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on 29 November 2002
This album is a definite grower - the more I listened to it the more I appreciated it! The FKs seem to evolve with every new album, while retaining their core stylistic qualities. Unfold The Future is no exception: certainly up there with previous studio highpoints such as Stardust and Space Revolver. As befitting an album of well over 2 hours in length, there is a great variety of styles and moods, from the excellent heavy riffing of Rollin' The Dice and Silent Inferno (these came across particularly impressively at the recent London gig) to the epic prog tapestry of the opening track The Truth Will Set You Free (30:40). There is a fair amount of jazzy exploration, even some noodling trumpeting reminiscent of Miles Davis. Quality-control has not been overlooked in favour of quantity, with the possible exception of the rather cheesy The Navigator - a somewhat disappointing follow-on to the excellent Silent Inferno (14:25). Devil's Playground (24:30) makes for a stupendous closing to the second disc. The vocalists really shine here. Throughout the quality of musicianship from all contributors is awesome. Newcomers to the delights of the Flower Kings should not be shy of starting their collection with Unfold the Future.
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on 16 August 2003
Like most records which consist of 2 cd,s of over 2 hours music,maintaining quality throughout is an arduous task.
Having listened to this record in detail I conclude that one cd would have been a more favourable option.
As a fan of fusion and jazz rock there are certainly great moments notably "Silent Inferno" and "The Devils Playground" which I consider the best of the longer tracks.
The much acclaimed opener "The Truth Will Set You Free" running at over 30 minutes in my opinion resembles some of the weaker material that "Yes" have churned out over the years.
However, there is plenty of interest and diversity in some of the shorter tracks in particularly "Genie in a bottle" which opens side 2.
For fans of prog rock there is enough quality overall to satisfy the listener.My main criticism being that one cd of excellence would have been a better option.
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on 28 October 2008
I still remember the day I got this through the post. I was so excited. The instrumental intro of 'The Truth...' was brilliant then Hasse started singing. I couldn't believe how bad he sounded. Really out of tune, almost drunken sounding. And it's the same throughout. I think part of why I hated it so much was because of how good he was on 'The Rainmaker'. But I did acknowledge even then how amazing the music was. Anyway, this year I picked it up and realised I wasn't a child anymore and didn't expect every note to be tuned to perfection. With that off my mind I saw this album for what I believe it is. Almost a masterpiece. Get it!
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on 24 June 2012
Unfold the Future is kind of an interesting album in the sense that the flower kings really went bats poop with the idea of being experimental and released a really long album filled with a drastic style change of laid back Jazz fusion which as I like jazz fusion is actually rather good and I enjoy it though I think for flower kings I prefer them to play their other style more as this album does get a bit long and rambly.
That said I still enjoy it enough to give it four stars which means I like it according to the thing when you select stars. The album opens up with a long 30 minute Epic called the truth will set you free which is pretty good the melody is catchy and it has lots of instrumental parts however i think it is perhaps slightly too long maybe.
The rest of the album is jazz fusion style Flower kings I enjoy it but alot of people might find it not to their liking and it is quite long, However I like the fact the flower kings were actually brave enough to give it ago. The bass playing is Particularly impressive on this album Jonas Reingold really shines through with Tomas also being a star too.
So this album is different to the rest of the main catalogue of Flower Kings music but it is quite refreshing if somewhat long winded. Nice artwork and has two freeform jams on it or three if you get the bonus track version.
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on 10 December 2002
Having just recently purchased unfold the future i have decided to reveiw this cd.Those of you who own all or most of the cds will instantly fall for this album, its full of progressive epics that range from a few minutes to over 30 minutes.They remind me of genesis,e.l.p. but most of all of the yes of the topograhic oceans era.
As always their musicmanship is superb and although their music does take a few listens to be able to follow the songs it is immediatlly recognisable that this is a suberb album.The songs are jazzier than before (could this be due to their new drummer Zoltan ?) and seem to be just jamming at times, but they can do this effortlessly and proffesionally.
Overall i would highly recommend long time fans to purchase this cd as they never fail to deliver what is expected from them (quallity wise) to those new to the Flower Kings i would advise you to listen to their previous albums such as Stardust or Back in the World of Adventures although if you enjoy Progressive Rock you can't go wrong with these guys.
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on 24 December 2012
The flower Kings never sit back and relax. Roine is my favourite guitarist of all time and is a musical genius. I see another review that talks about Zoltan Csörsz and Jonas. Incredible. I have seen them in this line up 5 times and was gobsmacked every time. Zoltan is back at last in prog(The road to Avalon 2012) and just in time because TFK never reached the level of this album again for me.
The Road to Avalon
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on 7 December 2002
Album opener The Truth Will Set You Free, is the unmistakable eye catcher of the album, As the saying goes, a good prog song is a lengthy one. The song contains all the classic prog elements it needs: great vocal melodies, lengthy guitar solos, a catchy chorus, recurring themes, an atmospheric instrumental middle part, and -essential- some fantastic Church organ. The trouble with such openers is that it may raise high expectations of what is yet to come and to some people this may come as a shock. The band changes course quite radically showing all of their diversity and musical influences.Monkey Business is a funky rocker. Black and White starts as a simple ballad -revisiting some of the lyrics of The Truth Will Set You Free before the pace goes fast forwarding into a Genesis type instrumental second act, which includes some fantastic Latin percussion.Then the music really changes course. Christianopel is an 8-minute version of Genesis' The Waiting Room. Silent Inferno starts as your average 14-minute prog epic, with heavy instrumental parts, and mellow, fragile vocals, when halfway it changes into a genuine jazz tune, including a typical bass solo. The Navigator is a beautiful lullaby, where Stolt's fragile voice is accompanied by flute, mellotron, harp, a horn section and orchestral bass. Vox Humana, which closes the first disc, continues on the same note and is a bit of a poppy ballad.The second disc opens heavily again with Genie In A Bottle. A more straight forward guitar orientated rock song. Fast Lane lives up to its title as it's based around a fast paced march rhythm. Things go all jazzy again with Grand Old World which is arranged with xylophone and clarinet. Soul Vortex explores the world of jazz even further with a fusion type of instrumental. The track leads into the next one, Rollin The Dice, which feels even more out of place than the jazz bits as it seems an attempt to create alternative rock with the same proggy keyboards and jazzy basslines.The Jazz period reaches its highlight with The Devil's Danceschool.Man Overboard starts as the sister track to The Navigator but tries to hard to incorporate all of The Flower Kings' other styles as well, with classical music, rock, heavy prog passages and a pop ballad all squeezed into a three minute track.
Solitary Shell is the real sister track to The Navigator; another lullaby with a similar vocal melody, which feels much like an 'end of album' track, were it not for the fact that we have yet another 24-minute epic.Devil's Playground, starts with a superb guitar/church organ/orchestra intro, which could lead to near orgasmic experiences for many a prog fan. The first half of the song is, once again, vintage prog. Great rhythms, atmospheric interludes and some fantastic background vocals. Then halfway there is an incredibly weird saxophone interlude. This is followed by a fast-paced piece, which includes a fantastic guitar solo, and next... all hell breaks loose with a seemingly completely improvised jazzy piece which then gives way to the Grande. I have bought the special edition release of Unfold The Future which features yet another song, Too Late For Tomatoes to fill up the remaining 8 minutes of disc space on the second CD.
No doubt fans of The Flower Kings will dig the new album, yet I think it's rather unlikely the band will win many new fans with it.They better could stick to 1 CD in one style, therefore the 4 stars. To anyone new to the band I would recommend either one of it's more accessible previous albums.
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on 26 December 2014
Can't beat these lads .Best prog I've heard in years! Once again I refer you to you tube.
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on 6 June 2005
"Was that something beautiful, amazing, wonderful, extraordinary beautiful?" Circus of Heaven form album Tormato of Yes
I was about 14th when I discovered Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and the other progressive groups of late sixties and seventies. I was mad about them. I thought they drove progressive rock in fields that no one could get over in the future. Now I'm 48 years old, and when I heard Pain of Salvation two years ago, and Flower Kings recently, I changed my mind. "Yes" revealed new ways in music, walked in innovator paths. "The Flower Kings" caught the string and unfolded music future. The path became highroad that conveys to a spaceport and from there to the galaxies. Well, yes, The Flower Kings "Unfold the Future" of the music. Thank you my friends for the joy you offered me ungrudgingly.
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on 30 November 2002
Album opener The Truth Will Set You Free, is the unmistakable eye catcher of the album, As the saying goes, a good prog song is a lengthy one. The song contains all the classic prog elements it needs: great vocal melodies, lengthy guitar solos, a catchy chorus, recurring themes, an atmospheric instrumental middle part, and -essential- some fantastic Church organ. The trouble with such openers is that it may raise high expectations of what is yet to come and to some people this may come as a shock. The band changes course quite radically showing all of their diversity and musical influences.Monkey Business is a funky rocker. Black and White starts as a simple ballad -revisiting some of the lyrics of The Truth Will Set You Free before the pace goes fast forwarding into a Genesis type instrumental second act, which includes some fantastic Latin percussion.Then the music really changes course. Christianopel is an 8-minute version of Genesis' The Waiting Room. Silent Inferno starts as your average 14-minute prog epic, with heavy instrumental parts, and mellow, fragile vocals, when halfway it changes into a genuine jazz tune, including a typical bass solo. The Navigator is a beautiful lullaby, where Stolt's fragile voice is accompanied by flute, mellotron, harp, a horn section and orchestral bass. Vox Humana, which closes the first disc, continues on the same note and is a bit of a poppy ballad.The second disc opens heavily again with Genie In A Bottle. A more straight forward guitar orientated rock song. Fast Lane lives up to its title as it's based around a fast paced march rhythm. Things go all jazzy again with Grand Old World which is arranged with xylophone and clarinet. Soul Vortex explores the world of jazz even further with a fusion type of instrumental. The track leads into the next one, Rollin The Dice, which feels even more out of place than the jazz bits as it seems an attempt to create alternative rock with the same proggy keyboards and jazzy basslines.The Jazz period reaches its highlight with The Devil's Danceschool.Man Overboard starts as the sister track to The Navigator but tries to hard to incorporate all of The Flower Kings' other styles as well, with classical music, rock, heavy prog passages and a pop ballad all squeezed into a three minute track.
Solitary Shell is the real sister track to The Navigator; another lullaby with a similar vocal melody, which feels much like an 'end of album' track, were it not for the fact that we have yet another 24-minute epic.Devil's Playground, starts with a superb guitar/church organ/orchestra intro, which could lead to near orgasmic experiences for many a prog fan. The first half of the song is, once again, vintage prog. Great rhythms, atmospheric interludes and some fantastic background vocals. Then halfway there is an incredibly weird saxophone interlude. This is followed by a fast-paced piece, which includes a fantastic guitar solo, and next... all hell breaks loose with a seemingly completely improvised jazzy piece which then gives way to the Grande. I have bought the special edition release of Unfold The Future which features yet another song, Too Late For Tomatoes to fill up the remaining 8 minutes of disc space on the second CD.
No doubt fans of The Flower Kings will dig the new album, yet I think it's rather unlikely the band will win many new fans with it. They better make 1 Cd in the same style. To anyone new to the band I would recommend either one of it's more accessible previous albums.
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