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The Flower Kings - Unfold The Future CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.87 | 509 ratings

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Oh yeah . what do you expect more from a progressive music album if the musicians offer you with a music which has a balanced between complexity and harmony yet it's adventurous in nature? Well, this is the case with this album. Even though this album was released too soon after their previous release "The Rainmaker" (2001) this follow-up album still have the same excellent quality as its predecessor.

Disc One (72:00)

The first time I heard the opening epic "The Truth Will Set You Free" (30:40), it did blow me away at first spin and I immediately fall in love with it. Yes, I was actually confused with the long introduction but when the Hasse Fröberg ' vocal starts to roll into the music, oh my God . what a great harmony the boys in the band have composed this complex epic. In terms of style, this epic blends various elements such as jazz, rock and avant-garde in a very nice way. The result is a mixture of elements that seem like too pretentious. But, if you listen to it with an open mind, you will get the true essence of progressive music here. Not only excellent composition that this epic offers us but it gives a balanced portion of its musician's virtuosity. Jonas is still very dynamic and inventive with his bass guitar playing; combined with dazzling drum work by Zoltan. Roine Stolt also still gives his excellent guitar fills throughout the epic. The epic also provides variations between high and low points, complex and quiet arrangements. It's a true masterpiece epic! [By the way, I remember vividly that on the same 17 Aug (Indonesian Independence Day) last year, I started the day with Gentle Giant's "The Power and The Glory" and writing a review about the album which contained a song that talks about independence: "Proclamation". And this morning, I started my day with "The Truth Will Set You Free" - oh .. what an accidental coincidence.]

"Monkey Business" (4:20) brings the music in the similar vein as "Rainmaker" style providing excellent combination of rhythm section (bass guitar, keyboard and drums) with melodic singing. "I am not a monkey anymore. I've built a new house .". While the guitar fills the music nicely especially its nice riffs during singing verses. The next track "Black And White" (7:40) starts mellow during intro part and the music moves into complex one at approx minute 1:40 showing chock full of solid bass lines by Jonas. "Christianopel" (8:30) is a wonderful track that blends avant-garde and jazz into an excellent composition. Well, at first listen I was impatient about this track because the first half is occupied with an ambient music like typical avant-garde - exploratory in nature. But it helps to set the atmosphere for the later half of the track which comprises wonderful improvisation of guitar, keyboard, drums and bass. It's really cool man .! (with a prerequisite that you can enjoy jazz music, I think. If you like the kinds like Pat Metheny, Al Di Meola, John McLauhglin you can enjoy this track, I'm sure). Next is "Silent Inferno" (14:25) that contains energetic music combining soaring keyboard work (solo and rhythm) at the beginning in relatively fast tempo style. It reminds me to the music of Return To Forever but this one has a floating style that makes it really good. The music only turns into quiet passage when the voice line enters the music. Disc One is concluded with "The Navigator" (3:15) and "Vox Humana".

Disc Two (64:35)

Disc Two starts beautifully with "Genie In A Bottle" (8:10) in medium upbeat tempo combining powerful vocal, guitar rhythm, and solid bass lines plus piano work during quiet passages. " Fast Lane" (6:35) sees the band playing the music in different style with accentuated singing style in relatively fast tempo. "Grand Old World" (5:10) is an improvisational song in nature, combining vocals, vibes, sax, keyboard, percussion and guitar in jazz-avant-garde fashion. "Soul Vortex" (6:00) continues the vein of its previous track and this time Zoltan is given his chance to improvise his drumming augmented with guitar, bass and keyboard. It's an excellent composition. I like the guitar solo in this track and also the dynamic drumming - of course. "Rollin The Dice" (4:15) brings the music back to The Flower Kings style and this time with soaring keyboard that sounds like a Hammond with duo vocals. "The Devils Danceschool" (3:45) is to me like a jamming song combining multi instruments: bass guitar, drums, trumpet, keyboards all of them are performed in discrete style - no continuous flow of music. It's like every musician performs his own solo at the same time. At one point they gather into a cohesive whole as a track. It's very exploratory in nature.

"Man Overboard" is a melodic mellow track with powerful lyrics: "Some work hard to pay their dues, whereas some just waste it and blow the fuse .." which features excellent guitar fills combined with piano. "Solitary Shell" (3:10) begins mellow with simple piano touch that features voice line. It's like a melodic ballad track. The album concludes with another long track "Devils Playground" (24:30) which has the same quality with the album opening track in terms of composition (structure and songwriting), musicianship and overall performance. The track starts ambient for the first three minutes but then the music blasts off energetically with great keyboard work and effects just before the vocal enters. It's another excellent track. If you listen this track with an open mind, I bet you will get full satisfaction! (prerequisite: you can enjoy jazz music).


What do you want me to explore further with the above very detailed write-up featuring [almost] track by track review? Or, it's probably you get bored and feel tired with the review as it's too long. My big apology and many thanks that you read it until this point. I cannot help it. Imagine how these genius musicians had worked together to craft this wonderful composition together? Think about it. And I think, they deserve a novel-long review. My review is too short compared to what it's supposed to be. But that's capability issue. This is the only thing I can write. And . my conclusion is that this album is a true masterpiece progressive rock album. It has everything required in progressive music: tight composition (arrangements, structure, songwriting), great musicianship, great production (including sonic quality which really satisfies my ears and I can enjoy the music in LOUD volume with balanced sound. Fantastic!) and overall performance is great. Beware! This album contains 60% jazz, 20% avant-garde and 20% rock music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Jakarta, 17 August 2005 - Indonesian 60th Independence Day. MERDEKA!!! (ehm . I'm now thinking of playing Disc Two "Gettysburg" of Iced Earth Glorious Burden album. And after that Keenan Nasution's "Negriku Cintaku". What a heroic day man!)

Gatot | 5/5 |


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