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The Flower Kings - Unfold The Future CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 522 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the late 70's, progressive rock was accused of being pompus, pretentious and bloated. Tales of Topographic Oceans, wtih four epics on two LP's was held aloft as proof positive that progressive rock had gone wildly awry. Mr. Roine Stolt, in Kaipa's early stages, was obviously oblivious to these accusations. He wallows in the excessiveness.

Unfold the Future, Roine's eighth studio effort as front man for the Flower Kings, relishes excessiveness to the point of verging on cumbersome. Nothing appears to have been left on the cutting room floor and I believe if you checked, the studio's bathroom sink would be misssing.

Unfold the future has a lot to offer, maybe too much. It's a great album with a lot of variations, hard rock, smooth jazz, frenzied jams, strong melodies... eclectic. TFK's strong suit is the epic. Long multi-sectioned songs, with more time changes then a swiss watch factory. The biggest problem I have with Unfold the Future, or any TFK album for that matter, is the lyrics. What should be heart-felt comes off as sappy or juvenile. Jon Anderson seems to serve as the blueprint from which the Kings find inspiration with overtly spiritual, often mystic words that leave me thinking "bad poetry" as opposed to enlightened.

Instrumentally, these guys are an incredible group of musicians. Reingold and Csorsz are rock solid and among progs best rhythm sections. Roine Stolt is a chamleonic guitarist, shape shifting in the guise of so many other guitar heroes style. Tomas Bodin is an inventive keyboardist and he too has the ability to mimic other keyboard wizard's style. My favorite tunes on this release are the instrumentals. Some would call those pieces the padding, I, however, find those works the most sincere.

Almost any prog fan could find something worthwhile on this disc. Pieces you would want to come back to or compile for single sleeker, more solid package. TFK do excess very well.

Dan Bobrowski | 3/5 |


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