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The Flower Kings - Desolation Rose CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.99 | 531 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Back in 1994 (wow, nearly 20 years!) I received a CD in the post by A Swedish musician called Roine Stolt. At the time I hadn't heard any Kaipa (since rectified) so I had no idea who he was, but the title track of that album was on my player repeatedly. He soon formed a band of the same name, and since then I have followed their career with interest. There was a time when in the prog world it seemed that they could do no wrong, but I got to the point where I no longer looked forward to new FK albums turning up as I felt that they had become self-indulgent and needed a lot of editing which they weren't receiving. For me the turning point was 'Adam and Eve', which was easily their best album for many a year, and I was lucky enough to catch them on tour with that album (it was also the first gig I ever took my youngest to, she was 8 and still has the t-shirt).

So, would this be a continuation of the wonderful work they have been undertaking recently, or a return back to the bad old days? The first clue is in the track listing, with just one lengthy number, and that is only 13 minutes, which is just getting warmed up for The Flower Kings. The whole album is under sixty minutes in length, and the last two numbers only just get to six minutes when joined together! But for me it works, it really works. This is symphonic prog with a purpose, gone are the meandering never ending solos and passages where the band had seemed to have lost their way, and instead we have progressive rock music that has a direction and clear intent yet has lost none of the power and impact. These guys are incredible musicians, with great vocals and harmonies, and now they have added into that mix some really powerful songs that work on all levels. I gave the last album five stars, and it has taken a lot of internal debate as to whether this is as good or should be marked slightly less. But the crunching riffs in "Dark Fascist Skies" really grabbed me, along with some great piano and lyrics. Yep, this is their second five star album in a year. Et's hope they keep it up.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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