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.