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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 634 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Their First Masterpiece.

It is with their first album with new (at the time) star drummer Zoltan Csorsz that TFK produced their first masterpiece. This is up there with the best of the 70s progressive rock albums, a remarkable achievement given this two-CD album is almost 140 minutes long, and TFK have a history of putting at least a couple of duds on each album. But that is not the case on this album. While some tracks are better than others, every song here is either very good or excellent. On this album, TFK explore more of their improvised jazz side, with four whole tracks ("Christianopel", "Soul Vortex", "The Devil's Danceschool" and "Too late for Tomatos") the result of in-the-studio improvs. I wish TFK did this for other albums too, as I think it really adds to the flow of the album. The improvs provide respite and a change of mind in between the more structured and complex compositions. Indeed, this album flows extremely well musically. While I think albums like "Rainmaker" and "Adam and Eve" suffered in part from a poor ordering of tracks thus breaking the flow, on this album the order works great to keep me listening for the entirety (although, at 140 mins, one needs a break between the two CDs. Every members shines here. Of course, Roine Stolt is the main song-writer, and the musicality of his writing and his excellent playing is ever-present. But Jonas Reingold's amazing bass playing also features strongly, along with Csorsz. This album also features common guests Ulf Wallander, Hasse Bruniusson, and for this album, guest vocals by Daniel Gildenlow (who would become a full member of the band for one album on 'Adam and Eve'). But it is the music that is the star here. This album contains two of TFK's best epics, the opener "The Truth will Set you Free", and the even-better "Devil's Playground", which has become one of my favourite symphonic rock epics. Devil's Playground flows directly without interuption into the improv "Too Late for Tomatos" closing the album, which works very well, as the improv gives the listener some time to engage with the end of the epic instead of dropping the album right at the end of the best song. In between these two epics are a series of TFK tracks which stand among their best. Here they are more mature and have found more of their own voice than on earlier albums like 'Back in the World of Adventures', 'Retropolis', and 'Stardust We Are', which although great had more clear references to older heroes like Genesis and Crimson. On 'Unfold the Future', TFK fully establish their own sound and thus come into their own. After the epics, my favourite tunes here include "Monkey Business", "Silent Inferno", "Genie in a Bottle", "Fast Lane", and "Solitary Shell". All round, up there with the best of symphonic rock. I give this album 9.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which places it among the elite of the PA masterpieces, the band's first of (only) two (the other is "Sum of No Evil"). This is a rare album that will last decades on the playlist. For sure 5 stars.

Walkscore | 5/5 |


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