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The Flower Kings - By Royal Decree CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.99 | 83 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars As many of you all may know, The Flower Kings are one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite modern progressive rock acts. To me their work is top tier in many respects. From the beautiful and space like Stardust We Are, to the happy and fun filled Banks of Eden. I fully believe they can capture many essences of what makes Prog of today so fun to dive into for both young and old fans. Their music isn't perfect mind you, but they do have a great and consistent track record of great if not good albums. Their albums usually have great flows, great crescendos, amazing vocal work from Roine Stolt, and aspics that truly make them retro Prog legends.

With all that, I was obviously excited for their 2022 album release, By Royal Decree. After the album was released on streaming services, I was excited for what was to come from the album. Gotta say, I was quite surprised the first time hearing it.

The album definitely feels a lot different than most of the band's catalog. It's a lot less symphonic and takes a bit more of a rock sound and something a tad bit related to something like a Crossover Prog or a Eclectic Prog album. The starting track, The Great Pretender, introduces this new sound pretty nicely. Each song afterwards complements these less symphonic sounds and it feels like the band is less of an orchestra and more of a actual band. I don't mind this, though I won't deny that I do not have some sadness of the missing complexities of the act they had for most of their career.

However this album definitely has a new charm, being the complexities of these songs. I am not saying complex as in song structure, but complex as in lyrically and artistically. A lot of these songs are from the cutting room floor and they have some pretty conspicuous lyrics and ideas of the mind, soul, war, and many things that can be good head scratchers.

Though this album definitely has it's fair share of problems. This album is definitely a album with back problems. While the first few and last few songs are pretty excellent and makes me feel good, I will not deny the few middle songs are kinda forgettable. Not bad just kinda boring and or forgettable. The vocals are also a tiny bit wonky. I know Roine is a bit older, with him being in his 60s, I do feel like a lot of the times he misses the mark on the lot of the songs here, songs like The Darkness in You and Time The Great Healer especially.

If I could, I'd have Roine do a retake on the lot of these songs just so they don't sound a bit rusty.

So was this a good album? Yeah, I'd say it was pretty good, though it doesn't have what I need out of a Flower Kings album. It's definitely a grower album for me, I like what it pulls, but I might have to find a bit of a taste for the type of music that is found on this album. Not a bad album at all, but definitely not as good as I'd hope it'd be.

Dapper~Blueberries | 3/5 |


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