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Roine Stolt - The Flower King CD (album) cover


Roine Stolt


Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 288 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After leaving Kaipa for a couple of unsuccessful projects, Roine Stolt returns with a solo album that would launch one of the greatest modern prog groups. Aptly titled The Flower King, it is everything you would expect, regardless of whether or not you already listen to The Flower Kings. Much of what The Flower Kings present is also presented here: great melodies, guitar solos, Ulf Wallander guest appearences on saxophone, Salazar and Brunisson on drums (though Salazar would assume full-time drum duties and Brunisson would be on percussion), and a couple appearances of Hans Froberg singing a few bars on the end pieces. Stolt plays the rest. As he is obviosuly not an expert with the keyboards or the bass, the guitars dominate the albums music. The bass and keys just provide what they must to complete the songs. It's nothing that warrants complaining though, considering this is a guitarist's solo album. And coming from that perspective, this album is incredible. Very rarely do such albums bear such value in compostion and emotion. Stolt is a brilliant songwriter, simply put. This album is well rounded and well written. Plenty of focus, and not just a bunch of cool riffs and solos thrown together as I would usually expect from a guitar album.

Every song is solid. Very solid. I can't pick out any top tracks, because they are all so good. There are three instrumental tracks: "The Magic Circus of Zeb," "The Pilgrims Inn" and "The Sounds of Violence." All of which feature great solos, and great music in general. Qualtiy from start to finish. The songs with vocals are made up of three giants: The Flower King, Dissonata (both at 10+ minutes) and the 21 minutes "Humanizzimo," a short mainly acoustic piece "Close Your Eyes" and the closer "Scanning the Greenhouse." As I said, all are great.

This album is really worth 4 1/2 stars. It's not a full-fledged Flower Kings album, and that's all that is keeping it from being a full five star album. The songwriting aid and keyboard work from Bodin was the start, but the later addition of Jonas Reingold on bass was "the icing on the cake." Still, it's extremely enjoyable, and very well written (especially considering it's a solo album). Stolt's guitar work is top notch as usual, and really, it's better than the first couple group efforts The Flower Kings put out. Why not own this? It's well worth your time and money.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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