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Roine Stolt

Symphonic Prog

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Roine Stolt The Flower King: Manifesto of an Alchemist album cover
3.25 | 109 ratings | 4 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rainsong (1:28)
2. Lost America (9:50)
3. Ze Pawns (8:27)
4. High Road (12:32)
5. Rio Grande (7:50)
6. Next to a Hurricane (4:25)
7. The Alchemist (6:58)
8. Baby Angels (3:49)
9. Six Thirty Wake-Up (4:17)
10. The Spell of Money (9:49)

Total Time 69:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Roine Stolt / lead vocals, electric & acoustic (6,8) guitars, keyboards, synth (1,9), bass (4-6), ukulele & drums (8), composer

- Hans "Hasse" Fröberg / vocals (3,4,6,10)
- Nad Sylvan / vocals (6)
- Max Lorentz / vocals (1,2), Hammond B3 (2,9)
- Zach Kamins / organ & Moog & Mellotron (5)
- Rob Townsend / soprano saxophone (7), flute (9)
- Michael Stolt / bass (3,8,9), vocals (2,3)
- Jonas Reingold / fretted (2,7,10) & fretless (2) basses
- Marco Minnemann / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Shaun Beyond

2LP Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLP 519 (2018, Germany)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- 19075898742 (2018, Germany)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ROINE STOLT The Flower King: Manifesto of an Alchemist Music

ROINE STOLT The Flower King: Manifesto of an Alchemist ratings distribution

(109 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ROINE STOLT The Flower King: Manifesto of an Alchemist reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not quite a continuation of the Flower Kings, nor a totally new project, but probably a pimped out version of his solo work, charismatic Swedish multi-instrumentalist Roine Stolt returns with 2018's `Manifesto of an Alchemist'! The ex-Kaipa, Kaipa da Capo and The Sea Within composer here delivers an eclectic and diverse prog-rock crossover work that doesn't just simply fall back on the symphonic-prog approach perhaps expected of the artist, instead he incorporates plenty of blues, pop smarts and classic rock song-writing that highlights his social, political and spiritual observations, and it also boasts musical contributions from superior musicians such as bassist Jonas Reingold, drummer Marco Minnemann and others, as well as singers Nad Sylvan and Hasse Froberg.

After `Rainsong's dreamy vocal fragment introduction, `Lost America' opens properly with chugging riffing, Max Lorentz' sparkling electric piano and trickles of Hammond organ, Jonas' sweetly murmuring bass and Roine's charmingly accented raspy croon, and while much of the tune isn't particularly memorable, there's also plenty of tasty bluesy guitar playing from Stolt and the second half smoulders in all sorts of directions. The eerie `Ze Pawns' holds drowsy and weeping guitar strains over icy Mellotron slivers and desperate bursts of dramatic tension, Roine offering a melancholic vocal and sombrely cryptic lyric, and the twelve-minute `High Road' will remind many of the Flower Kings with its delirious, joyful, whimsical and kaleidoscopic approach. Hasse Froberg even pops up to sing alongside Stolt on the piece, and there's no shortage of unpredictable psychedelic interludes, dreamy harmonies and colourful soloing (and its damn cool to hear Roine play some big fat Rickenbacker bass on this one!).

Finally, `Rio Grande' is the first of three purely instrumental pieces that really take the disc even higher, and it initially burns with a jazz-fusion-like fire by way of rumbling drumming, splintering electric piano runs and strangled guitar, but there's an exquisite Mellotron-lifted ethereal passage in the middle that drifts into unhurried heavens of bliss with joyous Moog spins and victorious guitar reaches. The poppier `Next To A Hurricane' holds traces of Roine's idol Prince in its chorus and guitar soloing, and instrumental `The Alchemist' grooves with jazzy vibes and exotic sax soloing from guest Rob Townsend (and the piece probably wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Flower Kings' fusion-heavy `Unfold the Future'). The divine and placid ballad `Baby Angels' could almost pass for a Beach Boys `Sunflower'-era outtake, and `Six Thirty Wake-Up' is a final instrumental that emerges gently with tranquil flute, shimmering organ and embracing guitar comforts. The politically- charged ten minute `The Spell Of Money' closes the disc, and it bristles with an emotional heaviness and lurking menace, constantly reprising a frantic chorus and closing on grandiose guitar wailing full of defiance.

Roine's thoughts in the accompanying booklet of `Manifesto...' state how he and the other players were happy to keep less than perfect performances and unfished instrumental ideas from the recording sessions because they still captured plenty of spontaneity, and that mentality shines throughout the entire sixty-nine minute CD/LP. A disc that grafts a vintage sensibility to a firmly modern sound, Stolt and his friends have delivered a surprisingly fresh, gorgeously melodic and infectiously uplifting work with `Manifesto of an Alchemist', and it subtly proves to be one of the prog highlights of the year - long live the king/s!

Four stars.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
2 stars What an unfortunately uneventful and uninspired album this is! The eighth solo studio effort by the leader and founder of The Flower Kings Roine Stolt is sincerely a mess, with loads of boring ideas that are taken nowhere by the otherwise excellent guitar player, songwriter and vocalist. A very interesting cast of guests on this album, including bandmates Hasse Fröberg and Jonas Reingold, his brother Michael Stolt, a former member of TFK, then-future TFK keyboard player Zach Kamins, as well as Nad Sylvan, Rob Townsend, Max Lorentz and Marco Minnemann - normally with such a stellar lineup expectations would be quite high, also taking into consideration the beautiful cover art.

In reality, this 70-minute recording is an almost painful drag - from the meanderings of the instrumentalists and their seemingly directionless playing on several occasions, more notably on the longer songs, to the hardly memorable riffs and melodies, lacking much of the charisma and imagination that is usually associated with the bands in which Roine Stolt is featured. It has to be said that as a solo record of Stolt, it is fine to see him exploring the sides of his music that he would not have otherwise been able to with, say, The Flower Kings, or The Tangent (although the music is not that dissimilar), but this record is just too full of content that it becomes hard to even categorize it (maybe progressive sleep-inducing blues would be a fitting decription).

A big problem with 'Manifesto of an Alchemist' is the overstretching of the compositions, and a very good example would be the opening track 'Lost America' - a song that could have been much more enjoyable had it not been mixed up with several other ideas that hardly contribute to the overall listening experience, resulting in a mediocre mini-epic, full of wacky lyrics and somewhat tedious playing. The following track 'Ze Pawns' does not get better; In fact, it is even harder to get through as the 'ambient rock' tendency prevails once again, as is the case with the 12-minute 'High Road', another long song that is suffocated from its self-indulgent and directionless nature. 'Rio Grande' and 'The Alchemist' are the two instrumental tracks that are actually interesting and listenable, more experimental and adventurous sonically, but the rest of the album is, unfortunately, almost dreadful.

'Manifesto of an Alchemist' is unnecessarily long, boring, uninspiring, and sounds like a collection of B-sides and leftovers that have been reworked to not very satisfactory results. What could have been a very curious piece of modern prog, is in reality a disappointing addition to the excellent discography of Roine Stolt.

Review by Warthur
3 stars There's two albums in Roine Stolt's discography where you could have a little debate as to whether it's really just a Roine Stolt album (or a "Roine Stolt's The Flower King") album, or whether it's a de facto Flower Kings album that happens to be under Roine's name. The first of those is, of course, The Flower King - the initial project where the core personnel decided to take the material on the world and in the process of doing so forged themselves into the first Flower Kings lineup.

This is the second one - which is either Stolt's first solo album since Wall Street Voodoo from 2005 or, looked at another way, a Flower Kings album reduced under a different, slightly clunky project name as a result of Tomas Bodin's reluctance to return to the fold. Sure, much of the material here is actually just played by Roine himself as a multi-instrumentalists, with other personnel dipping in here and there in a guest capacity - but on the other hand, a good chunk of the folk here would go on to be part of the lineup which eventually just reasserted their claim to the name of the Flower Kings once it became apparent that Bodin wasn't going to come back.

Musically speaking, it feels a lot like Stolt's been influenced by his collaborations with his Transatlantic buddy Neal Morse, with Lost America in particular sounding like the sort of thing which might have appeared in a mid-1990s Spock's Beard album from that mildly more commercially-leaning period they had from Beware of Darkness to Day For Night). One thing both Stolt and Morse have long had in common is an appreciation for the sunny sounds of 1960s pop, and Baby Angels feels like a delving into that. On the whole, the Yes influences that had been prominent on prior Flower Kings releases are dialled back somewhat in favour of a tour of prog sounds ranging from fusion to more traditional Flower Kings fare.

On the whole, it's an appealing release but not an exceptional one - something which Flower Kings fans doubtless appreciated when it emerged, but which has perhaps been eclipsed a little by the reformation of the Flower Kings proper.

Latest members reviews

1 stars There's a fine line between a Roine Stolt album and a Flower Kings album. The awkward title of 'The Flower King: Manifesto of an Alchemist,' is a result of Inside Out marketing. However, all of the musicians featured on The Flower Kings album 'Waiting for Miracles' are also featured on this album, w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2986378) | Posted by Magog2112 | Sunday, January 28, 2024 | Review Permanlink

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