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THE FLOWER KINGS 'Adam & Eve' Inside Out (2004)

Flower Kings

All of you who have managed to follow the progression of this band since the release of their debut album ten years ago, will have probably figured out by now that every new release from the Flower Kings is a challenge. I am personally more than happy to see that this unique band is always able to move one step further up in the ladder of their creativity with every new release. Mainly because after listening to each and every of their latest releases I realise that there is no fear that the Scandinavian outfit will ever release an album that will disappoint me.

Well, I donít believe that you should ever take anything for granted, but in the last ten years the band has been delivering to the rock fans around the world only classic albums, worthy of the great heritage that has been passed on to them by the Giants of the 70 like King Crimson and Yes.

Unfortunately, most of my fellow-journalists have given the wrong impression that The Flower Kings is the kind of band that will only attract the interest of the fans of the Progressive music.

The latest album from The Flower Kings called 'Adam & Eve' is able to prove once again that the bandís music is not targeting a specific audience. Roine Stoltís band is always in the process of mixing all their different influences (Jazz, Prog Rock, and Classical) and adjusting them to their sound, the result of which is always presented in the most simplistic way.

This definitely sounds much easier than what it is, but itís the exact thing that makes this band so unique.

Take for instance the opening track of the album 'Love Supreme'. There are so many different styles that co-exist in this nineteen and a half minute composition like the short Latin guitar break near the third minute, the progressive climax near the completion of the seventh minute and the Floydesque guitar solo half way through the song. What combines all those different elements in the song is the unique but quite simplistic guitar melody that only an artist with the status of Roine Stolt can produce.

'Cosmic Circus' and the instrumental composition 'Babylon' composed by Tomas Bodin are moving closer to the style and the atmosphere that the band adopted in their latest two efforts. It was not a surprise to see that Mr.Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation) has once again offered his services to The Flower Kings. His contribution to the bandís previous release 'Meet The Flower Kings' has proven to be quite valuable, so the band chose to let him do the vocals for the albumís third largest composition 'A Vampireís View' - a very wise choice.

'Adam & Eve' is one of the compositions that are closer to the classic hard rock sound of the 80ís, and so is the melodic 'Starlight Man'. The band will satisfy all who enjoy moments of instrumental experimentation with songs like 'Timelines' and 'Drivers Seat' before an amazing melody from Stoltís guitar in 'The Blade of Cain' will announce the end of another magnificent release.

I can understand why someone can find it difficult to associate with such a release (???) but only a person who is completely empty inside can claim not to have gained anything from an album like 'Adam & Eve'. This, in my opinion, is the second most important release after Dead Soul Tribeís 'The January Tree' thatís been released by Inside Out records this year, and it deserves to occupy one of the best places in your CD collection.

There is no excuse for not buying this album - one of the best of 2004.

*****

Review by John Stefanis

Buy this CD
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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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