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The Flower Kings - Islands CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 188 ratings

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Tull Tales
5 stars OK, I am a fanboy. I love pretty much everything Roine Stolt is involved in, but this truly is a great album in my opinion. This one is comprised of shorter more concise SONGS, while still retaining all of the elements of the Flower Kings' sound. Subtle, nuanced, beautiful, melodic, complex... You get the idea.

Others have mentioned the drums being mixed a little lower, which reminds me of most of my 70's favorites where this was quite common. It does allow for the melodic complexities to shine, but make no mistake, you can still hear every nuance of Mirko DeMaio's playing and it is some great playing at that. It is definitely more rock drumming than some of TFK's former drummers, but really works well.

I really enjoy Zach Kamins' contributions. He still utilizes many of the classic keyboard sounds we are used to hearing in TFK albums, but also interjects some more modern sounds which keeps this album sounding fresh. In addition, his orchestral flourishes add an element that I have always thought would work well in TFK's music, and it does! His instrumentals are also a little more "technical" sounding than most of TFK's music, which is an interesting addition to the sound.

Jonas Reingold's bass playing is just fantastic. Sometimes thundering, some times gentle, always perfect. Hasse Froberg's vocals continue to be top notch whether singing lead or adding layers of harmony.

Roine's guitar really shines on this album, and there are LOTS of opportunities to hear it. There are many solos and they are all great! He is such an emotional and tasteful player and I love his tone.

The Flower Kings have carved out a sound that, while certainly informed by the 70's greats (of which Roine was involved via Kaipa), is uniquely their own. I love this and all of their albums.

Bonus: Roger Dean cover art! You can't go wrong.

Tull Tales | 5/5 |


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