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Roine Stolt - The Flower King CD (album) cover


Roine Stolt


Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 288 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars Though labeled as a Roine Stolt solo album, this should be considered the very first Flower Kings album. The album is missing the input of key members Tomis Bodin, who appeared on the next album, and Jonas Reingold, who joined the bad for Space Revolver. Roine, therefore, wrote all the material and played most of the instruments. Nevertheless, the album still sounds like early Flower Kings.

The Flower King is dominated by guitar, with the keyboards taking a more rhythmic role. The album is also mostly instrumental, with Roine doing most of the vocals. I think the thing I like most about this album is its flawless mixing of great melodies and tasteful extended (and rather jazzy) guitar jams. Like Hackett, Howe, and Gilmore, Roine Stolt definitely has his own style of guitar playing that is immediately recognizable, and has quickly become one of my favorites of the instrument. The album starts of with the eponymous 'The Flower King,' (10/10) which is practically an anthem for the subsequent band and their music. Positive, upbeat, melodic and guitar driven. It's the only song to feature Hasse on vocals besides the ending reprise. An amazing song and an appropriate first song for the Flower Kings.

'Dissonata' (10/10) is similar in length and style to the The Flower King. It starts with some dramatic Stolt vocals and develops into one of the best melodies/solos at around the four minute mark before ending similarly to how it began.

'The Magic Circus of Zeb' (10/10) is probably my favorite song of the album. It has some amazing melodies up until around the three minute mark where it features, in my opinion, Roine Stolt's best solo, which is filled with guitar distortion and in a Gilmour-esque style.

'Close Your Eyes' (6/10) is just a short little song with a nice atmosphere of guitars and vocals, but otherwise is rather uninteresting.

'The Pilgrims Inn' is a fantastic instrumental featuring great guitar work by Roine. The sax is also a prominent instrument here and will continue to be in albums to come.

'The Sounds of Violence' (10/10) is an crazy upbeat tune with some awesome melodies on both guitar and keyboard.

'Hummanizzimo' (10/10) is easily one of The Flower King's better epics, along with Stardust We Are and I Am the Sun. The song keeps hitting you with one melody after another, and when there isn't one, Roine's tasteful soloing keeps your interest.

The final track, 'Scanning the Greenhouse' (8/10) serves as a loose reprise for the first song.

Overall, this album is probably the best Flower Kings album (if you attribute it to them), and one of my favorite albums of all time. Luckily, Roine and company will continue to produce music similar in quality to this in their future albums.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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