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The Flower Kings - Fanclub CD 2004 CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings

Symphonic Prog

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Tarcisio Moura
2 stars I have a friend who is a real FK fanatic. So much so that he became an official member and got some exclusive stuff the band only released for them. I borrowed from him this CD sent to fans in 2004. And it still amazes me how such prolific band still had so much non previously issued material to fulfill 45+ minutes of original tunes. Of course one does not expect first rate stuff from those non commercial CDs. Yet, I can´t really figure out how they can write, arrange, rehearse, record and mix such vast quantities of complex tunes. (and they still have side projects!)

Anyway, back to CD itself: as expected here most songs must be leftovers from various sessions around the time (2004). There are obvious instrumental jams like the 13 minute opener Space Traveler, some inside jokes (Mr. Hope goes to Africa), and a couple of surprisingly heavy songs (the almost metal Psychonaut and the heavy/hard blues of My Poor Brain, where Hasse Froberg does his best Robert Plant impersonation). There are of course some worthy material (the aforementioned Time Traveler) and some self indulgence (Mr. Hope Goes to Circus), but I found that most of the time the CD to be more interesting than really good. I can´t really see any of those songs featuring on any official group release. So, if you like The Flower Kings there is no need to hush to din this album. On the other hand, if you´re fanatical about them and got to have anything they put out, even the weakest stuff, then maybe you should join their official fan club (if you´re not already in it).

More a curio than anything else, this CD is for fans and collectors indeed. And is rated accordingly.

Report this review (#1480486)
Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 | Review Permalink
2 stars Just wanted to clear some things up regarding this fanclub only CD from 2004.

First off, the listing of musicians for this is not really accurate, since several songs do not feature all the members listed.

First track, Space Traveller, IMO the best of the whole CD, is actually a Michael Stolt solo piece where I believe he plays all the instruments, with the exception of brother Roine playing some guitar. It is a very mellow, meandering in a good way, type of piece that indeed has some spacey textures.

Second track, Sum Of Substance is from Karmakanic, which features Zoltan Csörsz on drums and of course Jonas Reingold on bass, who also composed the song. The guitar and keys were provided by Krister Johnson and Lalle Larsson, with vocals by Göran Edman. It's a typical Karmakanic track, a bit more on the pop side than the prog side, but still not bad.

The next two tracks, Psychonaut and My Poor Brain (5:33) are recordings done by Hasse Froberg's old hair metal band from the 80's, Spellbound. This features totally different musicians from TFK's, including a couple who now play for Hasse's Musical Companion solo act. These songs are basically 80's hair metal type stuff, like Motley Crue or Poison. Not really worth the interest of most proggers or TFK fans, and certainly my least favorite of this album (I did not rip them to my computer with the rest of the tracks as I have no interest in ever hearing them again).

Walkabout is a track from Tomas Bodin's solo album Sonic Boulevard. This is indeed an alternate version, differing somewhat from the album version. That album actually does feature all TFK members, however the guitar on this track is handled entirely by Jocke JJ Marsh.

The rest of the tracks are, presumably, from the TFK's, though based on the titles appear to be Tomas Bodin compositions and feature mostly keyboards. They are mainly short, atmospheric pieces without a lot of substance.

All in all, this is my least favorite of the fan club albums and, as with all of them, is no longer available in any format at any rate. Even if it were, this is the very definition of a two star album; Collectors/fans only.

Report this review (#1480583)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2015 | Review Permalink

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