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The Flower Kings - Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording 2003 CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 199 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I have for a long while felt admiration for The Flower Kings and their music. They are one of if not the best Modern day progressive rock band in the modern day with their eccentric uses of rock music and symphonic, almost classical like music. Their albums have always been a source of drive for me this year, and so far I have heard 6 of their studio albums, and they were all spectacular, if not really interesting and idiosyncratic. They are so joyful in how they play, especially with their best elements, their suites. A lot of their albums have these 20+ minute epics that are as magical as the rest of the songs on the albums. They clearly show the magic the band breeds out with their songs, and their voluminous form of playing and experimentation. They clearly love making them with them happening so much. So this had me thinking on what could make them even better than their already epic nature on their studio releases. The obvious answer is them being played live in a concert, after all classical suites have been a good source for concert halls, and that is no different for other progressive rock bands, so I was very excited before hearing this live album, and my god is it good.

When I say good, I mean good. Every track here is played at a very perfect quality to where I'd say they are just as enjoyable as their studio counterparts. Even moreso, they feel like they are having a great time while playing, especially with songs like The Truth Will Set You Free, Humanizzimo, and Stardust We Are. Their playing sounds energetic, even on the slower parts, and Roine Stolt's vocals are so beautiful and filled with passion I cannot help but fall in love with them. Speaking of Roine Stolt, I love how they played on of his songs on one of his old albums, while I haven't checked out any of his works, this album gets me interested in checking them out. I should probably add that they are called epics for a reason, because my god are they epic. They just have such a giant and bombastic sound to them, almost like the band has become an orchestra, even though they are just 5 guys. The beginnings to these songs pump you up so good (Jesus that sounds wrong) and the ends give you such an amazing climatic finish, they are just too beautiful to be under appreciated. I especially like The Truth With Set You Free, this 31 minute suite is such a great way at starting this amazing live performance since it showcases perfectly how the band can come together and make something so fully formed and realized. It is honestly some of the best progressive, if not music in general I have ever heard.

Now there are some critiques. For one, the tracks are long. Personally I really love these long tracks but I can understand how they could be exhausting to some, especially when they happen one after another. The next big suite after another can get tiring, heck sometimes I feel a little worn out after hearing so many during my day. Another thing is that it's not really for everyone. This goes with most progressive rock or heck most alternative music in general but this feels a bit more skewed in favor of more experienced progressive fans who has heard stuff similar to this before but less ginormous in scale, and moreover, this is 2 hours long, which isn't a lot, god knows there are albums longer, but still it's fairly long for even a live album, which can become a bit of a detriment to anyone really, but these are very minor issues that don't out way this amazing album.

I'll just say, this is a masterpiece. The suites are so epic and beautiful, the band sounds so energetic and lively, and best of all it doesn't waste your time, but it has a bit of a weak replay value due to how long it is and since suites can get a little tiring, but this is still incredible and I highly recommend checking it out.

Dapper~Blueberries | 5/5 |


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