Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

THE FLOWER KINGS

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Flower Kings picture
The Flower Kings biography
Founded in Uppsala, Sweden in 1994 - Hiatus between 2008-2012

It's hard to make a biography about THE FLOWER KINGS, being that there's so much to say about them, so any attempt of telling their history may seem insufficient.
This essential Swedish group was born around 1993 as a power trio formed by Roine STOLT (Ex-KAIPA) in guitar and vocals, Jaime SALAZAR (Drums) and Hasse BRUNIUSSON (percussion), and ex-SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, this lineup worked with Stolt in his solo album "The Flower King" with the participation of Hans Fröberg (Lead and Backing vocals) who would stay with them.

Soon they decided to form a band using the name of the solo album so THE FLOWER KINGS was born, the keyboardist Tomas BODIN and Roine's brother Michael in the bass joined and the band was officially born.

For 1995 they have their first release ready "Back in the World of Adventures" which impressed the critics very much for their closeness to the style of early bands such as Moody Blues, genesis, Jethro Tull etc, borrowing ideas but not music, so you can easily find their inspiration but a single chord copied, I personally liked the album but found it closer to Neo Prog than to Symphonic but this is only a stylistic precision that has no relation with the quality of the album.

The next few years are prolific with few changes and they release "Retropolis" in 1996. Stardust we Are" in 1997 and "Flower Power" in 1998 with no great changes.
In 1999 Michael Stolt leaves the band and is replaced by Jonas Reingold so the new formation for "Space Revolver" in the year 2000 also includes Ulf Wallander playing the Sax as a guest that remains for a long period with them.

After "The Rainmaker" in 2001 Jaime Salazar leaves the band and the drums are taken by Zoltan Csörsz who stays in the band until the release of "Paradox Hotel" (2005) when is replaced by Marcus Liliequist.
As most Swedish bands the quality of their music and the musicianship of their members is impeccable but don't expect the complexity of their most illustrious compatriots like Anglagard or the dark and almost religious atmosphere of Par Lindh Project (With whom Roine worked in Gothic Impressions), being that the music of THE FLOWER KINGS is a bit lighter but not inferior by any means.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

See also:...
read more

THE FLOWER KINGS forum topics / tours, shows & news


THE FLOWER KINGS forum topics Create a topic now
THE FLOWER KINGS tours, shows & news Post an entries now

THE FLOWER KINGS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all THE FLOWER KINGS videos (4) | Search and add more videos to THE FLOWER KINGS

Buy THE FLOWER KINGS Music


Sum of No EvilSum of No Evil
Insideout Music 2009
$10.02
$7.98 (used)
Kingdom Of Colours II (2004-2013) (Limited Edition 9 CD Box)Kingdom Of Colours II (2004-2013) (Limited Edition 9 CD Box)
Inside Out Germany 2018
$169.00
$429.95 (used)

More places to buy THE FLOWER KINGS music online Buy THE FLOWER KINGS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

THE FLOWER KINGS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE FLOWER KINGS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 604 ratings
Back In The World Of Adventures
1995
3.75 | 528 ratings
Retropolis
1996
3.92 | 600 ratings
Stardust We Are
1997
3.96 | 513 ratings
Flower Power
1999
3.86 | 556 ratings
Space Revolver
2000
3.47 | 457 ratings
The Rainmaker
2001
3.90 | 543 ratings
Unfold The Future
2002
3.49 | 488 ratings
Adam & Eve
2004
3.73 | 491 ratings
Paradox Hotel
2006
3.81 | 554 ratings
The Sum Of No Evil
2007
4.05 | 799 ratings
Banks Of Eden
2012
3.97 | 584 ratings
Desolation Rose
2013
3.92 | 137 ratings
Waiting For Miracles
2019

THE FLOWER KINGS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 129 ratings
Alive On Planet Earth
2000
4.38 | 175 ratings
Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording 2003
2003
3.48 | 35 ratings
Carpe Diem
2008
4.11 | 74 ratings
Tour Kaputt
2011

THE FLOWER KINGS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.13 | 128 ratings
Meet The Flower Kings @ Live Recording 2003
2003
3.79 | 97 ratings
Instant Delivery
2006
4.25 | 54 ratings
Tour Kaputt
2011

THE FLOWER KINGS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.47 | 49 ratings
Scanning The Greenhouse
1998
4.00 | 6 ratings
Two In One
2006
3.26 | 74 ratings
The Road Back Home
2007
4.85 | 13 ratings
A Kingdom of Colours
2017
4.73 | 15 ratings
A Kingdom of Colours II
2018

THE FLOWER KINGS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 5 ratings
Edition Limitee Quebec 1998
1998
4.60 | 5 ratings
The Flower Kings
1999
3.00 | 16 ratings
Fanclub CD 2000
2000
3.07 | 37 ratings
The Rainmaker (Limited Edition)
2001
3.94 | 25 ratings
The Fanclub CD 2002 - A Collection Of Flower Kings Related Music
2002
3.82 | 27 ratings
Live In New York - Official Bootleg
2003
2.48 | 12 ratings
Fanclub CD 2004
2004
2.24 | 36 ratings
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid!!!
2004
2.95 | 28 ratings
Harvest Fanclub CD 2005
2005
3.67 | 44 ratings
BrimStoned In Europe
2005

THE FLOWER KINGS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Flower Power by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.96 | 513 ratings

BUY
Flower Power
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars The Flower Kings are definitely one of the more interesting retro prog bands out there for their ability to expertly craft instrumental sections that take the listener on a journey with amazingly vivid imagery being painted with each sweeping section of music, creating some truly beautiful music. Even so, I've got to say that this album is entirely baffling to me, given how this album is over 2 hours long, yet almost entirely enjoyable from front to back, despite the fact that I couldn't really see a 2 hour long symphonic prog album being anything other than an exhausting experience. What this album does so well in order to make it as enjoyable as it is is how the songwriting has once again been refined and consistency feels far more focused upon, fixing the biggest flaw I found Stardust We Are had, as this album feels as if the majority of the tracks actually have a place.

The album is split into 2 halves, with the first half primarily being taken up by the hour long epic, Garden of Dreams, a piece as grandiose as one would expect from an hour long prog epic, and definitely the most impressive, ambitious song here, even if it can feel a bit inconsistent at points. The first 10 minutes or so that include Dawn, Simple Song and Business Vamp are absolutely excellent, containing a lovely buildup into beautiful, pastoral acoustic guitar before building upon the more fantasy oriented side of their sound, exceptional synths forming the basis of this amazing sound thus far, with Roine Stolt's guitar work further contributing to the quality, being technical, but not enough to become overbearing or distracting. Despite the near perfection of this first stretch of the epic, it's really after this where things get so interesting, with a somewhat darker, more emotionally hearfelt edge to sections like All You Can Save. This is accentuated by the increase of guitar prominence, which is definitely the most emotive aspect to the band's sound overall, and is much more versatile in what imagery it can create compared to the largely fantastical sound of the keyboard. I also love how the band clearly isn't against throwing in some more fun sections into the mix to spice things up without derailing all of the momentum that's being made, as these faster, looser parts often come right before some sort of massive buildup. Of course, when I'm talking about massive buildup, I'm talking about the leadup to one of the most satisfying moments in the band's entire discography, Don't Let The D'evil In, the lush orchestrations making way for surprisingly heavy guitar work in such a perfect climax to the previous few sections' trajectory. It's absolutely how wild this section sounds without sounding entirely out of place, yet going as far as to have a defined riff and everything, sounding like another part of the 2 Judas songs on the band's first 2 albums, except even more amazingly intense through and through. What impresses me more than this is how everything manages to continue smoothly after this point despite the stark drop in intensity, falling back onto the grandiose melodies that still remind me somewhat of a pantomime.

This second half is where I feel like things begin loosing traction as well however, as while there are some really cool experiments with more ambient and understated music, it's also where the more traditional parts often lack the same kind of magic as what was found early on. While I believe this, I must also make sure to not neglect mentioning how absolutely incredible the conclusion to the song is, being so immensely powerful all across the board, the emotional vocals being nothing short of absolutely breathtaking as all elements of the band display the culmintation of the last 55 minutes nothing short of flawlessly, both making everythin beforehand that much more significant, and reeling me back in after the album began to lose me, the first of many cases in which this happens on the album as a whole. Side one also includes the great instrumental Astral Dog, which isn't anywhere near as special as what just came before, but nonetheless signifies the fact that the second half will be full of shorter, more digestable tracks.

I do personally find the second half of this album to be more or less equal to the first in terms of quality, with some clear highlights throughout. Deaf Numb and Blind starts things off very nicely with another lengthy epic, although this time only 11 minutes, but packing it with pure exellence, still having a nice balance between technicality and beauty, especially near the end where everything becomes extremely dense. I like how there is some sort of variety within the many songs here, as it is probably part of the reason why I am able to enjoy this album despite so much being seemingly against it. Psychedelic Postcard is the biggest example of this, as while it's not a big change, the trippier nature of it definitely is an interesting change from most of the album, the fuzzy sound that many elements have in plaes providing some really unique characteristics to it in the grand scheme of the band's output. I also find myself enjoying some other songs such as Corruption, with it's cool guitar sections and the same darker atmosphere underpinned by the theatrics of the project. One final song I would be remiss to neglect is the amazingly beautiful Painter that showcases the identity of the band as a whole extremely well without taking an exceedigly long time to do so.

Overall, I find it highly unnexpected that I ended up enjoying this album so thoroughly, but in the end, that's exactly what I did. I do still believe that this album could have been cut down a bit, but it's a far less egregious issue than on Stardust We Are, as the majority of this feels unlike filler. In terms of reinventing themselves, this album does literally nothing, but instead greatly refines the preexisting identity of the band to create a highly memorable, beautiful album that highlights the best aspects of prog, even if it does indulge on the excess that makes up one of its worst aspects in many cases. Definitely not the first place I'd send people when recommending this band due to its immense length, but it's definitely a great album, especially for the great Garden Of Dreams, which is almost completely worthy of its ridiculous length, although I'd cut it back by about 10 minutes.

Best tracks: Garden of Dreams, Deaf, Numb and Blind, Corruption, Painter

Weakest tracks: Power of Kindness, Hudson Rivers Siren Call 1998, Calling Home

Verdict: Despite being a 2 hour block of symphonic retro prog, I found this album to be surprisingly consistent in its engagement. If you can accept the fact that this album is needlessly excessive in many aspects and enjoy that sort of stuff, I think that you could enjoy this album quite a bit, especially for Garden of Dreams.

 Unfold The Future by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.90 | 543 ratings

BUY
Unfold The Future
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is an 'Unfold the Future' listening guide, for this album is a mixed bag that can ultimately be very rewarding! It took me so long to get my head around this one.

The Flower Kings showcase an unmistakable love for Genesis, Kansas, Gentle Giant, King Crimson and above all Yes. Whereas of these bands I hold little love for Yes (exceptions is the Yes Album) and Kansas, the different passages can have quite different impacts on me (as usually an idea is clearly rooted in one of these progband's traditions). The band switches between 'schools' within songs, sometimes 'citing' one band after another. Though this can be fun, it is distracting from the familiarization process, which was already under threat due to the album its immense length. Also the band looses itself often in just showing of its musical capabilities.

The album has a distinct sound. Clear as can be, detailed, but also quite bare and a bit airy and un-ankered. Some of that is also in the playing of The Flower Kings. I myself own the 3lp version which sounds good, but only at higher volumes due to the lack of (even some) modern mixing and compression. The tracklist on the 3lp is significantly different than on the 2cd. I can't help but thinking the band is using the six different twenty minute sides to help with 'sorting out' this almost 140 minute album of very diverse material.

The first LP opens with the 30 minute epic 'The Truth Will Set You Free'. This epic is very well described by my opening paragraph. It has some amazing moments of symphonic bliss and technical interplay, but other passages leave me quite cold. Moreover, I guess the core ideas behind this track could have come to fruition in twenty minutes as well. 'Monkey Business' is an awful Kansas inspired track. Flimsy, all over the place and tacky. 'Black and White' is significantly better and has some strong solo sections. The short imaginative ballad 'The Navigator' is a highlight for me, it has a simple yet gorgeous atmosphere.

Side three opens with 'Silent Inferno', which has one of most solid opening sections this album has to offer. The verses are a bit light-hearted, but the imaginative solo sections make up for it. Somehow the Kansas influences (keyboard use) are quite nice on this one. Some clear cut references to Voyage of the Acolyte and singing that reminds me a bit of UK-era John Wetton. The Al Di Miola / Return to Forever section is well performed, but totally out of place here. 'Vox Humana' is nice melodic balled with an original sound pallet, a bit like 'The Navigator'. 'Grand Old World' is a world jazz infused slow ballad.

The first three sides together form (in my experience) the first album. Because of its diversity, its many high-lights (and some lows as well) I would rate it a 3,5 star album. The fourth side then sounds like a collection of 'spare' songs, in my humble opinion. Though all of these tracks have some stronger passages, they add nothing to this body of work. Moreover, there are so many moments here that are either boring or plain annoying. I would recommend skipping this vinyl side all together, because the final LP (3) is the real hidden treasure here! The fusion piece 'The Devil's Danceschool' is quite nice though.

The third LP I would 'interpret' as the second album, in a quite different flavor. More based on King Crimson influence majestic prog and jazz- rock. The structure of its first side is based (and an extension) of King Crimson's 'Moonchild'; opening with a magical atmospheric balled and then evolving in a free imaginative improvisation on 'Solitary Shell'. The concept here really lifts of with 'Chistianopel', which reminds me of the better moments of Pat Matheny's 'The Way Up' album. Brilliant atmospheric, virtuoso fusion well suited for the progressive rock audience. It also evolves beautiful out of the free improvisation of the track before it. I wonder why the band didn't create an 'epic' out of these cuts that works so well together. Without a doubt this is the artistic high-point of this record. The second side of this 'album' is filled with 'Devil's Playground'. To me this sounds as the more artistic, more balanced and catchier brother of the opening track 'The Truth Will Set You Free'. On its own, I might have given this third LP a 4,5 stars as an album.

After months of returning to this body of work I find myself in the position of being a highly critical admirer of The Flower Kings. Surely there's enough material here to make for a four star album. By learning to know how to listen to it you can make this a very enjoyable purchase. Especially the third LP is quite an amazing ride and a brilliant reenactment of seventies prog. But boy, somebody should slap these guys faces for making it soo damn hard to enjoy their amazing music.

 Waiting For Miracles by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.92 | 137 ratings

BUY
Waiting For Miracles
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars Another solid release from The Flower Kings. Waiting For Miracles is familiar territory, but different enough to show the band has changed. It still features excellent musicianship, and The Flower Kings signature sound with Roine at the helm. As far as the music goes, We Were Always Here is one of their best songs, and the album ends with it excluding the last track of concept album sounds called Busking at Brobank. Sure Space Revolver or Stardust We Are may arguably be better albums, and longtime favorites of fans. However, Waiting For Miracles fits nicely into the catalog of albums, and a worthy addition to any progressive rock collection. It holds its own as an excellent release, and more music from The Flower Kings is always welcome. With over 80 minutes of music, the new lineup really hooked up us fans. Enjoy!
 Waiting For Miracles by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.92 | 137 ratings

BUY
Waiting For Miracles
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars Old Fashioned, Brilliant but Disappointing

This album could've been the next Space Revolver or Stardust We Are but it suffers. I got my copy yesterday and was absolutely ready to here how this album sounds. And with Two new members, not one new member (almost always being the drummer), a drummer; Mirkko De Maio and Keyboardist; Zach Kamins, this album has its faults. Both new members being great but you can rarely hear one of them, want to guess who? If you guessed Zach Kamins (keyboards), then you would be right! So many great opportunities to solo and in some places he takes it but even when he does you can barely hear him. So with a poor mix, this album will take a hit. The songwriting, playing or lyrics all work but the mix is one factor that will sink this album. As much love as I have for The Flower Kings, this album is both Brilliant and Disappointing (this the title of this review). It makes the two previous albums (Banks of Eden and Desolation Rose) sound like a blues band, but this doesn't deserve 5 Stars. The blues rock elements I've complained about in the albums after Unfold The Future are all gone but... seriously... this mix... I hope they decide to release a deluxe edition with more material and a much better mix. If and when that happens, then this album will be worthy of a 5 star rating. But as it stands now, this album has poor mix, lacks the long epics that make TFK a top 10 prog bands ever spot. From a playing perspective, this album has intricate playing, very emotional solos and fast licks (by Zach Kamins). It even has dynamics! Finally an album with a bunch of dynamics, some soft acoustic songs that really make this album shine. Maybe I'll eventually get over the mix but until then, this album is a brilliant but disappointing album. Love it and feel some pain from this album. (Also, hats off to Zach Kamins for making amazing atmospheres like Tomas Bodin!).

 Adam & Eve by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.49 | 488 ratings

BUY
Adam & Eve
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

2 stars This album is the next after 'Unfold the Future' and I wish they had stuck with Roine Stolt on lead vocals more often. This album had the potential to be great, sadly it's not. Half or more of this album is more blues rock, Hasse Fröberg sings a lot (which is a blessing and a curse), and the amount of actual progressive rock on this album is satisfactory but not good enough. This album mainly consists of blue rockin songs with some prog elements thrown in here and there. It's a decent album at best, the good songs on this album save this album a lot. Songs like 'Cosmic Circus' and 'The Blade of Cain' among one other save the rating but ... this honestly did show that older Flower Kings was the meat and soul of the band. They lost their touch after this album, sorry to say but... this is a review and this is the rating I'm giving this album. 2/5
 Retropolis by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.75 | 528 ratings

BUY
Retropolis
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars For the second release by the band, this is as good as it can get. It's not as good as their debut, trying to show a bit more of a mainstream mood on some songs. Not at all blues though which is good, but it had other weaknesses. Overall, this album shows a simplistic view of the previous, good songwriting but less time signatures, less complicated riffs or piano licks like the previous, etc. Some better recording quality and a new fresh sound to get this album kicked off the ground, it worked but this album could've been better. It is still a great album, just could've been stronger.
 Desolation Rose by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.97 | 584 ratings

BUY
Desolation Rose
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

3 stars Like the previous album (Banks Of Eden), but slightly more disappointing... here's the issue, very very similar to the previous but ... more disappointing. Way more blues rock, much more uninspired dribbling, and its Tomas Bodin's last Flower Kings album. I really really hope that their new album is good, but my Hope's have been lowered so far after this album that I don't know if its possible for them anymore. This album has some good moments on the bonus disc with quintessential sounding songs, but it's nothing to save this album really. Sorry to say, I know this is a favourite to some... but ... it's just not really prog enough.
 Paradox Hotel by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.73 | 491 ratings

BUY
Paradox Hotel
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars I have completely changed my mind on this album. This album is absolutely incredible, very retro and has that late 90s Flower Kings sound that I love. This album does suffer a bit from the first two tracks but everything forward is absolutely incredible. Great song writing, incredible instrumentation, great instrumentals, mindblowing lyrics and so on. Tomas Bodin does some lead vocals on this album and he adds even more mood to this absolute middle age masterpiece by the band. I can't go on enough about this album because of how long it is. Sure there are some bluesy songs but they don't effect the album all that much, if at all. Songs like 'What if God is Alone' are just clear winners for me just because of the chord progressions, interesting playing, good lyrical content and so on. The rest of the album takes on a lot of subject that can be hard to keep up with thanks to Roine Stolt's influences. All in all this album is in the top 5 best Flower Kings albums, just an incredible work by the band. Well done! Hope Waiting for Miracles is just as good.
 Unfold The Future by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.90 | 543 ratings

BUY
Unfold The Future
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars Flower Kings' 'Unfold The Future' is The Flower Kings last fantastic album by the band sadly. As much as it is their last fantastic masterpiece, it was a banger all the way through. 'The Truth Will Set you Free' is the longest full, constructed song by the Flower Kings, reaching a huge 31 minutes long. The song goes around in a large circle which brings everything around perfectly. Everything else is typical Flower Kings, no wondering, no filler, nothing to make this album horrible. This album is consistent and retains the old sound of Flower Kings that original fans will love. Is there anything else I should say? Just that it's very comparable to old Flower Kings, the strength of this album and the last of the bands great albums.
 Space Revolver by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.86 | 556 ratings

BUY
Space Revolver
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars Flower Kings... you did it again. You made another great album! What happened? This wasn't their last great album, but their upcoming album 'The Rainmaker' coined the decline. This is in the top 3 best Flower Kings albums ever. This fits with 'Stardust We Are' and 'Flower Power' really really well. The full 'I Am The Sun' Suite is an endless Flower Kings dream. Both versions of 'Dream on Dreamer' are good, Tomas Bodin's vocals are smooth. The mood of that song is intoxicating and deep, the saxophone and bass playing is jazzy and comparable to older Flower Kings. 'Rumble Fish Twist' is the instrumental with some solos by everyone, Jonas Reingold, Tomas Bodin, Roine Stolt and Jamie Salazar. 'Monster Within' is a psychedelic prog masterpiece with odd times and interesting lyrical content, large organ parts and experimental vocal sounds. 'Chicken Farmer Song' is again a psychedelic soft rock, proggy song that takes the elements of songs like 'Love is The Word' and 'Church of your Heart'. 'Underdog' and 'You Don't Know what you've Got' are dynamic flowing tracks and mesh within each other and nail the classic Flower Kings sound. 'Slave to Money' has grown on me, it is a tad more blues rockin but it has some pretty catchy parts and retro prog influences, sadly Hassé Fröiberg does sing more on this song, I do like his voice but I prefer Roine's voice. 'A Kings Prayer' is an emotional soft prog song with fantastic lyrical content and a complicated, emotional guitar solo composed by Roine Stolt. Overall, this album belongs with the 2 best Flower Kings albums. Well done boys.
Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives