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THE FLOWER KINGS

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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The Flower Kings biography
Founded in Uppsala, Sweden in 1994 - Hiatus between 2008-2012

It's hard to make a biography about THE FLOWER KINGS, being that there's so much to say about them, so any attempt of telling their history may seem insufficient.
This essential Swedish group was born around 1993 as a power trio formed by Roine STOLT (Ex-KAIPA) in guitar and vocals, Jaime SALAZAR (Drums) and Hasse BRUNIUSSON (percussion), and ex-SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, this lineup worked with Stolt in his solo album "The Flower King" with the participation of Hans Fröberg (Lead and Backing vocals) who would stay with them.

Soon they decided to form a band using the name of the solo album so THE FLOWER KINGS was born, the keyboardist Tomas BODIN and Roine's brother Michael in the bass joined and the band was officially born.

For 1995 they have their first release ready "Back in the World of Adventures" which impressed the critics very much for their closeness to the style of early bands such as Moody Blues, genesis, Jethro Tull etc, borrowing ideas but not music, so you can easily find their inspiration but a single chord copied, I personally liked the album but found it closer to Neo Prog than to Symphonic but this is only a stylistic precision that has no relation with the quality of the album.

The next few years are prolific with few changes and they release "Retropolis" in 1996. Stardust we Are" in 1997 and "Flower Power" in 1998 with no great changes.
In 1999 Michael Stolt leaves the band and is replaced by Jonas Reingold so the new formation for "Space Revolver" in the year 2000 also includes Ulf Wallander playing the Sax as a guest that remains for a long period with them.

After "The Rainmaker" in 2001 Jaime Salazar leaves the band and the drums are taken by Zoltan Csörsz who stays in the band until the release of "Paradox Hotel" (2005) when is replaced by Marcus Liliequist.
As most Swedish bands the quality of their music and the musicianship of their members is impeccable but don't expect the complexity of their most illustrious compatriots like Anglagard or the dark and almost religious atmosphere of Par Lindh Project (With whom Roine worked in Gothic Impressions), being that the music of THE FLOWER KINGS is a bit lighter but not inferior by any means.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

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THE FLOWER KINGS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE FLOWER KINGS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 613 ratings
Back In The World Of Adventures
1995
3.75 | 533 ratings
Retropolis
1996
3.92 | 609 ratings
Stardust We Are
1997
3.95 | 523 ratings
Flower Power
1999
3.86 | 562 ratings
Space Revolver
2000
3.47 | 460 ratings
The Rainmaker
2001
3.89 | 547 ratings
Unfold The Future
2002
3.50 | 492 ratings
Adam & Eve
2004
3.73 | 495 ratings
Paradox Hotel
2006
3.80 | 560 ratings
The Sum Of No Evil
2007
4.06 | 811 ratings
Banks Of Eden
2012
3.98 | 595 ratings
Desolation Rose
2013
3.83 | 185 ratings
Waiting For Miracles
2019

THE FLOWER KINGS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 132 ratings
Alive On Planet Earth
2000
4.37 | 178 ratings
Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording 2003
2003
3.48 | 33 ratings
Carpe Diem
2008
4.10 | 74 ratings
Tour Kaputt
2011

THE FLOWER KINGS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.14 | 129 ratings
Meet The Flower Kings @ Live Recording 2003
2003
3.75 | 97 ratings
Instant Delivery
2006
4.23 | 53 ratings
Tour Kaputt
2011

THE FLOWER KINGS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.47 | 50 ratings
Scanning The Greenhouse
1998
3.96 | 7 ratings
Two In One
2006
3.24 | 75 ratings
The Road Back Home
2007
4.75 | 16 ratings
A Kingdom of Colours
2017
4.67 | 18 ratings
A Kingdom of Colours II
2018

THE FLOWER KINGS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 7 ratings
Edition Limitee Quebec 1998
1998
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Flower Kings
1999
2.96 | 17 ratings
Fanclub CD 2000
2000
3.06 | 38 ratings
The Rainmaker (Limited Edition)
2001
3.92 | 26 ratings
The Fanclub CD 2002 - A Collection Of Flower Kings Related Music
2002
3.82 | 27 ratings
Live In New York - Official Bootleg
2003
2.46 | 13 ratings
Fanclub CD 2004
2004
2.25 | 37 ratings
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid!!!
2004
2.95 | 29 ratings
Harvest Fanclub CD 2005
2005
3.67 | 44 ratings
BrimStoned In Europe
2005

THE FLOWER KINGS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Stardust We Are by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.92 | 609 ratings

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Stardust We Are
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars Stardust We Are, the masterpiece by The Flower Kings and their best album to date. How many prog albums can compete with this? Not many. If it were my choice, I'd remove In The Court Of The Crimson King and replace it with this absolute masterpiece of a prog album. This deserves so much more praise than it's getting. This is easily a top 20 best prog album of all time, it's got all the right pieces, it's got the longer songs, it's got short interludes, it's got a perfect epic, it's got atmosphere and structure and the songs are just expertly written and just so well structured. To put this album even outside the top 250 is a total crime. Everyone plays at an unbelievable calibre, Jamie Salazar on drums (probably the best drummer in Prog), Roine Stolt, a great guitarist and songwriter, Hasse Fröiberg, a good singer and great guitarist, Tomas Bodin, Come on... Tomas Bodin is easily the most underrated keyboard player in prog now. Hasse Bruniusson does his great stuff with percussion and of course Ulf Wallander is an absolutely amazing Brass player. Do I really need to continue speaking? Actually I will, anything to make sure my point gets across. I'd put this in the top 5 best prog albums of all time, it's an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. Many think that The Flower Kings have an issue with Quantity over Quality, not on this album. Its Quantity and that Quantity has pure Quality. I want to explain every song on this album and give my review on every song, so why not I do that, right here right now?

In The Eyes Of The World | A powerful opener, staggering and it knocks you down in the first 5 seconds. It's just a brilliantly written song by an excellent band. Need I actually go on?

A Room With A Few | Tomas Bodin's little noodle here, its emotional and it's just grabbing. It's an intoxicating experience from beginning to end and it works as a perfect interlude.

Just This Once | Some jazz, some soft bits, and some fusion licks. Can't get much better than this, it's got emotion, it's got spirit, and it's just a hard hitting piece by the band. Period.

Church Of Your Heart | Church Organs, Harmonies, Mellotrons, Large Soundscapes, seriously doesn't get better than this. This is prog to the absolute max, how people are turned off by this is totally beyond me.

Poor Mr. Rain's Ordinary Guitar | A Very Steve Hackett piece, nice nylon guitars, great chords and again, a brilliant interlude.

The Man Who Walked With Kings | Also a brilliant piece, I... am running out of things to say but seriously, this is great.

Circus Brimstone | Very quirky, got a brilliant turn to things. It switches gears from the slower pieces with a slow atmospheric structure. It shows that this band isn't scared of being a bit more experimental. Again... do I really need to explain why this is great? Do I really?

Crying Clown | A very weird and quirky interlude yet again, but its brilliant in it's own way and it fits the album.

Compassion | The track with two, a 4 minute song with a hidden track in it? Sign me up, this really is quite a way to end off the first disc, with two songs in one. Both are very weird and very atmospheric, and both share their rightful spot on this album.

First disc had been review and what have we learned? The first disc shows the right stuff for being a perfect prog album. So shall we continue to the next disc? I think it's best I say... we will and we are going to continue.

Pipes Of Piece | An Interlude with a reprise of the last song, which really doesn't reprise.. what's the word for this? Doesn't matter, this is still a great interlude, well done Tomas Bodin, your writing here is amazing.

The End Of Innocence | A bit of a longer piece, but this album has a bunch of long songs, this one is a bit boring but it's still good. It's probably the weakest song on the album, despite it being a slow and more melodic piece, it just suffers.

The Merrygoround | A faster and more upbeat piece and a big improvement over the previous, surprisingly, this album doesn't have very many duds, just the one. This song is surely no dud, it's got everyone playing to the max and it shows once again they aren't after to take a risk and go into quirky territory.

Don Of The Universe | What an amazing piece, an instrumental with Sax, powerful guitars and just a wall of atmosphere and emotion. Excellent soloing from all on this song, well written and just perfect in the end.

A Day At The Mall | Another interlude and it's great once again. I can't say much about this one, it's another interlude.

Different People | The song rock attempt on this album, it's good and it's deserves a spot on this work by The Flower Kings. Sure it's not the best song on the album but it's still great.

Kingdom Of Lies | This is one of the best song on the album, along with the opener, A Room With A View and Church Of Your Heart. This has emotion and atmosphere, structure and a well deserved spot on this album.

If 28 | Yet another interlude, great again but it's an interlude... how much can I say about it?

Ghost and the Red Cloud | The Last song on the album and yet the album isn't over yet, even though this could be a good way to end the album... it's not over here.

Hotel Nirvana | This seriously is the best interlude on the album, it's got atmosphere, its haunting, it's dark and its gorgeous... it's the perfect way to open for the masterpiece on the album.

Stardust We Are | The perfect prog epic is what they want to accomplish, and that's what they accomplished. Roine, is this really only close to divine? Sorry Roine, but this is divine. This is perfection, Flower Kings perfection. Everything about this is just perfect, it has its references, and it has absolutely no filler. Need I say that this album is perfect? In fact I will, this album is Perfect. Even if it has weaker songs, it's still perfect.

Seriously, Progarchives, I'm on my knees here begging, this deserves a spot at the top. This is a prog rock masterpiece unlike any other. There will never be an album that deserves a spot nearly as much as this one.

Bottom line? This is the best prog album of the last 25 years.

 Waiting For Miracles by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 185 ratings

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Waiting For Miracles
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Back with the first Flower Kings album in six years, one immediately notes that long-time keyboard player Tomas Bodin is no longer with the band. He was an original member of the band, playing on the debut 'Back In The World of Adventures' back in 1995, and every release since, so I was very surprised to see him missing as he has been a key part of the sound since the beginning. This led me to do some quick checking of personnel and I was pleased to see other long-time members Hasse Fröberg (vocals) and Jonas Reingold (bass) still there alongside Roine Stolt (guitars, keyboards, ukulele, vocals). They have now been joined by Zach Kamins (keyboards, glockenspiel, guitar, Theremin, harmonium) and drummer Mirko DeMaio.

The Flower Kings will always have a special place in my affections, as I still remember being sent the solo album by the ex-Kaipa guitarist almost 30 years ago now, and the impact it had on me, never thinking it would lead to a full band. In addition, it was the first concert I ever took my youngest daughter to (and the photo of her at that gig, taken by the official tour photographer, appears at the end of Volume 3 of The Progressive Underground). I absolutely adore their music, and always look forward to each album, but always with just a hint of doubt. The reason for this is that Roine likes long songs and long albums (this one is well over 80 minutes in length), and it doesn't always work. There are times in the past where I have bemoaned the lack of an outside set of ears and the willingness to cull minutes of music from a song and make it more direct. However, the more recent albums have seen a much more focussed approach (even if no shorter), so what is this like?

Over recent years Roine has been working with other musicians and solo, and this is the first official new Flower Kings album since 2013's, 'Desolation Rose', with a new keyboard player to boot (I think there have been six or seven drummers over the years so they can obviously survive those changes). But, with Roine obviously very much in control, Hasse Fröberg still in fine voice and Reingold playing his normal set of different basses, adding the right sound where he needs to, I really shouldn't have worried. This is classic Flower Kings, as if they had never been away and as if Bodin was still there. Harmony vocals, lush sounds, layering of instruments, plenty of hooks and plenty of time for musicians to extend themselves without ever moving too far into the area of proving just how clever they are, this is an album any proghead will sit back with and smile.

The first time I listened to this I played it on headphones (always best with these guys I find) and just drifted along on a progressive wave, thoroughly enjoying the experience and never once wondering why they yet again weren't using an editor to cut back on their more over the top moments. Delicate when they need to be, rocky when the time is right, The Flower Kings are back with a wonderful release which is going to make them new friends with the old ones more than happy. Let's just hope we don't have to wait so long for the next one.

 Flower Power by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.95 | 523 ratings

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Flower Power
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars The Flower Kings are definitely one of the more interesting retro prog bands out there for their ability to expertly craft instrumental sections that take the listener on a journey with amazingly vivid imagery being painted with each sweeping section of music, creating some truly beautiful music. Even so, I've got to say that this album is entirely baffling to me, given how this album is over 2 hours long, yet almost entirely enjoyable from front to back, despite the fact that I couldn't really see a 2 hour long symphonic prog album being anything other than an exhausting experience. What this album does so well in order to make it as enjoyable as it is is how the songwriting has once again been refined and consistency feels far more focused upon, fixing the biggest flaw I found Stardust We Are had, as this album feels as if the majority of the tracks actually have a place.

The album is split into 2 halves, with the first half primarily being taken up by the hour long epic, Garden of Dreams, a piece as grandiose as one would expect from an hour long prog epic, and definitely the most impressive, ambitious song here, even if it can feel a bit inconsistent at points. The first 10 minutes or so that include Dawn, Simple Song and Business Vamp are absolutely excellent, containing a lovely buildup into beautiful, pastoral acoustic guitar before building upon the more fantasy oriented side of their sound, exceptional synths forming the basis of this amazing sound thus far, with Roine Stolt's guitar work further contributing to the quality, being technical, but not enough to become overbearing or distracting. Despite the near perfection of this first stretch of the epic, it's really after this where things get so interesting, with a somewhat darker, more emotionally hearfelt edge to sections like All You Can Save. This is accentuated by the increase of guitar prominence, which is definitely the most emotive aspect to the band's sound overall, and is much more versatile in what imagery it can create compared to the largely fantastical sound of the keyboard. I also love how the band clearly isn't against throwing in some more fun sections into the mix to spice things up without derailing all of the momentum that's being made, as these faster, looser parts often come right before some sort of massive buildup. Of course, when I'm talking about massive buildup, I'm talking about the leadup to one of the most satisfying moments in the band's entire discography, Don't Let The D'evil In, the lush orchestrations making way for surprisingly heavy guitar work in such a perfect climax to the previous few sections' trajectory. It's absolutely how wild this section sounds without sounding entirely out of place, yet going as far as to have a defined riff and everything, sounding like another part of the 2 Judas songs on the band's first 2 albums, except even more amazingly intense through and through. What impresses me more than this is how everything manages to continue smoothly after this point despite the stark drop in intensity, falling back onto the grandiose melodies that still remind me somewhat of a pantomime.

This second half is where I feel like things begin loosing traction as well however, as while there are some really cool experiments with more ambient and understated music, it's also where the more traditional parts often lack the same kind of magic as what was found early on. While I believe this, I must also make sure to not neglect mentioning how absolutely incredible the conclusion to the song is, being so immensely powerful all across the board, the emotional vocals being nothing short of absolutely breathtaking as all elements of the band display the culmintation of the last 55 minutes nothing short of flawlessly, both making everythin beforehand that much more significant, and reeling me back in after the album began to lose me, the first of many cases in which this happens on the album as a whole. Side one also includes the great instrumental Astral Dog, which isn't anywhere near as special as what just came before, but nonetheless signifies the fact that the second half will be full of shorter, more digestable tracks.

I do personally find the second half of this album to be more or less equal to the first in terms of quality, with some clear highlights throughout. Deaf Numb and Blind starts things off very nicely with another lengthy epic, although this time only 11 minutes, but packing it with pure exellence, still having a nice balance between technicality and beauty, especially near the end where everything becomes extremely dense. I like how there is some sort of variety within the many songs here, as it is probably part of the reason why I am able to enjoy this album despite so much being seemingly against it. Psychedelic Postcard is the biggest example of this, as while it's not a big change, the trippier nature of it definitely is an interesting change from most of the album, the fuzzy sound that many elements have in plaes providing some really unique characteristics to it in the grand scheme of the band's output. I also find myself enjoying some other songs such as Corruption, with it's cool guitar sections and the same darker atmosphere underpinned by the theatrics of the project. One final song I would be remiss to neglect is the amazingly beautiful Painter that showcases the identity of the band as a whole extremely well without taking an exceedigly long time to do so.

Overall, I find it highly unnexpected that I ended up enjoying this album so thoroughly, but in the end, that's exactly what I did. I do still believe that this album could have been cut down a bit, but it's a far less egregious issue than on Stardust We Are, as the majority of this feels unlike filler. In terms of reinventing themselves, this album does literally nothing, but instead greatly refines the preexisting identity of the band to create a highly memorable, beautiful album that highlights the best aspects of prog, even if it does indulge on the excess that makes up one of its worst aspects in many cases. Definitely not the first place I'd send people when recommending this band due to its immense length, but it's definitely a great album, especially for the great Garden Of Dreams, which is almost completely worthy of its ridiculous length, although I'd cut it back by about 10 minutes.

Best tracks: Garden of Dreams, Deaf, Numb and Blind, Corruption, Painter

Weakest tracks: Power of Kindness, Hudson Rivers Siren Call 1998, Calling Home

Verdict: Despite being a 2 hour block of symphonic retro prog, I found this album to be surprisingly consistent in its engagement. If you can accept the fact that this album is needlessly excessive in many aspects and enjoy that sort of stuff, I think that you could enjoy this album quite a bit, especially for Garden of Dreams.

 Waiting For Miracles by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 185 ratings

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Waiting For Miracles
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

4 stars A measure of how much I enjoyed this album is that I over generously awarded it 5 stars after I first listened to it. Now I've had more of an opportunity to let it settle in my head I realize that 4 stars is a bit more appropriate. It reverts in musical style back to the period of the band I enjoyed the most, which was that period of the early 2000's when the band made albums like Space Revolver, that featured divided themes, orchestral songs, shorter duration songs and more melodic tunes.

Two things have changed with the band. Like Jeff Lynne whose name precedes the ELO name of his band, The Flower Kings is now more a personal vision of Roine Stolt, so a great individual keyboard artist in Tomas Bodin has been shut out of the band. In a way this is a good thing as hopefully now we get to enjoy Tomas Bodin more as a solo artist and Roine is free to pursue a different direction with other musicians. Secondly, long songs that run over 20 minutes, such as Numbers, off Banks Of Eden, or Love Is The Only Answer off Sum Of No Evil, have been relegated in favor of shorter songs of no more than about 10 minutes, a trend which began with Desolation Rose. You get the same amount of music on a Flower Kings album, but the music is more cleverly spread over two CD's (thus saving any need to provide bonus material on the second CD).

The main heart of the album are the 10 songs lasting about an hour on the first CD. The opening song, House Of Cards is a quiet piano instrumental passage beginning with synthesized bird sounds and finishing with mellotron and more synthesizer. In the House Of Cards reprise which opens the second CD the piano is swapped with guitars that play the main theme with more energy. Also on CD2, Spirals, which ends with banjo, is like a rhythmic subsection of the up tempo guitar piece, Miracles For America on CD1, which opens with the organ. Steampunk on CD2 is a cacophony of synthesizers, guitars and chorus voices that retrace the main theme from Miracles For America building into a grand finish with Roine Stolt's singing. We Were Always Here on CD2 is enjoyable on it's own as an encore piece with a Latin American drum beat and some nice Roine Stolt guitar soloing, while the last song on the album, Busking At Brobank, is what it is, a short street acoustic guitar.

Back to CD1, Black Flag is a short epic of around 7 minutes which begins with acoustic guitar then builds up tension through the chorus of voice and electric guitar, has a bridge of organ and electric piano before it transposes into the main guitar theme, then slows down into acoustic guitar and ascending electric guitar before slowing down again into synthesizers and spoken voice. Vertigo is possibly the best song on the album with catchy chorus and Hans Froberg on electric guitar and singing the main theme and Jonas Reingold prominent on bass throughout. It's the guitar work on Vertigo that I felt was missing on Banks Of Eden and Sum Of No Evil. Ascending To The Stars is an orchestral piece which I think the band last attempted on Space Revolver. The strings are complemented by guitars and synthesizers with a march theme in the middle and choruses and guitars at the finish. Wicked Old Symphony is a change in pace to a dance like beat on drums and some typical Roine Stolt singing and guitars which tail away at the end. That's followed by an instrumental guitar piece in Rebel Circus and another solid Stolt song in Sleep With The Enemy. More wonderful guitar playing on the last track on the first CD, The Crowning Of Greed.

I really thought I would miss Tomas Bodin on this album, but I don't. Zach Kamins does a more than adequate job of replacing Bodin, while Mirko DeMaio is less jazzy than previous drummers but really drives the music forward with his drum fills. This album continues the trend of Desolation Rose with shorter songs and is up there with some of the best Flower Kings albums such as Space Revolver and Stardust We Are.

 Unfold The Future by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.89 | 547 ratings

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Unfold The Future
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is an 'Unfold the Future' listening guide, for this album is a mixed bag that can ultimately be very rewarding! It took me so long to get my head around this one.

The Flower Kings showcase an unmistakable love for Genesis, Kansas, Gentle Giant, King Crimson and above all Yes. Whereas of these bands I hold little love for Yes (exceptions is the Yes Album) and Kansas, the different passages can have quite different impacts on me (as usually an idea is clearly rooted in one of these progband's traditions). The band switches between 'schools' within songs, sometimes 'citing' one band after another. Though this can be fun, it is distracting from the familiarization process, which was already under threat due to the album its immense length. Also the band looses itself often in just showing of its musical capabilities.

The album has a distinct sound. Clear as can be, detailed, but also quite bare and a bit airy and un-ankered. Some of that is also in the playing of The Flower Kings. I myself own the 3lp version which sounds good, but only at higher volumes due to the lack of (even some) modern mixing and compression. The tracklist on the 3lp is significantly different than on the 2cd. I can't help but thinking the band is using the six different twenty minute sides to help with 'sorting out' this almost 140 minute album of very diverse material.

The first LP opens with the 30 minute epic 'The Truth Will Set You Free'. This epic is very well described by my opening paragraph. It has some amazing moments of symphonic bliss and technical interplay, but other passages leave me quite cold. Moreover, I guess the core ideas behind this track could have come to fruition in twenty minutes as well. 'Monkey Business' is an awful Kansas inspired track. Flimsy, all over the place and tacky. 'Black and White' is significantly better and has some strong solo sections. The short imaginative ballad 'The Navigator' is a highlight for me, it has a simple yet gorgeous atmosphere.

Side three opens with 'Silent Inferno', which has one of most solid opening sections this album has to offer. The verses are a bit light-hearted, but the imaginative solo sections make up for it. Somehow the Kansas influences (keyboard use) are quite nice on this one. Some clear cut references to Voyage of the Acolyte and singing that reminds me a bit of UK-era John Wetton. The Al Di Miola / Return to Forever section is well performed, but totally out of place here. 'Vox Humana' is nice melodic balled with an original sound pallet, a bit like 'The Navigator'. 'Grand Old World' is a world jazz infused slow ballad.

The first three sides together form (in my experience) the first album. Because of its diversity, its many high-lights (and some lows as well) I would rate it a 3,5 star album. The fourth side then sounds like a collection of 'spare' songs, in my humble opinion. Though all of these tracks have some stronger passages, they add nothing to this body of work. Moreover, there are so many moments here that are either boring or plain annoying. I would recommend skipping this vinyl side all together, because the final LP (3) is the real hidden treasure here! The fusion piece 'The Devil's Danceschool' is quite nice though.

The third LP I would 'interpret' as the second album, in a quite different flavor. More based on King Crimson influence majestic prog and jazz- rock. The structure of its first side is based (and an extension) of King Crimson's 'Moonchild'; opening with a magical atmospheric balled and then evolving in a free imaginative improvisation on 'Solitary Shell'. The concept here really lifts of with 'Chistianopel', which reminds me of the better moments of Pat Matheny's 'The Way Up' album. Brilliant atmospheric, virtuoso fusion well suited for the progressive rock audience. It also evolves beautiful out of the free improvisation of the track before it. I wonder why the band didn't create an 'epic' out of these cuts that works so well together. Without a doubt this is the artistic high-point of this record. The second side of this 'album' is filled with 'Devil's Playground'. To me this sounds as the more artistic, more balanced and catchier brother of the opening track 'The Truth Will Set You Free'. On its own, I might have given this third LP a 4,5 stars as an album.

After months of returning to this body of work I find myself in the position of being a highly critical admirer of The Flower Kings. Surely there's enough material here to make for a four star album. By learning to know how to listen to it you can make this a very enjoyable purchase. Especially the third LP is quite an amazing ride and a brilliant reenactment of seventies prog. But boy, somebody should slap these guys faces for making it soo damn hard to enjoy their amazing music.

 Waiting For Miracles by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 185 ratings

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Waiting For Miracles
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars Another solid release from The Flower Kings. Waiting For Miracles is familiar territory, but different enough to show the band has changed. It still features excellent musicianship, and The Flower Kings signature sound with Roine at the helm. As far as the music goes, We Were Always Here is one of their best songs, and the album ends with it excluding the last track of concept album sounds called Busking at Brobank. Sure Space Revolver or Stardust We Are may arguably be better albums, and longtime favorites of fans. However, Waiting For Miracles fits nicely into the catalog of albums, and a worthy addition to any progressive rock collection. It holds its own as an excellent release, and more music from The Flower Kings is always welcome. With over 80 minutes of music, the new lineup really hooked up us fans. Enjoy!
 Tour Kaputt by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover DVD/Video, 2011
4.23 | 53 ratings

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Tour Kaputt
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

4 stars A return to playing in Holland but this time they have some semblance of an audience to hear them. The result is vastly superior to Instant Delivery which I recommend people give a miss. This is a very long concert of over two hours so there's a lot to digest. They play almost the entirety of The Sum Of No Evil which itself is a very long studio album and my least favorite Flower Kings album. Love Is The Only Answer, The Sum Of No Reason and Life In Motion and all long songs but at least I find them more palatable to listen to them here than on the studio album.

It wouldn't be a Flower Kings album without talking about the drummer. Here it's the ex-King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto who's a superb drummer but maybe a little heavy sounding for the style of Flower Kings. I'm amazed he could perform here, presumingly at short notice and memorize long songs off The Sum Of No Evil, an album he wouldn't be familiar with. Personally I'm very impressed with Mirko DeMaio who performs on their latest album, Waiting For Miracles. He has a powerful beat but a bit more pop flavored than Pat and would make an ideal touring drummer for the band.

I much prefer the first set to the second. We don't need to hear Stardust We Are again, but it's refreshing to hear this version of There Is More To This World. We get an extending version of Retropolis with some great improvised bass playing from Jonas Reingold, while Roine provides some electrifying guitar work on Hudson River Sirens Call. I Am The Sun is one of my favorite numbers off the Space Revolver album which the band rarely plays live. Maybe I was so exhausted after listening to the first set that I wasn't able to enjoy the second set the band played, as much.

 Instant Delivery by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover DVD/Video, 2006
3.75 | 97 ratings

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Instant Delivery
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

3 stars The Flower Kings aren't the best live band in the world for the reason that they've never been able to settle on a drummer to fit in with their musical style. The jazzy Zoltan Csorsz is easily the best drummer they have had but unfortunately his presence doesn't align with their best studio albums. Marcus Liliequist mans the drum kit here and doesn't do a bad job. Hans Froberg tries to make up for the reserved personalities of the other band members and overdoes it. The stars of the band are Roine Stolt on lead guitar, Tomas Bodin on keyboards and Jonas Reingold on bass, all of whom are superb musicians.

Instant Delivery is their worst live album I have listened to. It simply doesn't do justice to their studio album Paradox Hotel which they are promoting here. There is no audience ambience which could inspire the musicians to higher effort and there are no songs presented here that are as good or better than their studio versions or previous live efforts. Meet The Flower Kings is a vastly superior live album.

 Two In One by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.96 | 7 ratings

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Two In One
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The first two "official" Flower Kings CDs in one package (to many fans, me included, Michael Stolts The Flower King is the real debut). What a bargain! To me the band never really did anything as good as their first two albums, although they came close several times. OK, many will disagree, it´s a matter of taste, but to me they never combined so well the simplicity of their early records within the symphonic prog context with that fine songwriting. Nothing´s overdone and even the few vignettes and effects does not spoil the overall beauty of Stolts tunes. Later albums would feature some filler material and not so inspired stuff, but on those two CDs I found everything to be well balanced and inspired, even some weird bits here and there.

Call them retro prog, call them unoriginal, or whatever: to me they are the most important band to appear in the 1990s and it´s symphonic prog at its best, at least on these two records, something that changed my life forever after listening to them. I could never believe someone was doing this kind of music in 1994: truly inspired by the 70´s great ones: Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd et al, plus a dose of jazz rock/fusion and Zappa elements for good measure. They even resuscitated mellotron sounds! I was in prog heaven!

If you´re new to this great band this is a fantastic way to get to know them. The music is symphonic and complex, but also melodic and beautiful. Less self indulgent than some of their latter releases, Back In The World Of Adventures and Retropolis are the quintessential TFK stuff that made them famous: probably their most inspired and cohesive albums of their entire career.

 Banks Of Eden by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.06 | 811 ratings

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Banks Of Eden
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by emisan

5 stars There are a few weak The Flower Kings albums but also even fewer flawless albums. Banks of Eden is the best of them and the big advantage over older albums like Stardust We Are, Flower Power and Unfold The Future is the more accessible length and the structure compactness. Banks of Eden is a 53 minutes prog joy with 4 very good shorter songs and a 25+ minutes grand epic. Numbers, my favorite song from this album and also from entire TFK discography, is an emotional roller-coaster of light and dark passages, moving from one section to another, taking us on an unforgettable journey, and the big climax near the end of the song is one of the best moments in Flower Kings history. A well deserved 5 stars and an highly recommended album!
Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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