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The Flower Kings - Space Revolver CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 535 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Space Revolver was the first single disc release from The Flower Kings in the new millenium, as well it was the first single disc release after a string of double disc releases. What you'll find here is a more concise and to the point disc, or so they want you to think. There still seems to be a massive filler problem with the group and while they don't play any terribly bad songs on this album, the album could have used a lot of refinement. Roine Stolt still leads the group with passionate guitar and his unique vocal approach, Tomas Bodin swirls catchy synthesizer lines with Roine's guitar licks, Jonas Reingold and Jamie Salazar offer up a great rhythmic performance never really missing a beat rhythmically, and Hasse Froberg, well he's there for the most part.

The album is bookended by the piece I Am the Sun, which in reality is a 26 minute epic of sprawling and... well... epic proportions. The first part, which is about 16 minutes long features some very catchy riffing in the beginning and some soaring synthesizers underneath some melodic guitars. It may also be one of the heaviest riffs they've come up (even though it isn't terribly heavy). This two part epic is in my eyes one of the best songs Roine Stolt has ever written. Even though the soprano sax in the middle sounds a bit forced and it is really too noodly for me, part one is the best piece of the album... so can the rest be good?

What you'll find in the middle of the epic is a mixture of shorter pieces and longer pieces. Dream on Dreamer is the only piece written by Tomas Bodin and Roine Stolt on this album. Now usually I like what Bodin writes, but I find this piece to be a bit boring, with some contrived saxophone. Rumble Fish Twist is an 8 minute instrumental that gives every musician in the group some of the spotlight. Great bass work from Reingold on this one. Monster Within is the second epic of the album, and it takes the upbeat feeling that the Flower Kings always convey and it spins it upside down. This song is dark, heavy, and brooding, but as fellow reviewer Zitro said above me, I can't get into the distorted vocal approach.

The next five songs are more or less throwaways, but they aren't that bad. Chicken Farmer song has some interesting harmonies between Froberg and Stolt and some interesting soloing from Stolt. Underdog has some bagpipe type sounds in the beginning and some overly solid drumming from Salazar. Some interesting slide guitar and soloing from Stolt can also be heard on this song. You Don't Know What You've Got is the only song on this album not written by Roine Stolt, this time around it is Hasse Froberg who gets the writing credits. His pieces are usually stylistically different than Roine Stolt's pieces. This piece has a more acoustic and gentle feeling, with some easy percussion and some uplifting (sometimes crossing into sappy) lyrics.

Slave to Money and A King's Prayer both bring back memories of earlier Flower Kings affairs. It is a gentler piece that reminds me a bit of the preceding album Flower Power with some interesting organ riffs and guitar solos. A King's Prayer is similar to Froberg's song on this album in the beginning because it has a very acoustic edge and some simple keyboard and gentle percussion. But the song quickly turns into an epic sounding piece that has pounding chords and some interesting soloing from Stolt. I Am the Sun, part two, ends the album with a great reiteration of the main theme of the song as well as some fantastic playing on Bodin and Reingold's parts. Coupled with the opening piece this may be the best Flower Kings epic to date.

In the end, while this album has some very strong pieces, they sandwich weaker pieces that seem more like filler than anything else. Still, though, the Flower Kings have a formula to their albums and it seems to work. I like this album, but I can't really say that this is the best Flower Kings album I own. Still, it's loads better than Adam & Eve. 3.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |


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