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The Flower Kings - Space Revolver CD (album) cover

SPACE REVOLVER

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 506 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
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.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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