes in with organ. Some blistering guitar 3 minutes in as Roine is in fine form as usual. Bongos after 4 minutes as the song then calms right down to a nice pastoral section. Mellotron 5 1/2 minutes in. The main melody returns 7 1/2 minutes in. A Celtic vibe a minute later. Acoustic guitar 10 minutes in to the end. "Rhythm Of The Sea" opens with a haunting atmosphere with mellotron rolling in. We get vocals for the first time on the album 1 1/2 minutes in. Acoustic guitar rides shot gun. It turns into a powerful, mid-paced song. The soaring guitar after 4 minutes is so uplifting. Piano 5 minutes in as the song settles down. "There Is More To This World' really sounds like GENESIS to open. Hans Froberg is back helping out on vocals. He was on "The Flower King" record, but not on the "Back In The World Of Adventures" album. He also sings on "Silent Sorrow". I'm not a fan of the music after the GENESIS-like intro (it does come back though) until about 6 minutes in when Hans sings with acoustic guitar. An uplifting passage. It gets uptempo again before 9 minutes. "Romancing The City" is less then a minutes worth of piano.

"The Melting Pot" is another fantastic instrumental,the title track being the other earlier one. It opens with piano. There are so many mood and tempo shifts on this one. I like the brief Celtic interlude. Some ripping guitar 3 minutes in with powerful organ to follow a minute later. "Silent Sorrow" is pretty straight forward to begin with.It's catchy. It's ok. A nice long instrumental section before vocals return. "The Judas Kiss" is better as it opens with organ before guitar and drums come in. Vocals arrive a minute in. The guitar is killer ! The lyrics are meaningful. A calm 4 1/2 minutes followed up with some blistering guitar 6 minutes in. "Retropolis By Night" sounds like electronics, drums and synths for over 3 minutes. "Flora Majora" is another instrumental I like a lot. The keyboard / synth melody is cool. The guitar comes and goes. The song gets stronger as it plays out. Mellotron 3 1/2 minutes in and 5 1/2 minutes in. "The Road Back Home" is the mellow concluding track. A flute solo 3 minutes in. Mellotron ! A fuller sound 5 minutes in. It's ok.

This one has it's moments, but also it's non-moments.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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