What can be said about the The Flower Kings that has not been said before? The reigning lords of Scandinavian (and possibly, the visible universe) progressive rock arise again to tickle our ears in fancy and inspiration. Mr. Roine Stolt and a company of many have stripped down their sound to the essentials of their famous prog rock and blessed us with a magnificent creation. Get yourself Napoleon Dynamite's time machine, your paisley shirt and, possibly, but not recommended, a gram of weed and travel back in time with me. This is essential prog with hints of Genesis, Yes, and even Pink Floyd. It's time for some meaningful fun. Headphones may be necessary here.
'The Sum Of No Evil,' as a whole, is nearly perfect in composition and sonic references. And as much as I enjoyed it, I was more captivated by the second half then the first. Sure 'One More Time' is good; definite Yes influences here. But, for me the best songs, began with 'The Sum Of No Reason' and what follows. 'Flight 999 Brimstone Air' is absolutely brilliant, quirky and imaginative. It reminded me somewhat of the famous orchestral interlude, 'Flight Of The Bumblebee,' written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan with a few more barnyard nuances. This is probably a bit far-fetched, yet with creativity of The Flower Kings I can read into their music as much as I want. Still, for this fan, the crowning piece is the last track, 'Life In Motion;' it has all you would expect from The Kings. The lyric and arrangement is phenomenal. I especially enjoyed Mr. Stolt's vocals and guitar work.
Most readers know I mostly review melodic metal and hard rock. However, there is a special place in my heart for prog rock and The Flower Kings know how to strum the strings of my prog rock heart. This is simply fun and enjoyable music done very, very well. Do not hesitate to check this out. Highly recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
The Flower Kings return with a new work and prove once again that they may be the best (or the very best) at divining progressive rock especially with a psychedelic atmosphere. 'The Sum Of No Evil' is brilliant work from the Swedish masters of prog rock.
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