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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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5 stars A masterpiece that you should NOT miss!

Here I am ' having been spinning this latest album by Sweden's prog giant The Flower Kings in its entirety many times already. In fact I can not count how many, may be ten or twenty even more. I don't really care really. What I do care is the fact that the band has returned their existence into progrock business with new concept and dazzling compositions. Boom! They killed me at first shot the first time I played this album couple of weeks ago. Yeah, they really blew me away the first time I listened to the opening track 'Numbers' which represents the longest duration in the album and indeed the best composition even though the other tracks are all excellent.

Truthfully, 'Numbers' is the only track from The Flower Kings that made me hooked to the music the first time listening to it. I have never had any experience that I fall in love with the song at first listening. Onlly 'Numbers' can do it for me, really. I don't mean the other tracks by TFK were not that as good as 'Numbers' but all of them were quite hard to digest at first time. What makes 'Numbers' really ticked into my mind? Well, I really don't understand it to tell the truth. Come to think of it I think it mostly due to the tagline melody is memorable and it sticks into my mind easily at first spin. The beauty is that even though this track serves like an epic with its 25-minute duration, all segments in the epic sound like one melody that spans from opening part till the end. Interestingly, you would not seem to get bored even though the overall melody is the same. It's really great!!!

Musically, it also flows wonderfully from intro to mid section till its final ends with smooth transitions among segments. They know exactly who their customers are ' so they have crafted the music in such a way that it offers various styles and moods that prog lovers would like to experience. On instruments used, you might find tons of great work of Roine Stolt in his guitar work backed solidly by Thomas Bodin's keyboard. Jona Reingold also contributes solid basslines throughout the song.

Well, so far I only tell you the opening track 'Numbers' ' what about the rest? I can assure you that the other tracks are excellent. The second track 'For The Love of Gold' has simpler structure and composition compared to the epic. Nonetheless it's an excellent track with good harmonies of vocals, guitar as well as keyboard. You would find stunning guitar solo even though not a long one ' but's good, really!

The third track 'Pandemonium' is progrockers favorite, I am sure. Why? It starts wonderfully with a mind-boggling intro that kills you right away. The intro really represents something you might expect any prog music to start with. As the track rolls into middle part you would experience excellent combination of vocals and intertwining compositions. It's really great! It has combination of many styles of prog ' you name it. In fact it has that part of foxtrot thing, jazzy thing as well as symphonic thing let alone rock thing. The melody is also nice as it is represented by guitar, keyboard and vocal harmonies.

To be continued '.

(The above piece was written at coffee shop while listening the album with a headphone)

'For Above To Drown' represents typical The Flower Kings musical style back dated in their years of inception with some parts in the vein of Roine Stolt's first solo titled 'The Flower King' (without 's' at King word). gain, TFK wants to prove that they can produce great melody and harmonies as they demonstrate through this song. I believe you would love this track as I do.

The last track on the first CD 'Rising The Imperial' is again indicating their capabilities in creating melodic music. The intro part is mellow and melodic with sort of bluesy style in guitar as well as basslines. Moreover the nuance of this song serves like an overall closing of the well-crafted album. It combines blues style demonstrated by Stolt guitar solo as well as symphonic style thru Bodin's work. It's really an enjoyable one!

I don't want to comment on track by track basis on the bonus disc that comprises four tracks: Illuminati (6:20), Fireghosts (5:50), Going Up (5:10), and LoLines (4:40) as all of them are good tracks as well. Without this bonus disc, I still consider that this album is an excellent one.

Overall, I would definitely say that this is a masterpiece of 2012 prog album that you must own it as it proves that the band is still a prog giant after that long time vacuum period for not producing new album. It's definitely a five-star rating album. Keep on proggin' '!

Peace on earth and mercy mild ' GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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