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The Flower Kings

Symphonic Prog

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The Flower Kings Space Revolver album cover
3.88 | 623 ratings | 53 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Am the Sun - Part One (15:03)
2. Dream On Dreamer (2:43)
3. Rumble Fish Twist (8:06)
4. Monster Within (12:55)
5. Chicken Farmer Song (5:09)
6. Underdog (5:29)
7. You Don't Know What You've Got (2:39)
8. Slave to Money (7:30)
9. A Kings Prayer (6:02)
10. I Am the Sun - Part Two (10:48)

Total Time 76:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Hasse Fröberg / lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar
- Roine Stolt / guitar, bass, lead & backing vocals
- Tomas Bodin / piano, organ, Mellotron, synth
- Jonas Reingold / bass, fretless bass
- Hasse Bruniusson / percussion, voices

- Ulf Wallander / soprano saxophone

Releases information

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 062 (2000, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THE FLOWER KINGS Space Revolver ratings distribution

(623 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE FLOWER KINGS Space Revolver reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars Read my other F K critics as I don't like to repeat myself. But I will have to find something to write if my opinion (which nobody cares for anyway ;-) is to be seen - are we at fifty words yet?

Again , with this album TFK repeats their musical props without changing much of their previous formula. There is of course a solid dose of hard work that going into such an album , (which are finely crafted too and have many positive qualities to their works) >> but I am afraid it is all lost on me. Every single note appears to have been heard in different albums scattered through the prog giants of the 70's.

All kidding aside and not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings but my opinion is: spend your hard earned cash on other Swedish groups that are more worthy of your support.

Review by loserboy
4 stars Well the mighty FLOWER KINGS have done it yet again with another excellent release blending all those "FK" influences we have come to love... great e-guitar playing, heavy keyboard laden runs (including mellotron and church organ... my favorite!), grooving bass and drum rolls and fine lyrics and vocal harmonies. Like all FL albums "Space Revolver" exudes that positive energy that Roine tries so hard to capture on every album. As you would expect from Roine all songs are well written and carry some great melodies and choruses always allowing enough space to create the song and extend where necessary instrumentally. An album full of color and warm moods with a great little "Space Revolver" theme repeating throughout in clever / different ways.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Includes "I left my heart in San Francisco"!

It took me a while to get into this album, the first (and so far only) one I have bought by the Flower Kings. On the first few listens, I was only moderately taken by what seemed to be a fairly rambling, mainly jazz rock, collection. I'm starting to get it now though, there is some very good music here.

Already being familiar with the music of "super-group" Transatlantic, Roine Stolt's strong influence on both band's is apparent both in terms of his vocals, and his style of composition. He clearly likes to sing, and having such a strong influence, there's a lot of vocals! The instrumental work is however extremely accomplished. The lead guitar is in the Howe/Hackett vein, while the keyboards are more Wakeman/Emerson.

I could have done without the soprano sax noodling and "I left my heart in San Francisco" divergence on "I am the sun", but it is more than made up for by tracks such as "Underdog" and "A king's prayer". I feel at times the band are trying to be just that bit too clever, causing the music to sound a bit contrived, but in retrospect it was well worth persisting with this album, it's actually very good.

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I admit to liking some of the FLOWER KINGS's material but I'm not what you would call an unconditional fan. If you are an unconditional fan, you may find this review way off course. However, "Space Revolver" ranks among my all-time favourites and I feel it deserves more than a nod.

Rarely have I seen so much of the FLOWER KINGS's best elements concentrated onto one single CD: fantastic musicianship, jazzy guitar licks simply to die for, tight drums and percussion, absolutely first-rate vocals (a rarity in prog), catchy, memorable tunes, dazzling vocal harmonies; all in all, utter professionalism right down to the smallest detail. This album is fun through and through and contains absolutely no 'filler' (jamming). The tracks flow into one another so naturally it's hard to stop listening before the end. From the strong opener "I Am the Sun", the laid back "Dream On Dreamer", the hypnotic "Rumble Fish Twist" (my personal favourite), the zany "Monster Within", all the way down to the very last track, this album is 100% pure energy. It's been smoking in my CD player for the past 3 years and I still can't get enough. A whale of an album!

Review by Menswear
4 stars Don't believe the hype. That's what the non-commercial-prog-attitude thought me. But, if you never trust the hype, you COULD once in a while miss some super stuff. Like this album, released in 2000.

I must say that I'm impressed by this magnificent opus. It's my first plunge in The Flower Kings and I don't regret one minute that I've bought Space Revolver. It's simply touching. Some songs parts are so catchy, they'd make FM songwriters jalous. There's something that Sweden understood that the other countries didn't quite got. Abba (don't laugh, they were a huge step in studio technology and voice mixing!), Yngwie Malmsteen, A.C.T., Anglagard and this one proves me that Sweden does know great sound and innovation. It's hard to point my finger on it, but it ressembles to the formula that Spock's Beard used in the 90's.

A blend of a catchy rock song mixed with stunning prog interludes. And what talent! Great start with a beautiful voice by Stolt. His voice has the little 'it' that got me instantly. It shows that he loves to sing and he does it above the average. A big round of applause. Sorry but this album is quite thick and I need many more listens to go deeper and keep my prog buzz high. I'm high as a kite folks!

Review by hdfisch
3 stars Many people say that this was their best album ever. But I've to say although it certainly features some of their best songs like "I Am The Sun" and "Monster Within" and one of their weirdest (and best) "Rumble Fish Twist"", it has as well some of their weakest ones ("You Don't Know ..." and "Chicken Farmer Song"). Nevertheless thanks to the new addition Jonas Reingold there are also some of their best bass solos so far on here. I'll try to go through it track by track:


Part one of the longtrack starts with a quite TFK-typical symphonic intro changing to a more rocking guitar riff.The song offers a lot of diversity, everything a prog fan's heart desires, atmospheric keyboards parts, hard rocking ones and great jazzy sections with an awesome soprano sax. After about eight minutes we have a magnificent jazz fusion section with some weird reversed vocal samples, really GREAT!!!


This is as the title implies a very dreamy, atmospheric and a very short one with soprano sax and great bass play by Jonas Reingold. This brilliant and passionate musician was really a great addition for the band.


An ingenious track and one highlight of the album, something so weird, spacey, jazzy and great I never heard from them before. Jonas' jazzy bass solo is just amazing and the sampled live atmosphere fits perfectly. After the quite chaotic beginning it moves into a very beautiful atmospheric second part.


Here we have already the next highlight which is quite strange and weird in some parts and starts with strings, harps and bells. Suddenly it moves into a complete different direction with evil sounding vocal samples and powerful guitar riffs. A bit later a hymnic organ sound is leading into another more jazzy section. Very strong track with many mood and rhythm shifts.


This is the first one of two very weak songs, but still not as bad as You Don't Know.... At this moment the so far quite high level of the album drops down significantly. It's just a "happy La-la-la song", I cannot say more about it.


After starting a bit weak and non-impressing this song is developing into a quite good one in its course with wonderful vocal harmonies and a rather chaotic and dissonant ending.


This is IMHO the worst song they did EVER and the good thing: it's the shortest one! I don't like to lose any words about it.


is like Underdog as well a song which is getting better after a while, but still I would add it to the weaker ones of this album. The last two minutes are quite good with great guitar play.


is a very lush song with very good vocals by Roine Stolt and Hasse Froberg , maybe a bit too much like sob stuff (at least for my ears), but as a "reward" there is one of Roine's great solos after.


starts in fact very different from the first part a bit insipidly in some way but turns back to the main theme later on and it's fading out in a rather long very good instrumental part.


The first half of the album is excellent and would definitely deserve 4 stars. Unfortunately this high standard can't be kept over the whole and there are two really weak songs on the second half. Overall 3,5 stars would be adequate!

(Edited 7/27/2006)

Review by chessman
4 stars I only recently purchased this cd, having already got most of their other material. So, how does this compare? Well, it is heavier in parts than you would expect, but, overall, typical Flower Kings in content. The opener, 'I Am The Sun part 1' is tremendous, classic FK, with superb melodies, moods, and atmospheres. One of the best on the album. They are certainly the best 'epic' band I have heard since Yes. It starts off as an up tempo song, with excellent vocals and guitar work. The second part slows right down and provides a nice contrasting atmosphere, slowing down to an almost hesitant stop. Track two, 'Dream On Dreamer' is almost a continuation of the opener, gentle and flowing, becoming more likeable the more you listen to it. Rumble Fish Twist' is another classic, one of their wonderful instrumental efforts. Again, it starts in fast paced style, almost King Crimsonish in tone, before turning to a haunting, slow, 70's style pace to finish. The actual final keyboard note is, for me, brilliant, and conjures all sorts of images, mainly of the astronomical kind, inside my head. 'Monster Within' I found, at first, somewhat disappointing. This is quite a heavy track, and you have to give it a lot of attention to uncover some of the melody in this. A solid effort, but not one of my favourites on display here. Then comes the type of song that the Flower Kings do very well, the light-hearted 'Chicken Farmers Song', crammed full with Yes-style harmonies and melodies. Nice guitar work here too. Brilliant! 'Underdog' is another ok track, bringing, to my mind anyway, a marching army, searching for freedom through sacrifice. Not an original theme, and the song is not the best one they have done, but certainly it is far above filler. The guitar is again heavy here, and leads the song to an end over a radio or tv voice discussing pizza! Very strange. 'You Don't Know What You've Got' is a short Hasse Froberg penned song. Not as good as 'Magic Pie' indeed, it almost sounds like a radio friendly soul type of song. Not bad though. One of those songs were he proves he doesn't always have to sound like Jon Anderson. 'Slave To Money' is probably my least favourite on the album, being again a heavy, ( to my mind a too heavy) affair, with the melody somewhat hidden beneath the guitar and keyboards. Ok, but nothing more. 'A King's Prayer' is a return to form, with nice harmonies, though a tad melancholy for my liking. Finally, comes part 2 of 'I Am The Sun', which, if put together with part one, as it was written, seamlessly continues that track. Being split, however, makes it probably more effective, and it is an excellent way of ending the album. The closest album to it, in the FK catalogue, would be 'Stardust We Are' both in tone and instrumentation. This is not quite as diverse as that, however, but it is still worth having. Far better than their first two discs.
Review by kunangkunangku
4 stars If I may be straightforward from just the beginning, this is one of those beautifully recorded opus. There is so much ingenuity in it; the band successfully incorporate disparate elements into their complex, contemporary jazz tinged arrangements, enriched with incredible instruments interplay, and yet still enable the listeners to capture its memorably melodic themes.

Such perfection can be found, for instance, in the 15-plus-minute "I Am the Sun, Pt. 1", the opening track of this album. Roine Stolt launch this mighty song with his signature lick, executed in fade in mode, which is followed by keyboard part, both of which produce a lovely typical symphonic intro. After the vocal play its part, the music start showcasing a lot of diversity, including long instrumental passages and time signature changing.

Similar musical extravaganza goes on almost halfway through the duration of the album with the atmospheric sax-infused "Dream on Dreamer", the heavy, multifaceted "Rumble Fish Twist" and the second longest, mighty track "Monster Within". These tracks pretty much sum up the whole album that will guarantee a marvelous journey to the "fairy tales" world of progressive rock.

The band, however, can not keep their strong songwriting and tight composition all the way to the end -- although, it is possible they deliberately do so, putting several tracks we might consider them as "weak", if not "poppy", only for their fun of making music, or rather just loosening the tension. Accordingly, for those who definitely are not into any weak material (let alone poppy one), the last part of the album, except the last track "I Am the Sun, Pt. 2", will most likely not meet their expectation.

Judging by the balances, this is still a not-to-be-missed album that will add a precious item to your collection.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars At first spin this album did not attract me because to me the music seemed like being forced to be like this and the band really neglect the melodic side of a composition. With couple of spins, my appreciation towards the album grew significantly - even I talked to myself that the key to enjoy this album is the complexity and abrupt change in style offered by the music. Yes, it's similar with my first experience in mid seventies with Yes "Tales from Topographic Ocean" album which I considered too complex and not melodic at all. But it grew significantly later. Now, come a question on how to enjoy a music from complexity standpoint? I only have one recipe: let the music flow into your mind and cascade down into your heart, steadily, even though it takes a long time.

Having done so, I even now amazed with the fact that by now I fully can enjoy the full stream (from start to end) of the opening track "I Am The Sun - Part One" (15:03) when at first listen I completely rejected. I don't really know why did I hate the song that is now becoming one of my favorite TFK tracks? Consciously, I really now enjoy this wonderful and energetic track from its intro, all the way through complex arrangements and variations until the music really ends. There are so many style changes from upbeat music into avant-garde and jazz improvisations in the middle of the track till end. It's really a wonderful composition. I even can enjoy the mellow track with jazz touch "Dream On Dreamer" (2:43).

"Rumble Fish Twist" (8:06) is an instrumental piece that starts off with sound effects followed with hard driving rhythm music in complex arrangements and relatively fast tempo. The keyboard provides great sound effects accompanied with solid bass lines, guitar rhythm and machine-gun drumming. The guitar solo is truly stunning. I like also the part where Michael Stolt is given a space to give his wonderful bass guitar solo even though in a short time. The music suddenly moves into quiet passage in a spacey nuance. Bass guitar shows off the talent here. What a great musical break!

Wow! "Monster Within" (12:55) is really an energetic song with a very uplifting mood. This track really elevates my emotion especially hearing the powerful vocal by Hasse Folberg and Roine Stolt. It's an adrenalin exploder, really. The music changes in style in the middle of the track with guitar solo and inventive keyboard work. The song ends in uplifting mood at the end part with a somewhat blues influence music. "Chicken Farmer Song" (5:09) and "Underdog" (5:29) are bit light in terms composition but it's still an excellent song. "You Don't Know What You've Got" (2:39) is a ballad with acoustic guitar rhythm.

"Slave To Money" (7:30) brings the music back into a rather complex arrangements but with a smooth flow from start to middle until it reaches a change in style and complexity. "A Kings Prayer" (6:02) is relatively slow track with ambient and ballad style, accessible to most listeners as it has memorable choruses. The album concludes with "I Am The Sun - Part Two" (10:48) beautifully.

Overall, it's a highly recommended album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW.

Review by Zitro
5 stars 4.6 Stars

This album is incredible! This is their best album in my opinion. They flawlessly fuse jazz, rock, pop, prog rock, metal, classical, and many other genres in their music resulting in highly original and creative songs. There is a new bass player in here who impresses me as much as Chris Squire in his playing.

I Am The Sun begins the album and it is one of the band's best epics. This song is very coherent and flawlessly fuse many genres of music to create one of the best modern progressive rock songs of all times. Previous reviewers explained this song already step by step. I, unlike many reviers, actually like the playful jazzy section in the middle. "Dream on Dreamer" follows and it is an impressive tune that captures the dreamy mood with its slow bass, melodies, dreamy keyboards, and the saxophone. Rumble Fish Twist starts as an incredibly fast instrumental with very fast and loud drumming put upfront. The keyboardist here is at his best, providing rhythms at the first minute before letting himself loose and playing frenzied synthesizer solos. It flawlessly changes into a mellow song with the usage of a brilliant transition. I think that it is their best instrumental, surpassing even the Melting Pot. Monster Within is another big track. This one is heavier, louder, and darker. Instrumentally, this song is excellent, but I do not like the distorted vocals and it has some slight coherence issues. Chicken Farmer Song is a happy track with very good hooks and a complex instrumental part that shines. Underdog is a rocker tune with nice melodies and a chaotic finale. You don't know what you got is a harmless little pop tune with a memorable chorus (it reminds me of 'more fool me'). Slave to Money is a typical Flower Kings track full of instrumentation. A King's Prayer is a melancholic track that may remind listeners of Pain of Salvation's soft side. Hear the amazing guitar solo in that track!! I am The Sun pt2 finishes the album. The second part of the 25-minute epic is much mellower as it starts with gorgeous acoustic guitar broken chords, and some of Roine's best melodies. and an atmospheric climax with Pink-floyd style guitar soloing finishes this beautiful opus. That climax is one of the most moving passages from their whole catalogue.

1. I Am The Sun - Part One (10/10) 2. Dream On Dreamer (9.5/10) 3. Rumble Fish Twist (11/10) 4. Monster Within (7.5/10) 5. Chicken Farmer Song (8.5/10) 6. Underdog (8.5/10) 7. You Don't Know What You've Got (7/10) 8. Slave To Money (8/10) 9. A Kings Prayer (8.5/10) 10. I Am The Sun - Part Two (9.5/10)

My Grade : A-

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Many prog rock fans consider this record as neo-progressive; I find only about 10% neo- progressive elements; there are more symphonic, art rock and jazz elements involved here. The style involved is similar to progressive bands like Transatlantic and Glass Hammer. However, The Flower Kings here are more diversified, they do not only use vintage keyboards and they can be pretty atmospheric.

The music sometimes contains graceful saxes a la Sting. There are several jazzy parts. The bass is often fretless and jazzy, which adds a refined personality to the whole. There is a judicious mix of modern atmospheric keyboards and vintage ones: piano, organ, mellotron, moog and some clavinet. Definitely the lead singer has a voice pretty similar to John Wetton's one. The presence of celestial harp, lush acoustic guitars, magic small bells and tubular bells arrangements enhance the overall value of this record. The electric guitar sound is maybe a bit too gross, especially during the loaded & funny bits. The more mellow and floating bits are quite serious and introspective. The passage from funny to serious parts and vice versa is interesting, so that you realize that this record brings a bipolar mood: the emotions transfer is a memorable experience here. The music contains omnipresent subtleties that need more than one listen to really appreciate: the music is VERY lively and eloquent: each instrument makes a huge contribution to the very rich textures, and it is often subtly made in the background. The impressive & dense stream of church organ around 4:30 of "Monster within" is jaw-dropping: turn up the volume!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by AtLossForWords
4 stars Space Revolver by The Flower Kings is a pleasant surprise after the somewhat underwhelming double disc Flower Power album. Space Revolver takes a step in a new direction with new bassist Jonas Reingold and ditches thirty or sixty minute epics in favor of shorter epics of ten to fifteen minute epics surrounded by a higher quality of shorter songs.

Space Revolver's compositional difference isn't limited to the length of it's songs. Stolt and company discover a different style on this album musically. The instrumental technique is much more polished as showcased in the instrumental track "Rumble Fish Twist". There is also a different style in the epics. In pieces like "I Am the Sun Part I" and "Monster Within" there is less of Roine Stolt's bluesy guitar solos and much more of a focused groove built around choruses throughout the pieces. It's a step in the right direction for The Flower Kings, but the style isn't quite perfected on this album.

Roine Stolt is the focal point of the band as usual. His composing is another great, but this time experimental effort. This may not be as much of the peak of Stolt's career as a composer, but it's certainly not disappointing. Stolt utilizes the skills of his supporting musicians much more on this album. He ditches some of his bluesy guitar solos in favor of more technical instrumental unison. Stolt's vocal performance on this album is one of his best ever. The tone of his voice is much more developed and much better produced than previous albums.

Tomas Bodin has different performance as well. He seems to approach this album with chordal harmony in mind. His previous style of floating keyboard arpeggios in the higher range is not as noticeable as previous albums. Bodin's synth tones sound a little more serious than cheesey this time around.

Jonas Reingold was an excellent addition to the band. The departure of Michael Stolt has opened up a spot for one of the greatest bass virtuosos of the genre. Reingold's style is one that is much more active around the fretboard. Reingold can flat out shread, which makes the technical unisons on this album that much more impressive. Jonas Reingold's debut with The Flower Kings is one of the most impressive parts of the album.

Jaimie Salazaar has an odd approach to this album. There are more Ddrum digital drum sounds making analysis of his playing difficult. There are some poignant drum parts (Rumble Fish Twist), but nothing on the album that makes a listener jump out of his chair in disbelief of what he just heard. There's a rock solid drum groove, but the Ddrum models are not for everyone, including me.

Hasse Froberg's vocals are used a little more on this album, but Stolt still holds the reigns. Froberg still plays a minimal role in The Flower Kings at this point. He does excellent backing vocals, but he doesn't get enough lead spots, especially for being such a talented vocalist.

The production isn't the best from The Flower Kings. The vocals are great. Stolt's performance as I mentioned eariler is one of his best. Froberg sounds grea when he gets the chance. The keyboards have better sounds than previous albums. I do have a problem with the bass and drums though. Which is where production of an album really comes through. The Ddrum synth just doens't do it for me. Reingold's bass playing is extraordinary, but his bass tone sometime seems lost in the mix. It's not a terrible mix, but The Flower Kings have done much better.

It's a great listen, it just needed a little bit more polish.

Review by 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.

Review by TRoTZ
2 stars The album is worth it for its memorable instrumental passages or, sometimes, its melodies. It has very solid songwriting and the band members are good music interpreters. And perhaps that's why it blinds an impartial review of it. Some years ago I would give it 4 or 5 stars easily. But, again, as I said before, we have to surpass the glue that the emotional ego tries to impregnate on our rational, cognitive ego. And getting through that barrier, few the album has to offer than a unfeeled collection of songs, and noticing that, quoting Sean Trane (as I don't find a better way to express it), "every single note appears to have been heard in different albums scattered through the prog giants of the 70's".

I believe this is what people calls "Regressive Progressive Rock" but hey, I'm not criticizing its existence. This band responds to those people who wants to listen to exhaustive interpretions and contemporaneous variations of the same old formulas of the golden 70's scene. If you want something new, different or revolutionary, deffinitely don't buy it.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars After two massive double album studio albums came Space Revolver. I must admit I did not really like this album when it first came out. The focus had changed and the introduction fo new bassist Jonas Reingold (of ex hard rock band Midnight Sun) altered the balance within the chemistry of the band. While Michael Stolt was very good but subtle, Reingold is flashy and flamboyant. I´m not saying none of them is better nor worse than the other, only different. The TFK sound became more jazzy, a little less melodic, it changed.

But after a few more listenings I found myself enjoying the album more and more. In fact this is maybe the very last TFK CD to really capture my imagination as a whole. The songwriting is stunning good and the sequence of songs works better than the previous two ones. Even Frömberg´s very simple acoustic You Don´t Know What You Got falls beautifully in place (I don´t really know why so many other reviewers hated this tune so much. Even Roine Stolt has written far worse things). I Am The Sun is easily one of the group´s best epics, while A Kings Prayer proved that Roine Stolt was sitll able to write simpler songs with a lot of emotion (the vocal parts of Stolt and Frömberg are great, and the guitar solo is very moving). There are few fillers, and none is really bad.

So, all in all, I think this CD is quite different from their first five, but it still has the spark and the ingenious mark that made The Flower Kings in general and Roine Stolt in particular, the famed artists they really are. Not really a classic, to TFK´s standards, but a must have for any prog lover.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars It was long ago that TFK has produced a single album. But don't worry; it will clock at the limit of the CD capacity : over seventy-six minutes. It sounds as if TFK is watching carefully how much of their music can fit on a slice of plastic. I really liked the band during their first three studio albums, but lately I was rather disappointed with their work (being studio or live).

As usual, we'll have an extremely long piece of music which is the core of this album : "I Am The Sun". It is split into two parts and is over twenty-five minutes long. There will be some good traditional TFK moments, but not too much I'm afraid in the first part. The song will change from symphonic to jazzy. Crimson will also be remembered for a while, but this is not the best part. The last portion will feature some acoustic spanish guitar and is probably the best one.

Part two obviously continues with the "Trespass" mood of the very end of part one. I can not complain about this. It is full of melody and great keyboards but I am missing the wonderful guitar play form their early work. Roine was more on the front scene, musically. Because in terms of vocals, he is more present here than ever. The finale is a beauty but lacks in passion, which was a TFK trademark up till "Stardust".

A jazzy and almost croony little number : "Dream On Dreamer". Where are you Bryan (Ferry) ? I guess we'll have to take this one as a sort of interlude for better things to come (if any). The jazz mood will also be prolonged during "Rumble Fish Twist". This one is pretty much ELP oriented especially during the intro. The fake live sound might well be the sole original idea of this track. It is really noisy for almost four minutes but for our piece of mind, it will switch to a spacey and more peaceful theme.

"Monster Within" is fully Crimson influenced. Scary and hypnotic as the master, but not as inspired (although I have never been over enthusiastic about KC).

There will be lots of theme variations (too many, actually). Little unity during this track. We'll even get some very nice musical breaks, but automatically they will be interrupted either by some noisy ones or by heavy riffs. This song is rather unpleasant to my ears (and it last for about thirteen minutes). I hope for TFK that they took pleasure in playing this song, because for me it is a complete waste. Self importance, I guess.

The Yes oriented "Chicken Farmer Song" sounds almost as a relief. At last a melodic and beautiful number like TFK was used to produce ! But the joy will be short : "Underdog" is half Celtic and half hard. A rare mix to be honest. These backing "vocals" that we could also hear in several tracks are pretty boring and annoying. The annoying feeling will disappear for the folkish "You Don't Know What You've Got" but not the boring one, I'm afraid.

The next song will be on par with the other ones but "Slave To Money" features at least a great and brilliant guitar break during the finale. It is the first one (or maybe I felt asleep) so far and the album is almost over ! What have you been doing Roine ?

As far as I am concerned, the only true TFK song is "A Kings Prayer". Full of great vocal harmonies and a wonderful melody. TFK how I like it. But it was about time ! A frenetic guitar solo will punctuate this great song. The only one of this work.

The flamboyant music of their debuts seems to belong to the past. This album holds some nice moments but there is hardly one complete song that really blows me (only two actually). Only part of songs are very good, like "I Am The Sun" (part two), the second half of "Rumble Fish Twist". But it ain't enough to make a good album.

I guess that Roine's tremendous activity with his side projects affects the songwritting of TFK material. I only hope it will get better in later releases. Two stars for this one.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Roine Stolt has pulled in his wings with this album somewhat, just a single CD this time with only one song over twenty minutes in length, and even that is divided into two so that it opens and closes the album. Why, the whole album is under 75 minutes long! (Just). I made the mistake of initially playing this after listening to the new Spock's Beard album about ten times in a row, and feeling that I needed something different. I heard this then through ears that weren't quite ready for it, and I could not help but dislike it. The only thing to do was to give it a break and go back to it, and I am glad that I did.

There is now a new bassist in Flower Kings, Jonas Reingold, who has brought a much more jazzy feel to proceedings. Add to that the inventive sax playing of Ulf Wallander (which is used sparingly but to great effect), then the music does seem to have shifted in feel. While losing none of the power, this has allowed Roine to spread the wings of the band. It is distinctively still Flower Kings, but there is more passion and more emotion.

Roine has always tried to progress his music and like his counterpart Neal Morse he has created a band that has very much his own sound, something of a rarity in today's progressive scene. A good addition to their catalogue.

Feedback #60, Oct 2000

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars So many prog fans are too obstinate to realize the greatness of this group. Genesis, Yes and King Crimson were all great bands, but to think that nobody could expand and improve some of their ideas some 30 years after their demise is foolish. Furthermore, to think that this band is just rehashing old music is to admit that you haven't given them a fair chance. The Flower Kings clearly take influence from the classics, their sound can be easily distinguished among those that inspire them.

This album is second only to the juggernaut that is Unfold the Future. Excellent album from start to finish, and definitely a quicker and easier listen than the aforementioned.

Review by progrules
5 stars I've been looking forward to reviewing this one because, along with Flower Power but then for a different reason, this is my favourite Flower Kings album and certainly where the overall performance is concerned. Most of the TFK albums have (very) strong epics and quite mediocre shorter songs. And actually it's more or less the same with this one but the advantage of this album is that on this one there are just a few shorter songs and frankly all songs above 6 minutes length are really worthwhile if not fantastic. And still there is quite some difference between the songs, in style that is. I will review this one by one with short description.

1. I am the Sun part 1: great TFK classic, one of their best ever. 5 stars.

2. Dream on dreamer. One of the shorter, not great. 2.5 stars.

3. Rumble fish twist. Energetic instrumental with funny sound effects in the beginning. 4.5 stars.

4. Monster within. Another very nice epic. TFK is so good with these tracks. 4.75 stars.

5. Chicken farmer song. nice shorter song. Not too special though. 3.25 stars.

6. Underdog. Somewhat better than previous. 3.75 stars.

7. You don't know what you've got. Emotional short song. Ok. 3 stars.

8. Slave to money. Another favourite of mine. Great guitar solo by Roine at the end. 4.75 stars.

9. A King's prayer. Another one with tremendous guitar work by Roine Stolt. 4.75 stars.

10. I am the Sun part 2. Great sequel to opening track, though slightly less. 4.75 stars.

So I'm counting 6 great tracks on this album and a few nice ones. And because this is one of my favourite bands ever, I will have to give some of their albums 5 stars. There will be three in total, so think that's fair.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars.Enter new bassist Jonas Reingold who is given plenty of moments to shine. After two double albums in a row they come back with this single disc that is over 76 minutes in length. I don't think this is as good as "Back In The World Of Adventures" or "Stardust We Are" but it certainly has some variety and a new direction, as well as one of my favourite songs by them called "A Kings Prayer". I just feel that like on "Retropolis" there are several songs I would classify as average.

"I Am The Sun (Part One)" has an atmospheric intro before synths and drums come in. Some heavy riffing (comes and goes) for them just before the vocals arrive after 2 minutes. Bass is prominant. Mellotron is as well. Some good sax melodies 4 1/2 minutes in. Violin 6 minutes with Christmas sounds to follow. Some dissonant melodies after 8 minutes. And were only half way through the song. "Dream On Dreamer" is slow paced and spacey with soft vocals and sax melodies. Not a fan. Lots of sax actually, and bass. "Rumble Fish Twist" is my second favourite song on here. It opens with cheering and pounding drums. The guitar is great. Quite the bass solo 2 1/2 minutes in. More cheering. It all calms down 4 minutes in. Mellotron 6 minutes in followed by some beautiful guitar melodies.

"Monster Within" opens with piano and synths, it all seems so heavenly when the sound turns heavy with a sinister laugh for effect. The words are almost spoken. I love the mellotron before 4 minutes. The organ is well done too. "Chicken Farmer Song" is a fun, uptempo tune with harmonies.The guitar / drum melody 3 1/2 minutes in is the highlight. "Underdog" opens with sampled bagpipes. Not a fan of this one either. The guitar is terrific after 3 1/2 minutes. It gets heavy before 5 minutes. "You Don't Know What You've Got" places the focus on the vocals (Hans) as the guitar is strummed. The worst track on here. "Slave To Money" has it's moments. Most of them later in the song with that lazy, bluesy guitar solo that goes on and on. It is joined by Hammond organ. "A Kings Prayer" as I metioned is my fav. It is so uplifting. My God ! The lyrics are so incredibly meaningful.The guitar solo builds until it's on fire. "I Am The Sun (Part Two)" opens with acoustic guitar as the birds are chirping. Gentle vocals come in. Nice sax solo. Mellotron after 4 minutes.Cool song.

Another good one from THE FLOWER KINGS that is filled with positive lyrics and fantastic playing.

Review by Chicapah
5 stars If you are a devotee of symphonic prog and you've been procrastinating about delving into the world of "The Flower Kings" then I can only inform you that you're sadly depriving yourself of hours of delight. Simply put, "Space Revolver" is magnificent. If I must compare the group to a classic band it would be Yes but, having said that, they really don't sound much like them at all. It's in their confident attitude and overwhelming ability, their adventurous musical inclinations and their positive state of mind that they are similar. Discovering them has turned out to be yet another joy that I can thank this site for.

You don't have to wait a second before realizing how special this recording is. "I Am the Sun (Part 1)" features a wonderful introduction that incorporates all that makes symphonic prog my favorite form of art and it only gets better from there. It not only has beauty but it also has bite! Of course, if you're aware of my personal preferences, the growling Hammond organ stalking underneath is a plus, as well. After some very melodic verses and choruses Ulf Wallander's soprano sax gives the song a refreshing, change-of-pace perspective before it migrates to a bridge based on the opening theme. Cavernous chiming bells give way to a hard rocking section that turns into jazzy psychedelia featuring the sax, Roine Stolt's expert guitarisms and Tomas Bodin's deft synthesizer work. Unpredictably they then dissolve into an ethereal atmosphere inhabited by deep keyboards and ringing acoustic guitars as the vocal emphasizes our eventual destiny where we will "revolve among stars." The epic's big, gorgeous ending is only one of many to come on this disc. After an almost seamless segue the drummer takes a breather and you are treated to Bodin's soft "Dream on Dreamer" where his silky keyboards provide a backdrop for the exquisite interplay between Jonas Reingold's fretless bass and Wallander's superb soprano sax. Here Roine's soothing vocal urges the listener to "let the story take you in" and "let the dream of dreams begin."

Just as you start to relax they toss in the supercharged instrumental, "Rumble Fish Twist," where you discover just how talented drummer Jamie Salazar is. He makes this track blister and it also allows the group to "give the bass player some" as Jonas boldly steps to the forefront and shows off his virtuosity for an adoring audience (is it live or is it Memorex?). The whole thing is tight as nails before it takes a sharp right turn into spacier territory where Stolt utilizes different guitar tones to help taxi the piece towards its full, expansive finale. Another epic, "Monster Within," follows and its lighthearted beginning belies the sudden emergence of the tune's heavy, ominous riff. Roine's intentionally distorted voice only adds to the nightmarish aura the song creates and their impish three-part harmonies on the chorus are delectable. Just when you think you've gotten a bead on these guys they roll in an enormous cathedral organ that leads to a ferocious guitar solo and a forceful, driving segment, demonstrating their incredible ability to constantly transform the colors of their tunes. Once again they provide a melodic, engaging ending that leaves you breathless.

"Chicken Farmer Song" is just a great rock ditty that has a kickin', slick rhythm track and expressive vocals where the singer expresses his yearning to "be in the lazy countryside/smilin' in the sun/gracing the eternal summer." Roine's guitar lead bristles with electricity as he creates palpable tension over the drums and bass like he's walking a taut tightrope overhead. Very cool. You get a little of everything with these boys so it's no surprise that "Underdog" begins with slide guitar and stirring bagpipe sounds. What strikes me here is just how gifted they are as songwriters/arrangers because this is yet another in a series of astounding, quality compositions to be found along the way. Stolt's guitar, the reprisal of the cathedral organ and the unexpected psychedelic metal coda are standouts on this track. The sole weak link in the chain comes in the form of Froberg's sappy, overwrought ballad "You Don't Know What You've Got" that is notable only for its crisp, clean acoustic 12-string guitars. Best of all, it's less than 3 minutes in length so it doesn't spoil the overall flavor or flow of the proceedings too much. Feel free to press the skip button, though.

The momentary lull is broken quickly by the fade in of a pulsating bass under the poignant verses of "Slave to Money," Roine's ode to the root of all evil. What can I say? It's another stellar song with a passionate guitar ride included and perhaps the most concise tune on the CD. One of the finest aspects of symphonic prog is grandeur and the next cut, "A King's Prayer," has it in spades. It is truly spectacular. Stolt and Froberg deliver an emotional vocal performance, especially in the strong lyric of "We had the world in our hands/the sea and the forest/the lonely land/we had the land at our feet/we had it all/but still it seems it's not enough/enough for the most of us." Roine reaches deeply into his guitar to pull out all the stops as he and the band steadily build to a monumental ending.

After that mind-blowing experience a bit of levity is welcome and Stolt sets the table accordingly with the clever, upbeat poetry of "I Am the Sun (Part 2)" where he steps up and away from the depressing troubles of the world and takes you with him. "I'm up for the wheels of wonder/I'm in for the cosmic drive/It's great being alive" he announces as Ulf's charming soprano sax returns at last. The reprise comes in revisiting the original infectious melody that first greeted you, then they slow to a majestic, half- time tempo where the synthesizers, bass, drums and guitar combine to concoct a magical, all-encompassing and orchestra-like atmosphere that is impossible to resist being drawn into. My usual reaction after the last strains of shimmering notes have evaporated away into silence is "Oh. My. God. I've died and gone to symphonic prog heaven!" Yep, it's that dern near orgasmic.

I only hope I've done this excellent album the justice it deserves in my review. I realize that some other reviewers haven't been as enthusiastic about this album as I obviously am but this kind of inspired artistry gets me right where I live and I love it without shame. I can honestly predict that if you enjoy glorious cascades of enormous, stately waves of progressive rock flowing into your ear canals then you won't be disappointed in "Space Revolver" in the least. Symphonic prog is alive and well in the 21st century thanks in no small part to "The Flower Kings." Bravo.

Review by Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Space Revolver, what can I say about Space Revolver by The Flower Kings?

For starters, it contains my favorite epic (which coincidently doubles as my favorite song). I Am the Sun is the song that changed my opinion of The Flower Kings from 'good prog band' to one of my all time favorite bands and frankly, the only band that I consider in the same league as Genesis.

The song itself is a very personal song to me as I associated a certain amount of maturing with the song. I discovered the song around the time that my daughter was about to be born. At age 36, I wasn't sure about making the transition from 'somewhat self centered fly by the seat of the pants guy' to 'Dad'. As I struggled with the transition, I began to associate my own life with this song.

In the beginning it's a very hard rocking song all about the hero, the world revolves around him, he is the sun. The middle bit is a bit obscure, (I left my heart in San Francisco) but as with any great transition in one's life, there can be a certain amount of confusion. Finally we get to the 'baby elephant part', and the tone is happy acceptance. "Getting up in the early morning . . . I'm leaving today" I see as an acceptance of leaving one's old life, one's previous habits and mentality and headed on a new adventure.

I've sung the baby elephant part to my daughter repeatedly over the past year and a half to the point that she asks specifically for it and gets a little put out when I try to sing something else.

Well, I've delved a bit into my personal association with the main song, but still, any album bookended by the two halves of this amazing song warrants a five star rating.

"Rumble Fish Twist" is a bit odd for the first half, though it's rather catchy, "Monster Within" is an enjoyable track with a musical reference to "I am the Sun" that hits you out of no where. "The Chicken Farmer Song" is a happy jaunt. "You Don't Know What You've Got" features some great acoustic and harmonica work., finally, "A King's Prayer" is a great emotional piece.

I don't really have any low points of this album, the songs that I don't mention are simply less noteworthy than the rest of the album but still add to the general ambiance and joy of the album.

In sum, I give this masterpiece by The Flower Kings a full five star rating, if you're looking to explore The Flower Kings; this is a great place to start.

Review by Roj
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The fifth album from The Flower Kings, and what an album it is. The band are at their creative peak on this superlative album. It's very symphonic, but with jazzy interludes, outstanding instrumentals and full of great songs. That happy positive TFK vibe which endears itself to many is there throughout.

Some TFK albums are labelled inconsistent: that is not an accusation that can be levelled at Space Revolver as it's a consistently brilliant album.

I Am The Sun Part One - I struggle to find the words to describe just how good this is. Right from Tomas Bodin's magical synth phrasing to that incredible ambient ending this is outstanding. The opening section is classic TFK, great themes, great vocals and great instrumentally. After a jazzy excursion which showcases both the finest rhythm section in prog and the wonderful playing of Stolt and Bodin we have that incredible ambient section, a piece of music that regularly brings me to tears such is the beauty of it.

Dream On Dreamer - A lovely atmospheric interlude before the next stunner...

Rumble Fish Twist - A brilliant jazzy instrumental. Reingold and Salazar really get going here, with more extravagant soloing from Stolt and Bodin. Another beautiful ambient ending to this song.

Monster Within - Another brilliant TFK mini-epic. The best way I can describe this is typical TFK. 13 minutes or so of fantastic music. What a start to this album!

Chicken Farmer Song - I find this to be a brilliant song which just sums up TFK so well. A happy, catchy song that reminds me of a lovely summers day. But just listen to the instrumental section, that is symphonic prog of the very highest order. Wonderful stuff.

Underdog - At last, a bit of a breather, as the level of quality finally drops a little. A nice track but more straightforward and nowhere near the quality of the first few.

You Don't Know What You've Got - A short acoustic and vocal piece that many dislike. The key factor is that it is only short. It doesn't drag on and fully justifies it's place on the album.

Slave To Money - Normal service is resumed. This is heavier and much more up-tempo. A strong song and one that features great work by Roine.

A King's Prayer - This track stars slowly, but what an ending. It features an incredible guitar solo from Roine that is possibly his best ever solo and lifts this track into the stratosphere. Superb.

I Am The Sun Part Two - A truly wonderful ending to this album. Whilst Part two is not as spectacular as the first part, it's so emotional, with those magnificent keyboard flourishes washing over you. The ending of the track is simply amazing, it's goosebump city, and another piece of music that regularly brings tears to my eyes. Simply stunning.

My words can't describe just how much this album means to me. It is a really emotional experience for me to listen to it, and I am so pleased that at least some other people have been struck this way by it. It stands comparison with and is better than most of the 70s classic prog albums in my opinion and gets 5 stars from me without hesitation.

If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have the standard 8 desert island discs, Space Revolver would be an absolute certainty. It really is that special.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I really struggle to say this is the Flower Kings best album because of how many other masterpieces they've released but this certainly seems like one of their most solid efforts. I Am the Sun Part 1 starts off the album great with its killer riff and exceptional lyrics, (one thing I find the FKs struggle at.) Dream On Dreamer has some great vocals by the man Roine Stolt and Rumble Fish Twist is probably the best instrumental by the group ever where the new bassist Jonas Reignhold shows his abilities. Monster Within starts off sounding like an eighties power ballad but eventually turns into excellent symphonic prog with evil sounding vocals. Chicken Farmer Song is one of the weak points of the album but is really just a moment of humor for the band. Underdog starts off with bagpipes which is odd but eventually turns into a song that makes you wonder why the bagpipes are their. You Don't Know What You Got isn't really prog but is almost a folk rock song that is pretty good. Slave to Money is another sample of Stolts best work as well as A Kings Prayer which is the best song on the album in my opinion. I Am the Sun Part 2 isn't as good as part one but it is still an amazing song. I don't know if it was the change in bassists or what but this is an improvement from even a great album like Flower Power!
Review by The Crow
4 stars One of my favourite The Flower Kings's album!

Primarily because this time Roine Stolt and his fellows achieved to record only one disc album... For this reason, and in opposition to "Stardust We Are", and the average "Flower Power", in "Space Revolver" there are no fillers. I think that this album was made to give an homogene and pleasant impression the whole time... And this is exacktly what we have!

The style of "Space Revolver" is not really different from the previous Flower King's albums... Strongly 70's influenced melodies and sound (Yes, Camel, Emerson Lake and Palmer...) along with some jazz elements and a great musicianship. Maybe this album is bit more rock oriented, even more friendly melodies, and the protagonism is in the guitars and the powerful rythmic section.

And in this rythmic section, we have the best notice that this album brought to The Flower King's fans... The incorporation of the very talented bassist Jonas Reingold. If you have heard him playing, you know what I'm talking about... He is fast, really fast, and he easily dominates every bass skill. But he is also able to make beautiful and haunting melodies with his instrument, giving an extra feeling to the band's sound...

His cohesion with the band was later perfectionated, but with him yet in "Space Revolver", Stolt was able to go further with his searching of enchanting melodies, along with giving an excuse to bass lovers to hear his songs... Just hear Rumble Fist Twist! Incredible.

Best tracks: I specially enjoy with I Am the Sun (both parts...), Monster Within (one of the best TFK's compositions...) and Chicken Farmer Song (it makes me really happy...)

Conclusion: I think that in the year 2000, "Space Revolver" was along with "Stardust We Are" the best The Flower Kings's album... And although it was later surpased by other band's efforts like the magnificient "Unfold the Future", is still a very recommended work, with a strong musicianship, beautiful melodies, and some of the best songs of the band.

My rating: ****

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Here we find The Flower Kings really hitting their stride. This album does not hold any bad tracks. And much of the album is actually great. It has very little of the religious tones that seem to infiltrate many of their recordings, and few of the maudlin moments as well.

The I Am The Sun Epics make great bookends to the album, but I really enjoy the middle of the album, with the trio of songs, the jazzy jam Rumble Fish Twist, the heavy Monster Within, and the lighter but intriguing Chicken Farmer Song. Even A King's Prayer a song that doesn't hold my interest where it appears on other albums, works pretty well here.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After listening to Retropolis I felt a little bit underwhelmed by what I've heard but since The Flower Kings have had such a tremendous success I thought that maybe I've started on the wrong foot with this band so I gave them another go.

My choice fell between Unfold The Future and Space Revolver and I went for the latter due to a recommendation from a friend who shares many of my musical tastes. But once again I felt underwhelmed by what I've heard.

I remember that during that same period of me trying to get into this album I also heard the second Transatlantic album which I really enjoyed so this made my Space Revolver-experience even more frustrating since I just couldn't make the connection between those two Roine Stolt albums.

Space Revolver follows the same pattern as Retropolis although this one has the I Am The Sun-suite that kicks off and eventually ends the album which is a definite nod at Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I think that most Flower Kings-fans are pleased with this release because it isn't really pushing any new boundaries and is a safe bet which can be considered to be a good thing. Personally I get frustrated when I listen to a progressive band that has no intention of being progressive in the songwriting department. Yes, I agree that the early symphonic prog bands had it much easier doing something new with every new release but I really get the feeling that The Flower Kings enjoys the place they occupy in the progressive rock community and have no intention of going anywhere else.

Musically this album works but due to the issues that I've mentioned I just can't see how it can be considered an excellent addition to a progressive rock music collection.

**** star songs: I Am The Sun - Part One (15:03) Dream On Dreamer (2:43) Rumble Fish Twist (8:06) Monster Within (12:55) You Don't Know What You've Got (2:39) A Kings Prayer (6:02) I Am The Sun - Part Two (10:48)

*** star songs: Chicken Farmer Song (5:09) Underdog (5:29) Slave To Money (7:30)

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Honestly, I think this relatively acclaimed album is far weaker than their later output, namely Paradox Hotel and The Sum of No Evil. The bookends of Space Revolver are masterful works of modern symphonic progressive rock, and are a clear highlight of almost everything good about this band. Sadly, nearly everything in between is not on par with the opening and the closing songs. In many places, it's like the band is trying too hard to be cute or eccentric, and it just doesn't work. Other tracks are just compositionally lazy- a lot going on but not going anywhere. There is an vinyl disc's worth of good to excellent material on this album- it's almost as if, with this band, dross is just a part of the package and is to be expected. The first and final tracks, however, make this album worth having, as they are full of the bright, colorful, cheerful, Lisa Frank progressive rock enjoyed by fans of The Flower Kings.

"I Am The Sun (Part One)" After the breathy opening, there enters one of greatest riffs from The Flower Kings. The verses and refrain occur over a powerful heavy riff, and Roine Stolt delivers some of his best singing- it's really convincing! The instrumentation is incredibly tight and melodic throughout this piece (except for the bizarre jazzy bit in the middle, especially with those odd voices). Luckily the strange excursion transitions well right back into a dazzling synthesizer solo. Stolt returns vocally over thick synthesizer pads and acoustic guitar. In all, this is a wonderful piece.

"Dream on Dreamer" On the other hand, this is a dull song with dreary vocals, and not much going on.

"Rumble Fish Twist" Relying heavily on drums, this instrumental has a rather unpleasant main riff based on the organ. Other than a lot of insane noises, expect a flashy bass solo from fretless master Jonas Reingold.

"Monster Within" One shouldn't be fooled by the cheerful introduction- the music that quickly follows lives up to the frightening title. It is a tough piece to follow because the transitions are weak or nonexistent- just a hard rock symphonic mess.

"Chicken Farmer Song" Despite the goofy title, this has the sound of The Flower Kings with both lead vocalists sharing the duties evenly, and a fun, happy melody.

"Underdog" Following a bagpipe introduction, the band offers this languid rock song. The chorus is decidedly powerful and robust- almost too much sound. The sexual innuendos in the form of sound clips at the end are a nuisance.

"You Don't Know What You've Got" This brief exhortation is actually quite a good song with a slight folk and R&B vibe, which makes for an interesting combination. It actually sounds like a song by Switchfoot, with a little harmonica thrown in.

"Slave to Money" This is yet another difficult song for me to follow. One minute it sounds like typical fare from The Flower Kings, and the next it's like circus sideshow music. The guitar solo is fantastic though.

"A King's Prayer" Stolt sings over a simple twelve-string guitar at first, and the song becomes a mighty anthem. It has that full, over-the-top wall of sound, gorgeous singing, and a riveting guitar solo.

"I Am The Sun (Part Two)" The final piece begins calmly enough, and tends to stay that way until the grandiose finale that makes up the final few minutes. While quite different compositionally from the first part, it is an appropriate and excellent companion piece loaded with delightful melodies expressed on keyboard, saxophone, and guitar.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is probably my favorite Flower Kings album--mostly due to the presence of my favorite Flower Kings song, "I Am the Sun, Part 2" (10:39) (10/10). The presence of melodic master of the fretless bass is felt very strongly throughout this album. I have three complaints about TFK albums and songs: 1) quite often their songs seem too familiar--as if someone else has already done this (usually YES or GENESIS); 2) their albums (and often songs) seem to go on so long--sometimes seemingly pointlessly; 3) Roine Stolt's voice is not one of my favorites.

Other good songs: "Dream on Dreamer" (9/10), "I Am the Sun, Part 1" (8/10), "Chicken Farmer Song" (8/10), and "Slave to Money" (8/10).

A decent 4 star album with The Flower Kings usual quirkiness and attempt at profundity, but, ultimately, it is a bit too 'all over the map.' But, as for giving TFK and ROINE STOLT a listen, this is a good place to start.

Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars Out of all of the Flower Kings albums that I've managed myself to be let down by, this is the best one. Actually, I rather enjoy this album quite a bit compared to their other albums.

The songwriting on this album is less noisy and much more musical and coherant, and by far their least cheesy album. One thing that is easily apparent is that the strong retro-symphonic synths take a huge break here, making way for a gloomier and overall more organic atmosphere. The music here is sometimes reminiscent of the more new-age influenced progressive electronic music, but with strong jazz overtones that really take the front. I've always like "I Am The Sun, pt 1" because it is actually interesting and fun to listen to, and again, it isn't cheesy at all. The music travels at a medium to medium fast tempo, which I feel really suits this band's style.

Of the Flower King's discography, this is the album that I would suggest anyone start with. It isn't unbearably long or cheesy, and is actually quite enjoyable if not slightly retro.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Bookended by the two halves of I Am the Sun - a slowly-building symphonic prog workout in the Flower Kings' by-now familiar style - Space Revolver finds The Flower Kings plugging away and producing an album which is absolutely typical of their discography - but which also finds them rediscovering some semblance of restraint. After two double CD albums (Stardust We Are and Flower Power) with running times of over 2 hours, the Kings seem to have realised that sometimes less is more. As a result, whilst I don't think it contains anything quite of the stature of Garden of Dreams from Flower Power, it also doesn't have as much in the way of weak moments.
Review by b_olariu
3 stars Space revolver from 2000 is musicaly pretentious , it's unintresting in places, it's fantastic and intriguing in other places, but overall is nothing really close to a masterpiece as is said on some reviews. The music is complex with nice arrangements keeping old formula, remind me of golden period of symphonic music of the '70's when was pompous, complex, nice and well balanced. Mrs Stolt is one of the main prog musicians in last 20 years but doesn't impress me very much both as vocalist or as guitarist or keyboard player. I understand and respect his qualities as musician , but to tell you the truth I know and listen to hundred more intristing musicians over the years. Returning to the music it seams to me an amalgamation of symphonic elements where are added some more jazzier arrangements on some pieces, some pop tunes with progressive touches, so a soup but a tastey one in places, but not overall. Usualy I don't like albums that doesn't had substance, the progressive rock is here on every piece but to much noodleings here. I will give 3 because some parts are good and very well played. An ok album, an ok band but nothing over the top as is said almost everywhere about them. I'm a moderate fan of their music, I don't hate it but to much time sound the same on every album, still good for sure.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The release of ''Flower power'' was followed by two success stories for their leader Roine Stolt: The reformation of his first ever band Kaipa and the rise of what is considered the best modern Prog supergroup, Transatlantic, we all know what followed in the future.But within The Flower Kings family he had to say goodbye to Michael Stolt, who left the band, but the Swedish were determined not to slow down concerning their productions, they immediately hired emerging bass star Jonas Reingold, who had just released his debut album ''Universe''.In 2000 their fifth album sees the light on InsideOut, ''Space revolver''.

For the first time you get the feeling that all these running projects have somewhat affected the band's ability to produced really sublime progressive compositions, while they appear to be stuck in their previous sounds and sights, I think after four long and dense releases the fans needed this X factor, that would show The Flower Kings' development.Instead the band proposed exactly the same path they were known for, a 70's-influenced complex Progressive Rock, which still holds some instant melodies and romantic overtones, either talking about the stretched epics or the shorter cuts, often paused by a strong jazzy flavor, even Reingold is given some time here to proove how much of a talented bassist he was (''Rumble fish twist'').The music remains at very high standards, it's emphatic, grandiose, orchestrated and fairly symphonic with the analog keyboards battling over the contemporary synthesizers and Stolt's guitar talent delivering a wide range of ambiental, melodious, technical or virtuosic moves.Problem is the album lacks this definite highlight compared to some of The Flower Kings' best moments.Vocals in particular have become a bit tiresome in the process, I do not find them to be really interesting anymore, but noone can get over the brilliant instrumental passages that the band performed, fillled with thrilling Mellotron and organ washing and excellent fast or laid-back interplays.

I have to be a little harsh this time.If we were talking about any other band entering the prog world, this would be a really great debut.But from these guys I expected more.It's very good and, no doubt, recommended, Sympho Rock with jazzy overtones, but I fail to detect this monster track, which would lift this one to another level.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I guess I've been wrong for dismissing the Flower Kings through all the years. It's probably because simple 30 second samples at Amazon hardly does them justice. I also had too many bad experiences with contemporary prog where they cram as much as they can on one CD as possible without enough good material to justify such a lengthy CD. That and the fact the Flower Kings are so prolific, it isn't even funny and bound to give a lot of filler in the process. In recent years they had toned down their output, between 2007 and 2012 there were no new material released, and after 2013 with the release of Desolation Rose, there's been nothing new since. So, now, in 2016, I went and bought two used Flower Kings CDs, Space Revolver and their newest one, Desolation Rose in Eugene, Oregon. I took a gamble, and lo and behold, Space Revolver is great. I know many fans consider this one of their better albums, and for good reason. Just check out the opening "I Am the Sun (Part One)". I am particularly fond of the more calm, atmospheric passages. This album brought in Jonas Reingold, whose bass playing is obviously influenced by fusion, especially the fretless bass. "Dream On Dreamer" is a really nice, atmospheric piece that sounded like it should have belonged to a suite, instead of being on its own, but still it really blew me away. Nice jazzy sax moves too. "Monster Within" is most noted for the guitar riffs that I really dig. "Chicken Farmer Song" bears more than a passing resemblance to Phish. Here the band is exploring their less serious side. I have referred to the Flower Kings as a hippie prog band, even if they weren't attempting to be a progged version of the Grateful Dead, it's because their CD titles often bore hippie references: Stardust We Are, Flower Power, and the cover to The Sum of No Evil depicts a hippie VW bus/goldfish combo, but they basically stay to the traditional symphonic prog template. But the Phish resemblance on "Chicken Farmer Song" is another reason I referred them as a "hippie prog band". "You Don't Know What You Got" is my least favorite, an acoustic piece that sounds like something I've heard off public radio. "Underdog" threw me off with the bagpipes at the beginning, I was wondering if they were going to do some sort of Celtic/Scottish thing, but instead they go into Yes territory. "A Slave to Money" is a song as equally relevant in 2000 as it is now in 2016 (and probably 1985 as well, when I started noticing the greed mentality starting have its presence known in America).

I am actually happy to finally come to terms with the Flower Kings. As mentioned before, I understand Space Revolver is one of their better releases, so it's something I don't regret purchasing. At first listen it gave me that impression as to why I dismissed them all these years, but then it really grew on me. If you're a fan, you already have this, but if you want to start with the Flower Kings, this is a great place to start, besides it's one of their "shorter" releases (because it's a single CD set, as they released their share of double CDs).

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars 'Space Revolver' is the fifth but first album by The Flower Kings released and recorded in the 21st century, coming after four really successful albums, in terms of reception, that had introduced this magnificent lavish-sounding Swedish symphonic prog band to the world. On this album, we get what could be considered as the 'classic' TFK line-up of band leader and guitarist Roine Stolt, also on lead vocals, Tomas Bodin on all keyboards, including moogs, organ, mellotron, synths and pianos, then Hasse Fröberg on vocals and acoustic guitars, on the bass Jonas Reingold, and finally Jaime Salazar on drums. Two additional musicians are also present - Ulf Wallander on soprano sax, appearing very often on TFK albums as a sixth member, and Hans Bruniusson and percussion and some backing vocals.

What is interesting about The Flower Kings is that every album sounds a bit different from the previous one, yet the TFK sound is vey recognizable; and this is valid for pretty much most of their albums released in the 1990s and the 2000s, which as we know, are a lot, so we have a very prolific contemporary studio act here.

The mixture of very long songs, some regular-length ones, and a few really short episodes is used here as well, similarly to the four albums that came before 'Space Revolver'. This album is around 76 minutes long, and is a single-album, of course, so it is interesting how things have changed because this length is pretty much standard for a double-album from the 70s. However, I like to call the songs 1-5 side one, and the songs 6-10 side two, although this is not correct.

Where does this division come from? Well, from my listening experience: I can never enjoy the so-called 'side two' which I consider to be severely weaker than 'side one', much less memorable, and it could have really been reduced a bit. This being said, I have to praise side one, or the songs 1-5, which happen to be pretty damn good and this is why I wish I liked this album a bit more overall.

Opener 'I Am the Sun (part One)' is a 15-minute typical bombastic TFK epic that takes you on a bumpy ride among crazy instrumental passages with great lyrics and memorable choruses, and mellow and pastoral atmospheric sections, a very strong track. Then 'Dream On Dreamer', an excellent short song that serves as a transition between 'I Am the Sun' and the explosive instrumental 'Rumble Fish Twist', written by Bodin ? it sounds like something recorder by Yes for the 'Relayer' album, it is that crazy. The band follows this with another 13-minute epic, 'Monster Within' that transitions into the catchy and enjoyable 'Chicken Farmer Song'. Around 44 minutes of music so far, and I can't help but think that if this was released with just these five tracks, 'Space Revolver' could have been considered one of their best albums.

The rest features songs like 'Underdog' or 'Slave to Money', which are just fine but never impressed me as much as the first five, or the second part of 'I Am the Sun' which sounds a bit bland compared to part one. Simply put, the latter five tracks are the avoidable ones.

Overall, 'Space Revolver' is an album that has its highs and lows, with some tremendous and unforgettable moments, and some weak spots that, in my opinion, should have remained bonus material. However, the band is in great form in that period, and this can be heard on any of their albums released between 1994 and 2013.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 'Space Revolver' is the fifth studio album by The Flower Kings. The band were entering the 21st century on this record with a new bass player, the one and only Jonas Reingold, who is one of my favorite bass players of all time. 'Space Revolver' is the album I would point to if someone wanted me to r ... (read more)

Report this review (#2938349) | Posted by Magog2112 | Sunday, July 9, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This band, the Swedish symphonic orchestra "The Flower Kings" amazes me sometimes and sometimes makes me disappointed. However their music craves some times before you get a proper picture of it as full. "Flower Power" had great moments but with its enormous proportions it was hard to keep the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1178075) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, May 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars With the last two albums being double albums Space Revolver is a nice change from this trend. Flower Power and Stardust We Are are both great albums, but do have a lot of filler and weaker tracks which bring down the rating. Space Revolver doesn't have this problem, (or at least to a much less ... (read more)

Report this review (#784327) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Sunday, July 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Let me start by telling my Flower Kings story (feel free to skip to the review). I had been into prog for abut 6 months and my dad bought me Mountains Come Out of the Sky from a Barnes and Noble in Alabama on the way home from our family's vacation. As I browsed the pages, I read stories of all ... (read more)

Report this review (#668632) | Posted by MattGuitat | Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Here's a band that think's they have better song writing abilities then they really do. Sorry Roine Stolt, you're not Peter Gabriel or Ian Anderson. Don't get me wrong, there are some good tracks on the album, but as a whole, it's pretty forgettable. Stolt wants to believe he can put out this ... (read more)

Report this review (#404030) | Posted by Slaughternalia | Sunday, February 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is very interesting to read so various opinions on the music of The Flower Kings (TFK). Some contributors go for the "5-star" mark, whereas others go for the low "1-star". Well, everybody is entitled to think what they want... no problem with that. It all depends on the feelings you have whe ... (read more)

Report this review (#356392) | Posted by Progdaybay | Saturday, December 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Flower Kings - Space Revolver The album that got me into this awesome band (not the first i tried tho). Roine at his best as singer, he sings the most of this album and in a very good shape, the albums opens and close with an epic in two parts ala "Larks' Tongues..." and "Shine on you...") ... (read more)

Report this review (#293823) | Posted by Jörgemeister | Sunday, August 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another great release from one of the greatest prog bands of all time. Many people would disagree with that statement, but look and listen to them, don't they look like a pack of genius'. This album continued in the quite psychadellic way of Flower Power, but still maintaining their symphoni ... (read more)

Report this review (#289212) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, July 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my third Flower Kings album. I deeply enjoyed the first two (Adam and Eve & Back in the World of Adventures), so I was really pumped about this one. And it didn't let me down. Here is a short rundown of the songs: 1. I Am The Sun (part one). Good opener but not a great one in my ... (read more)

Report this review (#288505) | Posted by pots555 | Sunday, June 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of my favorite albums of TFK, this group manages to show a modern sound, borders the progmetal engaging melodies and exploring the most of their synthesizers. The album in question comes with high doses of moogs and Mellotrons, what I find interesting is how a singer can show one side of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#280771) | Posted by nandprogger | Friday, May 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This Flower Kings CD has had some fine things said about it and I'm reviewing this after reviewing all the CD's released after it - Yep I'm going backwards in time. Well this CD DOESN'T have an EPIC !!! - It doesn't have a track anywhere near as good as "Monsters and Men" but it does have a fe ... (read more)

Report this review (#230144) | Posted by M27Barney | Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A shame that someone felt it necessary to put a one star review at the top of nearly every Flower Kings album. I hope this will not discourage others from scrolling down to see the overwhelmingly positive reviews by everyone else. Space Revolver is an excellent Flower Kings album. Not my favor ... (read more)

Report this review (#215183) | Posted by infandous | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm actually surprised this album isn't rated higher. I've been a fan of The Flower Kings for a couple years now, but haven't gotten my hands on a copy of Space Revolver until this week. Once I got it, I put my headphones on, laid back, and experienced what I think is probably TFK's tightest alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#185243) | Posted by npoczynek | Friday, October 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Flower Kings – Space Revolver I bought this album ‘accidentally’ in year 2006.. At that moment, I didn’t search for TFK actually, I’m looking for a Pain of Salvation album. When I got into the store, they were out of PoS. I didn’t want to come back home e ... (read more)

Report this review (#175694) | Posted by mcxwell | Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars SPACE REVOLVER has three very good tracks, to be precisely the first three songs. While listening to them and not knowing the rest of the album, you could think this one is as good as for example the excellent RETROPOLIS. These three songs are bombastic, have complex rhythms and nice melodies, go ... (read more)

Report this review (#85482) | Posted by Badabec | Wednesday, August 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After my first 2-3 listens I felt that this was the best TFK album ever. It is more easy to get into, the songs seem to be well worked (as opposite to improvised) and it's only a single CD, which I prefer. But additional listens reveal some boring moments and a pair of weaker songs, so this is ... (read more)

Report this review (#76381) | Posted by eddietrooper | Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A shame that someone felt it necessary to put a one star review at the top of nearly every Flower Kings album. I hope this will not discorage others from scrolling down to see the overwhelmingly positive reviews by everyone else. Space Revolver is an excellent Flower Kings album. Not my favor ... (read more)

Report this review (#74713) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Their previous release "Flower Power" was a double album filled with so much great music that I wondered if the next one could possibly be as good. Well the answer was it could! With new bass-player Jonas Reingold it got even better than before. Not that Michael Stolt was bad in any way, but R ... (read more)

Report this review (#2696) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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