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The Flower Kings - Back In The World Of Adventures CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 548 ratings

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4 stars It's holiday season in my country. All offices closed their business for a full one week. It's a celebration time after a full fasting month. I drove the miles in Jakarta as well as Bandung (100 miles away from Jakarta) with a stack of CDs in my car: The Flower Kings (5 albums), Kamelot, Nightwish, Symphony X, IQ and some local bands such as Gigi, God Bless. Coincidently my prog colleague, Tatan was listening to TFK first album. He sent me a short message on my cell phone: "The first album of TFK is really great!". What a coincidence! I received his message while I was listening to "My Cosmic Lover" in my car, driving around Bandung city. Life is so beautiful with prog music and prog friends. BTW, Tatan is a also a die hard collector of Led Zeppelin. He owns approx 150 original bootleg CDs of LZ. He is a true collector! He also has a state of the art, high end, stereo set in his music room.

Having collected a bunch of TFK albums, I think I should start reviewing their old albums. This is my opinion about their first album. (Am not sure whether or not this is their first as I got confused with Roine Stolt "The Flower Kings" that I have so far assumed as their first album).

"World Of Adventure" kicks off with a sort of ambient, spacey keyboard and piano sounds. It then flows nicely with choirs line followed with full music when all instruments play at the same time. The guitar part at the beginning is played in rhythm style with soft riffs. Keyboard flows nicely altogether with bass line. The music flows from moderate to faster tempo with some transitions. In the middle of the track I can sense clearly the sound of GENESIS's "The Fountain of Salmacis" of Nursery Crime album. This happens with the keyboard sound at approximately minute 7:58.

"Atomic Prince / Kaleidoscope" is a sort of continuous instrumental music performed in moderate tempo with symphonic touch especially the keyboard sounds. The solo guitar is really stunning, accentuated with excellent keyboard sound. The music turns to slow in the middle of the track with some spacey style (reminds me to Ozric Tentacles') until it fades away with soft keyboard sound. The bass line is nice during this part. It then continues with acoustic guitar work until it ends. It's an anti climax.

"Go West Judas" is my all-time favorite TFK track. Performed in relatively fast tempo with rocking style and great voice line. This is the track that truly represents the kind of TFK sound: continuous music with stunning guitar (by Roine Stolt) and great bass line (by Michael Stolt) that flows naturally throughout the track. Oh boy . I love the guitar solo during interlude. Mr. Roine Stolt, you are really a great prog guitar maestro!! The drumming stools by Jaime Salazar is also excellent. This song is very strong in songwriting and has a tight structure. Brilliant work!

"Train To Nowhere" starts mellow with powerful voice line of Roine Stolt with soft keyboard and some howling guitar sound. It's an excellent intro. It is then combined with keyboard sound. The music turns high but still in a mellow style. The guitar work is really excellent. It flows seamlessly to fifth track "Oblivion Road" which is heavily influenced by jazz - especially on the way keyboard is played and the bass line. This is a nice instrumental track with guest appearance of Ulf Wallander on Soprano Sax. It's a kind of treat for us because this is really jazz tunes. The only difference is probably on the howling guitar sound performed in this track.

The 6th track "Theme For A Hero" starts with a keyboard work and flows smoothly in full music style with guitar and keyboard as dominant instruments. At approx minute 2:00 I can sense a sound of GENESIS' "Hairless Heart" of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" album. Luckily there is some piano sound that enriches the music.

"My Cosmic Lover" is another favorite of mine. It has a continuous structure, performed in a rocking style with dazzling bass line and powerful voice line. It's a straight forward music with great guitar work.

"The Wonder Wheel" is an instrumental piece exploring the Hackettian guitar style accompanied by a keyboard sound. It reminds me to Steve Hackett solo album. It's a mellow track with stunning guitar backed up by sort of programmed sound.

"Big Puzzle" is actually a great track where it has some memorable segments. Unfortunately this track is lacking in structure. For my taste, this track does not bring the ultimate climax at the end of the track. Even though, the intro part with piano and guitar work are really stunning. The guitar sound is fascinating especially just before the great voice line come into play. It starts mellow and it's really cool at the beginning. It reminds me to the early King Crimson style especially on Fripp's guitar style. The music turns to faster tempo at approx min 2:30 demonstrating guitar and keyboard. It's really nice on this part. I especially like when keyboard takes part as solo on approx min 3:30. Uugghh . what a wonderful piece this part is!!!! This ends until approx min 7:00. The rest is just a mellow music with no climax. If you compare this with YES "Close to the Edge" it is very clear that there is a climax at the end of the track. This does not happen with "Big Puzzle". It fades away .. with no memorable climax. So, it lacks structural integrity. And, unfortunately it happens at the concluding track.

Overall, I give this album with 4/5 rating. As a debut album, this is a good start! I recommend you to own the CD. GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 4/5 |


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