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The Flower Kings - Banks Of Eden CD (album) cover

BANKS OF EDEN

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 615 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

darkshade
5 stars The Flower Kings return with a new album after almost 5 years of absence. After releasing 10 albums, four of which were full double albums, in less than 13 years, the amount of time since their last album "The Sum Of No Evil" may have seemed like an eternity to some.

I've known about The Flower Kings for over 7 years now, but only in the last couple of years have I really explored their extensive discography. So in the two years leading up to the release of this new album "Banks of Eden", I was pretty much catching up, and not waiting for a new album like most other fans. Thus, I did not have as much high expectations as other did. I finished collecting all their studio albums only a few months before the release of this new album. My point is, some may have had high expectations for this album, and maybe felt let down by the lack of material (the album is a mere 55 minutes long, very short by TFK standards), or felt underwhelmed by the music presented here.

For me, as a relative TFK newbie compared to long-time fans, I could not have been happier with Banks of Eden. Also, having been going through their previous output, I learned early on that you cannot judge ANY Flower Kings album on the first few listens. My first listen was fun, but only on repeated listens did the nuances and creativity of this album reveal itself.

The epic track "Numbers" is up there with previous TFK epics, in fact, surpassing some of them. The big climax near the end of the song is one of the best moments in Flower Kings history, and has given me chills every time I listen to it. Roine Stolt plays some absolutely great guitar in that section, as well as the rest of the song. Just this epic track, alone, is worth getting the album for. But there's more...

For The Love Of Gold has some great Moon Safari-like harmonies, and excellent keyboard work from Tomas Bodin. Pandemonium has bassist Jonas Reingold (who is probably his most reserved on this album), playing some really great odd-time bass lines. He also wrote the final song, "Rising The Imperial", who's main theme can be heard throughout the album, giving the album a concept album feel, and great way to bookend the album with from Numbers which has the Imperial theme in its opening.

As I said before, I just recently collected all their studio albums, so their music is still fresh for me, including the lesser-liked albums. Everything is solid, even some of the band's best. I can easily view this album as one of their best, and the condensed nature of the album makes you just want more, and don't all the best albums leave you wanting more?

Luckily, there is a special edition with a bonus disc of 4 more songs, though only equaling out to about 22 minutes; these tunes are very good and worth getting if you can get the special edition.

One of the best Flower Kings albums, and not a bad place to start if you are new to them. It's not a very long albums, all the songs are great, and I'm excited that the band will be releasing a follow up already. I consider many of the band's albums to be masterpieces, and this is certainly one of them. Great, great, great album!!!

darkshade | 5/5 |

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