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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 | 444 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

natewait
5 stars The Flower Kings are one of the first modern progressive rock bands I ever heard, and they remain one of my favorites today. To me, this album sums up everything I love about The Flower Kings. Typically, The Flower Kings release double albums, and I find there to be several weaker songs on these albums that drag the album as a whole down, even though certain songs on each of those albums are masterpieces. Sum of No Evil, on the other hand, is extremely consistent and doesn't contain any weaker songs. It is a strong album from start to finish, which is the reason why it is held with such high regard in my collection and why I consider it my favorite Flower Kings album.

The album starts with one of my favorite Flower Kings songs of all time, the uplifting "One More Time". The song begins with a soft piano melody from Tomas Bodin before the band all kicks in and the song is on its way.This song makes me think of Yes at their best. The band sounds like they are having tons of fun as they are playing this music, and all of the great elements the Flower Kings have become known for are there. I love the drumming of Zoltan Csórsz and I'm so glad he is back on this album. It gives the album a vibrancy and fun that is missing on albums he is not present on. Roine Stolt is amazing as always playing some very tasteful guitar. This song has tons of great playing by Tomas Bodin and of course great fretless bass from bassmaster Jonas Reingold. I don't want to forget the great singing of Hasse Froberg who makes the catchy refrain work so well. There are many great harmonies throughout this track that once again bring Yes to mind. Everytime I hear this song, I indeed want to "play that song one more time" because it is so brilliant and showcases everything that I love about this band (ok, that was pretty cheesy even for me).

"Love Is The Only Answer" begins with the great singing of Roine Stolt. I really enjoy his voice and feel it is very important to The Flower Kings sound. This is the epic of the album, and it is incredible from start to finish. It starts rather slowly and the main chorus is introduced, which is another very catchy one. This immediately leads to a heavy section where Hasse Froberg is singing in his strong rock voice over some heavy guitar riffs and organ. It is an awesome contrast to the uplifting beginning. Hasse's voice is incredible here, definitely a great compliment to Roine's voice. There is some awesome saxophone as well that plays in the next section of the song that is quite jazzy with some great jazz guitar soloing from Roine Stolt. From there, the song moves seamlessly through many great sections, some that are high powered jams and some that are melodic and beautiful. All the band members get their chances to shine throughout this 25 minute piece, and the result, for me, is truly breathtaking. I do want to mention that Roine Stolt performs one of his most brilliant solos at the end of this song that always leaves me in awe of his skills as a guitarist.

"Trading My Soul" is the chance for the listener to take a breather in between the massive high energy epics of the album. It is a moving ballad with an inspired chorus sung by Hasse Froberg. This is one of my favorites among the Flower Kings ballads. "The Sum of No Reason" starts out softly with some atmospheric keyboards before Roine Stolt's voice comes in. This leads into a powerhouse of a track that is actually one of the heavier, more chaotic ones of the album. I love the craziness of this track, where all members are playing at the top of their games. The drumming by Zoltan just blows me away in this track. "Flight 999" is an instrumental track and happens to be the shortest on the album. This song is just a complete blast to listen to with quirky sound effects and some great playing by Tomas Bodin. The most notable thing about this song is some intense, insane drumming from Zoltan- this guy is truely a killer drummer!

"Life In Motion" is the grand finale, and sounds like two different songs merged into one track. In the first half, it is a relatively simple song (for Flower Kings standards) with an uplifting and catchy chorus. The middle section has a more atmospheric section that reminds me of Yes before Roine Stolt comes in with a great guitar solo. I can't believe how many incredible guitar solos by Stolt are found throughout this whole album (and his whole career for that matter). Truly an incredible talent. The ending section of this song is one of my favorite moments of the whole album. "Its like coming home, coming again" makes me tear up each time I hear it. This is how I feel about the album as a whole, it feels like home to me and each time I come back to it, I feel I'm coming home again. This section is so majestic and beautiful, I just have no words to adaquately describe it. It is a truly magnificent closing to an amazing masterpiece of an album.

I love this album with all my heart and I never tire of it. When it came out it stayed in my CD player exclusively for months and it was a struggle when I finally decided it was time to play something new. It is just brilliant from the opening piano to the closing majesty of "Life In Motion". I am so grateful for such a talented and creative band and this album is the peak of that talent and creativity. I can't want to see what they come up with next. This is one of my top ten favorite albums and definitely a masterpiece in my opinion.

natewait | 5/5 |

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