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Banks of Sweden,
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.