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

BANKS OF EDEN

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 795 ratings

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progrules
Prog Reviewer
5 stars TFK's 5 year hiatus has indeed yielded something special is my first conclusion after several listenings. Banks of Eden is the bands first studio album since Space Revolver without weaker songs or fillers. It's interesting though that after the very first listening experience I favored the bonus disc over the main disc and this was due to slight disappointment (and extreme expectations) and at that point I was pleasantly surprised with the bonus disc. This last statement remains but after four or five times checking out the main disc I have changed my mind about that one. Especially the opening epic Numbers made a huge step in my appreciation. At first I hoped for an epic as huge as their very best like Monsters & Men, Garden of Dreams or my latest fav Love is the Only Answer. And then Numbers at first seemed a slight setback but after repeated efforts it sinks in much better and I began to get the hang of it. Numbers is right now at least in my personal top 10 of TFK songs ever.

How about the rest ? Contrary to practically all their predecessors Banks of Eden is the only album with just one 10+ minute song. All others (including the bonus tracks) are even below 8,5 minutes. And that's remarkable. In earlier reviews as well as in their appreciation thread in our forum I often state that their epics are their great strength. Almost all of them are extremely worthwhile where their shorter tracks (and then mainly their below 5 minute efforts) are weakish and sometimes even totally dispensable. But with Banks of Eden Roine & co managed to produce a whole set of middle length and shorter songs that are in fact all way above par, probably even excellent or better. Actually I have a hard time to pick the best of the rest or even the least of them.

And this makes me come to the conclusion Banks of Eden deserves the same rating as the equal in quality Space Revolver. The style isn't totally the same as on this millennium album but the strength overall is in fact. So where I initially contemplated a four star rating because I didn't think it was better as the predecessor (Sum of no Evil, which deserved a 4,5 in my opinion) I have to change my mind in the end. Banks of Eden is a very strong come back and essential for anyone who has nothing against this great Swedish band.

progrules | 5/5 |

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