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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 634 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Way to go Fish-Van!

It's time's like these that I regret giving other albums four stars when I was on the fence of wither it deserved three or four. Then an album like this comes along and you know instantly that it deserves no less then four stars. To date, this is 'The Flower Kings' best album. Everything comes together so well, and for once 'The Flower Kings' didn't over stretch their reach, which they've been known to do. They kept this album simple, and it pays off so well in the end. The listener doesn't feel overwhelmed after listening to this album, and it's just a very enjoyable listen from start to finish with absolutely no low points at all from the first song to the last.

After listening to this album a number of times, one thing seems to be apparent throughout the album, that being that it's weird. The first thing to show this is the album cover. Its half fish, half van..a Mervan if you will. But this album presents many very strange sounds to the forefront. The haunting fluctuating guitar and keyboard sounds found in old sci-fi films when aliens come down are scattered throughout the album. It adds to the overall effect of the sound.

The album starts off with a bang with the first song 'One More Time'. The explosion of sound found within the first few minuets grabs the listener's attention immediately and capturing the mood and tone of the album. From there on in, we get great 'Flower Kings' sounds that we've grown to love, with no low points at all.

The odd thing about this album (among a lot of other things) is the epical 25:50 minuet song 'Love is the Answer' (what was the question again?) is the weakest song on the album, when it's customary for 'The Flower Kings' strongest song on their previous albums usually fall on their longer songs on the album. It just seems as though this song is not as well grounded as the other songs, never really establishing a foundation. This is almost 26 minuets of great and beautiful music, but structurally speaking, this isn't really such a good song. Luckily, it flows unnoticeably into its next song 'Trading my Soul', which picks up the peaces. The end guitar on this song is superb, a real treat and it's this point that really makes the song so powerful.

'The Sum of No Reason' is a nice long song, although no where near the length of 'Love is the Answer'. After the grand ending of 'Trading my Soul' the song starts off in a soft mood, only to slam you back into that grand sound that started the album. Unlike 'Love is the Answer' this song has a defined structure to the song, coming back to 'I hope that what they say is true: that God can see through the souls of men.' True, 'Love is the Answer' has 'there's no such this as perfect..' but it's scattered through different moods and tones. Musically, this technique is a nice change, but as noted before, for a song, it's not so enjoyable to listen to on its own.

Back to 'The Sum of No Reason', it's a very enjoyable song, taking the listener through a series of different moods, tones, and places. Again, it holds onto the very 'strange' sounds which make this album very definitive among other 'Flower Kings' albums. It even uses a great stand alone guitar sound that 'Trading my Soul' used, making this song so enjoyable. After this song we get the weirdest song on the album, and posibly in 'Flower Kings' history: 'Flight 999 (Brimstone Air)' using countless sound effects and strange time signatures. I love how this song comes together near the end, as through all musicians for the first part of the song were just playing what they felt should be played and then coming together to put everything in it's right place.

The final song on the album 'Life in Motion' brings the weirdness home, starting with what sounds like 'the Garden Party' from Pink Floyd. But it brings us right back to that place which the previous songs set up. It uses the usual 'Flower Kings' sound and attitude, what makes this song so great, and one of my favorite 'Flower Kings' songs is the end, where you think the song stops, but that guitar picks right back up to play us out. If you thought the ending of 'Trading my Soul' and the mid section of 'The Sum of No Reason' had an impact, this has nothing on them. It's the build up that makes this one so monumental. It starts off slow and slowly grows and becomes irresistible, you find yourself wanting to hear it over and over again. It reminds me of 'Love Supreme' off of 'Adam and Eve', it has the same feel as 'Growing up filling up' when they say 'It's like coming home, coming home again.' Such an incredible song.

So in the end, this album is a very solid four star album. The closest 'The Flower Kings' have come to a complete masterpiece. I wouldn't rate this as a masterpiece simply because this is 78 minuets of great music and nothing more. There's really no point at which I find myself 'wowed' at the music, which only true masterpieces can do, but on the same page, I never find myself board. If you only get one 'Flower Kings' album, I'd suggest this one, it really is their best.

Four stars for the very strange Fish-Van.

mothershabooboo | 4/5 |


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