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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 783 ratings

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4 stars The Flower Kings have returned after a gap of five years. They've been so busy with other projects it seemed possible that they might have run their course but I'm pleased to say Banks Of Eden is their strongest album in years. 2007's The Sum Of No Evil whilst a very good album and a big improvement over Adam & Eve and Paradox Hotel lacked the spark of the band at their best, my initial enthusiasm wearing a little thin over time. Hopefully Banks of Eden won't go the same way but I suspect not.

I think the layoff has done them good as they appear to have returned with renewed vigour. The band have often been accused of their albums being too long with double CD sets like Stardust We Are and Unfold The Future containing too much filler material. There's some truth in this and they've wisely kept Banks Of Eden under the hour, though a bonus disc on a limited edition version does contain an additional 4 tracks.

Banks Of Eden doesn't break any new ground containing the kind of complex symphonic prog they're known for. There's the almost obligatory epic 25 minute piece along with 4 shorter songs. Any of the tracks here could sit on any of their late 90's/turn of the century albums but whilst the lack of progression may grate on some there's no denying the quality of the material on offer. If you don't like The Flower Kings by now this won't change your mind but they turn in a strong performance - latest drummer Felix Lehrmann is a worthy successor to Zoltan Csorsz and Jamie Salazar. Most importantly, the albums full of strong hooks with some great instrumental work and better vocal melodies than on the last few albums. Not surprisingly when you stick and epic track on an album, it will either stand or fall by this. Thankfully Numbers is their best since The Truth Will Set You Free released 10 years back on Unfold The Future containing all the above mentioned qualities.

Where Banks of Eden also wins over some past releases is the lack of filler. It's not their best album but nevertheless a welcome return to form from a great band. Now some UK dates would be very welcome outside London please.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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