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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classsic Flower Kings - soaring and uplifting, 18 Jun 2012
This review is from: Banks of Eden (Audio CD)
This new FK album arrives after a long hiatus while the main participants kept themselves busy producing work with other artists under the guise of Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy and Karmakanic (amongst I others I suspect).

The album comes in two formats a single disc with 5 tracks and a deluxe edition with an additional CD containing 4 bonus songs.

The main album opens with a 25 minute epic "Numbers" - it is classic Flower Kings though at the slightly rockier end of their range. Like all the best epics it doesn't seem like a long song as it has multiple sections skilfully woven around a central theme.
The next three tracks ( "For the love of gold", "Pandemonium" and "For those about to drown" ) continue to deliver on "Numbers" early promise while CD closer "Rising the Imperial" offers a majestic slow build to a worthy and uplifting ending.
At a total running time of under 60 minutes the CD feels tight, focussed and free from filler.

Overall the playing is outstanding, the composition is enthralling and the lyrics and vocal performances are among the best that Flower Kings have delivered.
The common theme of the songs on the main CD is a sense of the need for a spiritual renewal to heal the world from it's current woes.

The second CD is interesting but not essential and doesn't neatly flow from the theme of the main CD..
"Illuminati" starts slow but builds to a bristling display of guitar playing while "Going Up" wouldn't sound out of place on Yes' "Going For the One" album. Indeed, there is some good musicianship on each of the four songs, but none of them is as strong as the five main pieces and FK have wisely left these as an optional extra for die hard fans.

Overall this is a very good CD from a talented band of musicians and it would fit well into the collection of any fan of 'classic' progressive music.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kings are back, 18 Jun 2012
By 
Bodhi Heeren (Copenhagen) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Banks of Eden (Audio CD)
After a long hiatus and a couple of slightly disappointing albums The Flower Kings return with a strong effort. Not least thanks to the fact that they finally have found the perfect substitute for Zoltan Csörsz on the drums. In the form of the young German Felix Lehrman who is nothing short of brilliant. Dancing around the odd metres and a perfect combination of prog and fusion drumming.

Ofc we all know that Roine Stolt, Jonas Reingold and Thomas Bodin are world class virtuoses and if anything they have only become better - taking part in many different projects like Karmakanic and Agents Of Mercy - during the 6 years break. And also the vocal parts have improved, the harmonies tighter and more varied.

A 25 min.long suite in classic F.K. style, "Numbers" and a bunch of shorter songs. The usual Stolt lyrics with their (understandably) gloomy outlook of the world of today though sprinkled with some hope of healing and inner transformation. Influences from Genesis, Yes and Procol Harum and a broad spectre from jazzrock to heavy.

Everything a prog and F.K. fan can dream of. It's just that they don't really come up with anything you haven't heard before. Definitely refined once again, but not breaking any new ground.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars new to the flowers, 25 Jun 2013
By 
M. Hoole "stranded exile" (Crewe UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Banks of Eden (Deluxe Version) [+digital booklet] (MP3 Download)
this is the first flower kings album I've heard, listened to prog for years from Genesis to Slapp Happy via Henry Cow to King Crimson with a side order of Fish, but never come across these fellas first hearing was impressive but I do like to live with some music before I comment, remember those albums you thought were outstanding a few years ago and now hide amongst the 12" singles? Well this won't be hiding anywhere, and I maybe delving further into the world of the flower Kings. Suggestions Anyone?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Banks of Sweden, 16 Mar 2013
By 
B. Robertson (Bromley, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Banks of Eden (Audio CD)
A warm raspberry bubble bath with a fiery Rioja is the nearest comparable thing to Banks of Eden. Effortless and magical, with rises and falls of pace and passion. 'Numbers' is the flag-mast suite that ranges in depths for nigh on 30 minutes, or one side of an old lp, and is the tone for the rest of the CD. It's very Beatley in places, with 'I am the Walrus' comparable verses but a soaring chorus that zings into the stratosphere. Roine Stolt sounds beautiful throughout 'Numbers', the whole song is happiness personified. Special mention to Tomas Bodin who never over-plays his stay, his eccentric style really brings 'Numbers' to life like adding dabs of pastels to a masterpiece.

For me, the rest of 'Banks of Eden' pales slightly. There is nothing particularly wrong with 'Rising the Imperial', I really enjoyed seeing them play that at the Electric Circus last week, but 'Numbers' is the key and the standout. 'Illuminati' is another super song from the bonus CD.

Flower Kings are a happy feeling band. You can't help smiling when Stolt is in mid-flow; let me make it clear that I mean his guitar work. I went to London Camden Electric Circus primarily to see Neal Morse but came away feeling a lot more satisfaction towards The Flower Kings. Stolt and co played for 75 minutes and everyone played to and with each other, Tomas Bodin on keyboards looked like someone from 'Big Brother and the Holding Company' circa 1969 and Jonas Reingold was so dexterous on bass. Everybody was grinning and smiling and it sounded dynamic. Slowly my body moved closer and closer to the front as if driven by internal magnetism. Suddenly I was on the front row and next to me was Nad Sylvan from 'Agents of Mercy' and I felt like part of this curious family for 75 minutes. Neal Morse's prog blend felt strangely empty and false after this, especially with his 'hot-shot' tuneless guitarists and over-rated over-egoed drummer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same with a few little twists, 20 Jun 2012
This review is from: Banks of Eden (Audio CD)
Banks of Eden is a pretty good album. It is one of those albums that are Very consistant and very much like previous albums which is fine you can't knock a band for that. However while the songs are good enough, it would have been better to have done something a bit more challenging, a bit more out there really experiment with different guitar effects or things. A bit like on one song with the crazy vocal effects but there should have been more of it. and perhaps maybe do a song at a fast tempo, I not complaining as such but I have noticed all flower kings songs seem to be at a particular tempo. the artwork is very good and it is a very good Flower Kings album it is essentially what they do best.There are a few other moments like some slightly opethy sounding acoustic guitar slightly heavier sounding guitar.
anyway buy it and see for you self it is like I said Good enough and I will continue to listen because its not bad it just isn't Super special
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4.0 out of 5 stars Banks of eden -signed sealed and delivered., 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Banks Of Eden (Audio CD)
Have just listened to the latest album by Roine Stolt and the boys.Once again they have delivered a near perfect set of retro-prog.First track Numbers is o.k.but isn't one of the band's best when it comes to epics and tends to drift with no apparent direction.Happily the four remaining compositions are excellent ending with the gorgeous Rising the imperial which includes a stomach -churning solo by the genious that is Roine Stolt.Another excellent album to add to the never-ending excellent albums by this awesome Swedish band.May it long continue!
ALL HAIL THE KINGS!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Prog Rock back on the Front Line, 3 April 2013
By 
Mr. Ian D. Davidson "IanD" (Berkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Banks of Eden (Audio CD)
For those of you who enjoyed the Yes/Genesis/ ELP genre and thought it gone, or just wrote off prog rock as a thing of the past take note.

This brings prog rock right back to the forefront with brilliant musicianship, great lyrics and a bright fresh sound.

Roine Stolt is better than ever, so look forward to a truly great CD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flower Kings - Banks od Eden, 15 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Banks of Eden (Audio CD)
If you like long pieces that take you on a journey, it can be like a frenzy one minute, then drift into long melodic sections the next and you like Prog, then this is for you. If you dont like prog Rock (Or think you don't) then give this one a try.

It does not hit the spot as well as some of their earlier 'epics' but it is still very good. Just a week ago I heard them play some of this album live in London, I have since been playing it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing playing, with structural lyrics, 8 Feb 2013
By 
Hugo Garcia Dos Santos "meedle" (Lx, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Banks Of Eden (Audio CD)
This album was pleasant and big surprise. I don't knew the Band, and i loved this album from the first chord. Amazing playing, with structural lyrics. In short five starts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joint album of the year., 26 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Banks Of Eden (Audio CD)
I have only recently become aware of The Flower Kings and I have to say that that is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for me, it has proven to be of real benefit.

Reading the many reviews that I had prior to my first purchase I was expecting to hear a band that were all form and little discernable content, if you know what I mean. The many comparisons to Yes, ELP, King Crimson, Zappa et al were of serious concern. But I went ahead and ordered that first album anyway, thank heavens. Indeed, there are many places over many albums, including this one, where you can just about say from which part of which album by which artist that their inspiration was drawn from.

Thing is, they do this whilst at the same time making it all their own. All artists give homage to their roots in one way or another, it is the ability to take ownership of these influences that sets apart the gifted from the not so's of this world, and The Flower Kings do indeed take that ownership.

Havind said all of that all that I can say about Blood of Eden is: Fabulous! It really is. If you were around in the early 70's and thought that punk was predominantly a fashion thing and that the development of real music got put back 30 or more years, you're dead right. Thank whomever you hold holy that things seem to be getting back on track.

Wahoo!
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