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

BANKS OF EDEN

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 604 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Banks of Eden" is the 11th full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock act The Flower Kings. The album was released through InsideOut Music in June 2012. The album is available in a "regular" 1 CD version featuring 5 tracks and in a 2 CD/ 2 LP version which features additional 4 tracks. Knowing the bandīs usual release rate itīs been an unusual long recording break as "The Sum Of No Evil" was released as far back as 2007. Thereīs been one lineup change since that album as drummer Zoltan Csórsz has been replaced by Felix Lehrmann. The 5 track, 53:25 minutes long album is an unusually short album for The Flower Kings considering the bandīs usual standards, but maybe the long time between albums and the fact that the band have opted not to do everything they can to fill out the full 80 minutes of playing time on a CD has payed off in terms of a consistently high quality album?

Well..."Numbers" opens the album in great style. Itīs arguably the highlight of the album. At 25:20 minutes itīs the longest track on the album and itīs almost needless to say that itīs structurally a very adventurous song that goes through quite a few dynamic changes and atmospheres. Itīs generally a pretty dark track though and in some ways it reminds me of "Devils Playground" from "Unfold the Future (2002)". While itīs certainly a complex track, the fact that themes reoccur in reworked versions throughout the track makes it appear as one memorable track instead of appearing as a number of shorter tracks put together to form a longer track. "For The Love Of Gold" features a more light and uplifting mood and is mostly sung by Hasse Fröberg. "Pandemonium" takes a more weird turn in the vocal department with some psychadelic effects on the vocals, but also features some really nice soloing. "For Those About To Drown" is quite the intriguing track too and then "Rising The Imperial" closes the album in great style. The latter features re-worked themes from "Numbers" and thus provides the album with a melodic concept. At least when it comes to the two tracks that bookend the album.

The 4 extra tracks on CD2 on the 2 disc version of the album are decent, but besides the beautiful instrumental "Illuminati", I wouldnīt go out of my way to get a hold of the 2 disc version. Itīs clearly on CD1 that the band have placed the most interesting compositions.

The music style is as usual symphonic progressive rock strongly influenced by the likes of Yes and Genesis mixed with hard rock/psychadelic rock influences and some more avant garde moments that at times remind me of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention (they are few on this album though). In that respect there is nothing new under the sun on "Banks of Eden". Itīs just another well produced, well played, well written, high quality release by The Flower Kings. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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