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The Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 480 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars There are times when we sense a great album almost instantly but we can definitely say the word “amazing”, “marvelous”, "masterpiece", whatever, only after dig harder into it. We may consider it a tough item. The latest output of Swedish progressive rock giant The Flower Kings is an example. The opening track, a 21-plus-minute epic "Monsters & Men", contains snippets of gorgeous melodies, quick-change tempo, varies styles, keyboards playing that display accuracy and prowess, and killer guitar solo, but it doesn't instantly bring the listeners to the destination expected in the first place. We need to muster the concentration required to listen to the song, and ultimately the album in its entirety, for several spins before a "click" can be reached.

That sounds pretty much The Flower Kings' typical albums, indeed. However, in this point in time, the band 10th studio offering (a double album, again!) has more than just its hard-to-digest materials: it also strengthening the band's position as a group who really deserves to be highly praised -- one of the greatests in its genre since early 1990s. This album neatly packed many strong materials in terms of sound, instrumentation, dynamic and arrangement; all of them make up the unique form of music. It's the kind of cuisine we wouldn't find in every restaurant.

While naming individual remarkable songs is somewhat futile, it's safe to mention there are stuff that remind us of 1970s giants such as Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant and King Crimson. All of them are presented with a different musical recipe, though. And with this, frontman-cum-guitarist Roine Stolt lead his band cruising enthusiastically into human existence in a world he refer to as a hotel. “We are only guests here; we can't take much with us. We check in, we use the hotel bar, pay the bill – you get nothing for free – and then leave again sometime”, Stolt explains the concept.

An interesting theme, a wonderful music. Add with the sleek production, we have enough reasons to praise this album and put it in the same rank with the bests from The Flower Kings catalogue.

kunangkunangku | 4/5 |


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