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The Flower Kings - Islands CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 239 ratings

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4 stars "Fantasy tangerine" keyboard landscapes are forever behind!" But the blues crunchy guitar tunes intensified. Complex, sometimes unnecessary, but this is the nature of the most sophisticated and multifaceted neo-progressive group titled The Flower Kings. It is not clear what was the reason, but two double albums in 2 years are a titanic success. While both records are great! Since 2012 - from the album "Banks of Eden" (which your humble servant considers one of the three strongest releases by TFK) - a strong bias towards a powerful guitar sound has been taken, which has benefited the musicians. And the last record to date is no exception. The music is still full of optimism and unrestrained fantasies of Roine Stolt, only with a different approach. The album is imbued with morning mood and layered guitar landscapes, and is very suitable for displaying large-scale scenes that are literally "off the ground". This time the music, almost devoid of sharp jumps, rather resembles the transition from "hill to river". The main drawback of the album (although more likely the last 10 years) is the vocalist's somewhat worn out: the voice has become too quiet and almost devoid of past emotions. Years are felt in it, which is depressing, given the general "pacifying" canvas of the group. It is still difficult for me to choose the highlight, because in fact all tracks are insanely interesting. So, "From The Ground" is a good example of a classic TFK with all their soaring chants and "widescreen bridges". Morning News is a fun, almost Christmas "connective tissue" between powerful album hits. Its initial simplicity is deceptive, and very soon it turns into sublime sadness, which culminates in a virtuoso and rather dynamic "Broken". And, in general, the whole album is incredibly good, the material is of the highest quality, despite the rather spoiled vocals. Perhaps the only miss is "Tangerine". Hey guys! You shouldn't write silly songs with a lack of melody and integrity. Perhaps, only it completely falls out of the album - and indeed not in the spirit of The Flower Kings. Everything else is better just to listen, because I will not have enough nerves to describe 2 discs, superbly played and complex pieces, as well as your desire to read all this! In any case, the dying world of the neo-progressive is still tapping out of the grave, and in this case, it broadcasts from it quite confidently and beautifully. True, no one knows how much of this is left ...
Devolvator | 4/5 |


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