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The Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel CD (album) cover

PARADOX HOTEL

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 502 ratings

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Proglodita
5 stars The Flower Kings at its best. This album unite all the experience of the band's 12-year-old life, mix them in that inspired mind of Ronnie, with the right help of Tomas, and spread the result in two discs, with no fillers, where the weaker parts are enviable by many other albums.

Too much? This is what a masterpiece is, and some times I'd like to use the word perfection, but that is an exaggeration, I know.

When I talk about the highest moments on the album, Selfconsuming Fire, Minor Giants Steps or What if God Is Alone, I talk about some of the greatest songs of The Flower Kings. And when I talk about the typical experiments, eventually fillers in these two-disc albums, Bavarian Skies and maybe The Unorthodox Dancinglesson, I talk about strong tracks, where the experiments worked excellently.

Let's focus in some key moments: First of all, the opening, Monsters and Men, the only 20-minute track. It starts really good, with a beautiful piano, and the first half is just like one of those great songs like Stardust We Are or The Truth Will Set You Free. But, unfortunately, the song can't keep that level, and falls in some kind of lethargy which surrounds you with good music but allows you to see that something is missing. In this hotel, the longest one is not the best one.

Selfconsuming Fire is the peak in Room 111. It starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar leading toward a crescendo that ends in an electric guitar solo, and then again. Simplicity is the best friend of this song. Simplicity and inspiration.

Bavarian Skies stands like an experiment, those weird songs usually one doesn't understand, with voices and some music on the background. But suddenly the sense arises, the song takes form, and you find yourself in the middle of an emotional melody. Not a low point at all.

Room 222 stars with the superb Minor Giant Steps. How to summarize this song with words? Mmm. It's very dynamic with the typical sound of the band, and a great singing by Hans, quite sweet at moments.

Tracks 2 and 3 are a kind of experimental section. Touch My Heaven, composed by Bodin, is very calmed, a little dark at the beginning, with the music like covered with pillows before the speakers. But the solo at the second half is really great. Just picture Ronnie with the eyes closed, the head to the back and playing. The Unorthodox Dancinglesson is an instrumental piece based on a motif on the keyboard, with a chaotic crescendo in the mid section. Interesting duo, as I said, not low at all.

Life Will Kill You is Froberg's debut on the composition. A little pop oriented, something like a single, but it's ok. All in all, I'm happy when I got to this song.

The Way the Waters Are Moving makes an excellent intro to the other extraterrestrial song: What if God Is Alone. I can't avoid crying with this one; the climax really catches me. "I can see beyond time, I can love beyond words, I can shine beyond suns, I can dream beyond worlds."And the lyrics are very beautiful too.

So, what do we have here? One of the strongest works of The Flower Kings, in my opinion the best one, with similarities in structure and style to Unfold the Future. Paradox Hotel is an album to be heard at night with no interruptions, just one and the music. It's a Masterpiece from beginning to end.

Proglodita | 5/5 |

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