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The Flower Kings - BrimStoned in Europe CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 46 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A showcase of the Flower Kings' musicianship. This is an all-instrumental live album which should please fans of the band, fans of Roine's guitar playing, newcomers, and music listeners who enjoy Flower Kings' instrumental side but dislike Roine Stolt's voice. The music is generally more loose and less reliant on hooks than the average Flower Kings disc.

Despite Hasse's absence, these four musicians managed to play somewhat complex music without losing the big harmony sound that is characteristic of the Flower Kings. In here, you will find the definite versions of the uplifting and melodic "The Man Who Walked With Kings" and the song that people afraid of clowns should stay away from: the quirky and menacing "Circus Brimstone." Also, you will find superior versions of the solo compositions "Cosmic Lodge" and "The Magic Circus of Zeb" which are both positive-sounding guitar-driven songs written by Roine last decade. Also found in this disc is a new jazz-fusion piece which is reminiscent of Al DiMeola's early albums, except that it is dominated by drums in the later parts of the song. Finally, there are two more pieces from The Flower Kings: Retropolis and Astral Dog. "Retropolis" is the powerful heavy instrumental that we know and love minus the electronica and acoustic sections near the end. "Astral Dog" is the laid back Satriani-like tune from "Flower Power" but I feel that it loses focus after around six minutes due to unnecessary guitar noodling and later turns into a somewhat uninspired new song.

Despite the lackluster Astral Dog, the performance is excellent and I give this 3.5 stars, rounded up because it's not strictly for fans as newcomers could get really impressed by the technical skills of the musicians and several moments that show brilliant songwriting.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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