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The Flower Kings - Banks of Eden CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 899 ratings

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3 stars The Weakest TFK Album.

Not sure what happened here. Despite a 5-year break, TFK returned with this, their weakest album to date (the follow-up to this one, 2013's 'Desolation Rose' is much better). The opening epic, the 25-minute long "Numbers" is pretty good, as its cousin the closer "Rising the Imperial", but most of the remaining 7 tracks are sub-par for TFK (including those on the bonus CD). Of these, it is the first track on the bonus CD ("Illuminati") that is the best among the rest and which could be justified on the main album, leaving 6 tracks which stand among TFK's weakest studio releases and probably better suited for fan-club album. They are far more mainstream in approach, and their melodies and lyrics are not very compelling. Of course, this being TFK, there are some good musical ideas on each of these other tunes, but in each case they are coupled with themes and licks that are far less musical, and even off-putting - the vocodor vocal chorus on "Pandemonium" for instance, which I think ruins what could have been a good tune based on the strength of the opening lick. So, while I really like "Numbers" and "Raising the Imperial", which alone make this album worth getting, those are not enough to bring this album up above three stars (also, I wonder about the inconsistency in the composing credits here. "Numbers" is credited to Roine Stolt, while "Raising the Imperial" is credited to Jonas Reingold. However, these two tracks are musically related and share the same chorus-theme and lyrics, so who wrote that?). Despite taking 5 years, this album seems thrown together overly quickly. Of course, don't get me wrong here - a weaker TFK album is still better than the best albums from many other bands, and better than 90 percent of recorded rock music! Overall, I give this album 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


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