Reviewed by MJBrady on 14 Aug 2001
Apparently, this cd was to be the onset of the Flower Kings band, and every musical element that exists in the Flower Kings, is displayed on this cd as well, in fact, every band member on this cd, became a Flower King member later on, so if you are aware of the who this prolific band is, there are no surprises. In fact considering this to be the debut of the band, it is a special treat, to hear the chemistry coming together from the beginning.
The Flower Kings/Roine Stolt, are a modern Swedish band, that has musicians who have been around a long while, giving the band a long history in progressive music:(Kaipa, and Samla Mammas Manna), when listening to any of their recordings you get treated to the great prog styles of yesteryear, and this cd is no exception. All influences seem to be present: Yes, ELP, Genesis, Tull, Gentle Giant, Kansas, Marillion, Tull. I am not sure if the band would cite these influences, but at any given time the sounds are present, even in the span of one song. This is to say they sound like any particular band, by blending all these influences you can only imagine what the end result would be, very original sounding band, that now has it's own trademark sound. Both vocalists compliment each other quite well, Stolt having the mid-ranged aggressive voice, as Froberg, offers the emotional higher pitched vocals, he has great range, leaving one wanting for more. Musically, they can transform from melodic wall of sound style to, high energy, technical instrumentation, with Stoilts guitar getting a lot space to play, he is not a flashy shred styled player, but more in the Steve Howe, Martin Barre style, meaning he plays with intent and purpose, coloring the musical landscapes with well placed solos, and effects. The keyboards of Tomas Bodin are of special note also, he has given the music the backdrop that lends to a dramatic sound, he, like Stolt, is a very capable soloist, and injects his sound into the music, he is a vital ingredient to the F.K.s' sound. The drum and percussion performances are also well defined, music like this requires intricate time signature, and these two are shining throughout.
Reviewed by Others on 20 Aug 2002
- - Review/Comments by Sil - -
The Flower King is the beginning of the one of the great modern progressive bands and interestingly is a Roine Stolt solo CD. This CD contains Hasse, Hasse, Jaime and Roine as do many of the subsequent releases from the Flower Kings with the addition of Ulf Wallaner on saxophone. This wonderful, positive work is Roine’s response to the negative music that he felt was pervasive in the industry in 1994. I must add that the situation has not changed much and this is still a great CD. Listen when you are combating the blues or feel like jamming to some great hybrid prog. The sound is crisp, the guitar blazing and tasteful, and the overall musicianship is fantastic. Roine takes a much more prominent role here playing keyboards as well as guitar and bass, then he does in subsequent releases. This CD is a great buy and readily available due to the work of IOMA.