The Flower Kings
Banks of Eden

1. Numbers
2. For The Love Of Gold
3. Pandemonium
4. For Those About To Drown
5. Rising The Imperial
6. Fireghosts (Bonus Track)
7. Going Up (Bonus Track)
8. Illuminati (Bonus Track)
9. Lo Lines (Bonus Track)

Roine Stolt - guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass
Hasse Fröberg - vocals, guitar
Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Jonas Reingold - bass
Felix Lehrmann - drums

Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
Retropolis (1996)
Stardust We Are (1997)
Flower Power (1999)
Space Revolver (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
Unfold the Future (2002)
Adam & Eve (2004)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum of No Evil (2007)



Released 18/6-2012
Reviewed 13/7-2012


The kings of the flowers are back with their eleventh album in their now rather long career, especially if you look at it in playing time. It is called Banks of Eden and has a cover art that looks very flower kingish in its style and to see that the album opens with a twenty five minute epic sort of cements that impression of this being a very Flower Kingish album on all accounts. For me The Flower Kings has always been an exciting band with a number of high quality productions behind them and they represent one of the most exciting musical genres in the progressive rock, and especially the pompous branch of the genre that can be traced back to bands like Yes or Genesis which when done right is probably the most exciting you can ever do in music. And Flower Kings usually do it right when they are up to something, they are a dependable deliverer of high quality music and there was really no reason whatsoever to expect anything different this time.

The regular edition CD has five tracks and plays for little short of fifty five minutes where the opener almost take up half the album, there is also special versions of this album with four bonus tracks getting the playing time past one and a half hour which is a rather long time I would say. I however, have no idea about how this album sounds in the special edition as I have only heard the regular one with five tracks. It is the same bombastic, majestic progressive rock music as we have come to know from this band, so in a way it is business as usual. The production is brilliant giving an amazing soundscape taking you through several musical journeys through the five tracks which flows without the interruptions and stops in the songs that you see from some of the bands in the progressive genre. It is of course music that takes a few times listening to before really coming to terms with the complexity of it, with that said it doesn’t mean that it is overly complex and confusing but rather that it has depth allowing the listener to sink deeper and deeper into the music for each time he or she listens to it. Of course they break some rules and musical conventions during their journey but in the progressive rock genre it is the convention to do that so it is nothing surprising or chocking really even if it is different enough from the band’s earlier works to separate it from them while still being true to their style.

As expected this is a brilliant album, no other word for it really. It has all any fan of The Flower Kings can desire and it is interesting enough to keep you occupied for quite a while trying to unveil all the characteristics of the album. Stylewise there isn’t really anything new, at the same time it is different which sort of is the nature of the genre in which they can be found. When listening to this band their skill as musicians become very evident and this while keeping to the nature of the songs rather than embarking on some sort of solo journey just to show off their competence as musicians, so I think this album has all the traits that marks the great bands of the progressive rock genre and their Banks of Eden is a solid piece of music. Fantastic I would say, but remember it is not an album you can take in on just one play through and neither is it one that you will find interesting to have as background while doing something else, this is a piece of music that requires your attention and if you are wise you give it to it.

To make a long story short: this is a great album and you would be really stupid not to look it up.



Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Karmakanic/Kaipa/Transatlantic
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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