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The Flower Kings - Space Revolver CD (album) cover

SPACE REVOLVER

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 590 ratings

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AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Space Revolver by The Flower Kings is a pleasant surprise after the somewhat underwhelming double disc Flower Power album. Space Revolver takes a step in a new direction with new bassist Jonas Reingold and ditches thirty or sixty minute epics in favor of shorter epics of ten to fifteen minute epics surrounded by a higher quality of shorter songs.

Space Revolver's compositional difference isn't limited to the length of it's songs. Stolt and company discover a different style on this album musically. The instrumental technique is much more polished as showcased in the instrumental track "Rumble Fish Twist". There is also a different style in the epics. In pieces like "I Am the Sun Part I" and "Monster Within" there is less of Roine Stolt's bluesy guitar solos and much more of a focused groove built around choruses throughout the pieces. It's a step in the right direction for The Flower Kings, but the style isn't quite perfected on this album.

Roine Stolt is the focal point of the band as usual. His composing is another great, but this time experimental effort. This may not be as much of the peak of Stolt's career as a composer, but it's certainly not disappointing. Stolt utilizes the skills of his supporting musicians much more on this album. He ditches some of his bluesy guitar solos in favor of more technical instrumental unison. Stolt's vocal performance on this album is one of his best ever. The tone of his voice is much more developed and much better produced than previous albums.

Tomas Bodin has different performance as well. He seems to approach this album with chordal harmony in mind. His previous style of floating keyboard arpeggios in the higher range is not as noticeable as previous albums. Bodin's synth tones sound a little more serious than cheesey this time around.

Jonas Reingold was an excellent addition to the band. The departure of Michael Stolt has opened up a spot for one of the greatest bass virtuosos of the genre. Reingold's style is one that is much more active around the fretboard. Reingold can flat out shread, which makes the technical unisons on this album that much more impressive. Jonas Reingold's debut with The Flower Kings is one of the most impressive parts of the album.

Jaimie Salazaar has an odd approach to this album. There are more Ddrum digital drum sounds making analysis of his playing difficult. There are some poignant drum parts (Rumble Fish Twist), but nothing on the album that makes a listener jump out of his chair in disbelief of what he just heard. There's a rock solid drum groove, but the Ddrum models are not for everyone, including me.

Hasse Froberg's vocals are used a little more on this album, but Stolt still holds the reigns. Froberg still plays a minimal role in The Flower Kings at this point. He does excellent backing vocals, but he doesn't get enough lead spots, especially for being such a talented vocalist.

The production isn't the best from The Flower Kings. The vocals are great. Stolt's performance as I mentioned eariler is one of his best. Froberg sounds grea when he gets the chance. The keyboards have better sounds than previous albums. I do have a problem with the bass and drums though. Which is where production of an album really comes through. The Ddrum synth just doens't do it for me. Reingold's bass playing is extraordinary, but his bass tone sometime seems lost in the mix. It's not a terrible mix, but The Flower Kings have done much better.

It's a great listen, it just needed a little bit more polish.

AtLossForWords | 4/5 |

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