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Roine Stolt - Hydrophonia CD (album) cover


Roine Stolt


Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 131 ratings

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4 stars Everyone knows that Roine Stolt - whom altogether with Tomas Bodin have been the masterminds of The Flower Kings - is a genius composer and guitar player. But only through this album I can see that he can play other instruments excellently including: bass, keyboard and percussion. No one would argue about his capability in composing an excellent music, singing and playing excellent guitar work. Indeed he is also excellent in translating his composition into an excellent music with many of instruments were played by himself. To reduce production cost? It might be but that's not the point that I'm making. Even with his own work he can deliver excellent music by playing multi instruments in this beautifully crafted album.

"Cosmic Lodge" (7:13) kicks the album off with a reasonably long and nice guitar work accompanied with keyboard at the background which sometimes sounds like a church organ sound followed with a continuous music stream with firm bass lines and drum beats. What follow is an alternate play between sax and guitar melody in a beautiful composition. I can feel the sound of The Flower Kings minus vocal line. It's a wonderfully composed music, performed flawlessly the musicians. "Shipbuilding" (5:51) starts in a slow tempo featuring quite straight forward electric guitar melody with simple arrangement on rhythm section. The music changes during chorus and returns back as the original rhythm section. "Little Cottage by The Sea" is Roine's exploration of guitar and keyboard minus drum beats and bass. "Wreck of HMS Nemesis" (11:55) is a track that reminds me to Patrick Moraz and Syrinx collaborative album "Coexistence" that used pan pipe. This track is opened with pan pipe / flute work continued with alto sax augmented with guitar, accentuated by drum work. Overall, this song demonstrates a nice combination of guitar and sax, augmented with keyboards. The ending part is truly excellent as it reaches uplifting mood.

"Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack" (6:00) is composed in similar vein with the opening track - in terms of structure and style. The only difference, it starts with slow tempo music exploring keyboard and the followed by stunning guitar work. "Oceanna Baby Dolphin" (3:26) is a sweet music with soft touch in keyboard and guitar. "Nuclear Nemo" (6:27) brings the music back into an uplifting mood with a blast of music with Genesis- influence style. The music flows in a floating style accompanying great guitar work, augmented with keyboard. It's a very interesting track; energetic and dynamic. "Hydrophonia" (6:11) begins with an explorative keyboard sounds followed with chanting and soft keyboard solo in quiet passage augmented with guitar fills. The electric guitar provides melody that brings the music to flow in slow tempo, featuring alto sax work. AS far as style, this track is the most symphonic compared to other tracks. "Lobsterland Groove" (6:19) is an interesting track that gives an excellent combination of guitar, sax, percussion and bass guitar. It's an excellent composition and very enjoyable - especially on the rocking guitar work and sax solo. I really enjoy this track. The album concludes with "Seafood Kitchen Thing" (9:25) which has an intriguing intro and relatively fast speed music with keyboard sound effects followed with stunning electric guitar solo. It's a great closure!

On musicianship, other than Roine himself, I think Ulf Wallander plays his soprano saxophone wonderfully where his work has transcended the soul of the music excellently through smooth and soft sax playing. Jaime Salazar is an excellent drummer as you might have heard his contribution in early The Flower Kings albums.

It's an excellent addition to any prog collection. Recommended. Don't miss this CD if you really like the music of The Flower Kings. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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