[quote]The Flower Kings are a Swedish progressive rock band. Formed in 1993 by veteran guitarist Roine Stolt as a touring band to support his solo album The Flower King, the band stayed together after the tour and have gone on to become one of the most prolific studio recording units in rock music of their era. In ten years they have released nearly 18 hours of music.
The Flower Kings have seen frequent personnel changes. The original line-up for Stolt's solo album consisted of Stolt (vocals, electric guitar, bass, keyboards), Jaime Salazar (drums), and Hasse Fröberg (vocals). When the full band was formed, they added Michael Stolt (bass) and Tomas Bodin (keyboards). Michael Stolt and Salazar have both left the band since its formation, replaced by Jonas Reingold (bass) and Zoltan Csörsz (drums). Other contributors have included Hasse Bruniusson (percussion), Ulf Wallander (saxophone) and Daniel Gildenlöw of Pain of Salvation (vocals, guitar, keyboards and percussion). Zoltan Csörsz has recently been replaced by new drummer Marcus Liliequist. Daniel Gildenlöw recently left because of personal issues. According to a Myspace blog posted by Roine Stolt on April 2, 2007, Zoltan Csörsz will perhaps return permanently as drummer; he plays on their newest record.
Roine Stolt has written the vast majority of the material the band has recorded, with Bodin contributing most of the rest. The music is perhaps best described as "symphonic," bearing a strong resemblance in many instances to that of Yes, and yet there are also hints of strong influence from the jazz fusion genre. The band's lyrics are almost uniformly positive, affirming such values as love, peace, and spirituality.
Their 1999 album Flower Power contains one of the longest progressive rock tracks ever recorded, the eighteen-section, nearly 60-minute "Garden of Dreams."
Roine Stolt recorded two albums with supergroup Transatlantic, with members of Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, and Marillion, in 2000 and 2001.[/quote]
Disc One - "Room 111"
1. "Check In" – 1:37
2. "Monsters & Men" – 21:21
3. "Jealousy" – 3:22
4. "Hit Me With a Hit" – 5:32
5. "Pioneers of Aviation" – 7:49
6. "Lucy Had a Dream" – 5:28
7. "Bavarian Skies" – 6:34
8. "Selfconsuming Fire" – 5:49
9. "Mommy Leave the Light On" – 4:38
10. "End on a High Note" – 10:43
Disc Two - "Room 222"
1. "Minor Giant Steps" – 12:12
2. "Touch My Heaven" – 6:10
3. "The Unorthodox Dancinglesson" – 5:24
4. "Man of the World" – 5:55
5. "Life Will Kill You" – 7:05
6. "The Way the Waters Are Moving" – 3:12
7. "What if God Is Alone" – 6:58
8. "Paradox Hotel" – 6:29
9. "Blue Planet" – 9:42
[quote]This is a good album, but not a great one. It's not a bad album, but the guys just don't really explore any new territory here. It's just not adventurous. It is, however, about twice as long as it needs to be. (Instead of "Paradox Hotel," it would have been better as "Paradox Bed & Breakfast.") Although it may please devotees of their music, I would not recommend "Paradox Hotel" to someone as an introduction. "Stardust We Are", "Retropolis" or "Rainmaker" would all be better points of entry, when the music was newer and fresher. The second disk is much stronger overall than the first, but not without padding. Sometimes more music is not more pleasure. Mies van der Rohe could have been talking about this album when he proclaimed: "Less is more".[/quote]
[color=red]The Sum of No Evil[/color]
[quote]Well, Roine Stolt and his Flower Kings are back with yet another Progressive rock masterpiece. After last year's brilliant,though more straight foward release "Paradox Hotel", the Kings return with a more invloved affair. "The Some Of No Evil" features six tracks, all of which take the listener on a journey to prog rock heaven. Opening up the record is "One More Time" a great track featuring excellent playing from all involved especially some great keyboard work from Tomas Bodin and nice guitar passages from Mr. Stolt. This one also has a great vocal hook that stays with the listener all day. "Love Is The Only Answer" is the epic. A 26 minute masterpiece that takes a few listens to grasp,but once it has you,it does not let go."Trading My Soul" is a relativly short one at around six minute. It has a wonderful vocal melody and a great guitat outro solo that reminds this listener a little of Gary Moore in his more reflective moments.Next up is my current favorite track "The Sum Of No Reason." Great guitar and keyboard work as well as thoughtful vocals and great drums and bass from Zoltan and Jonas respectively. Really Those two shine on the whole record. It's apparent they enjoy working off each other. An instrumental track "Flight 999(Brimstone Air) really shows that point with some frantic drums and bass and Tomas'keys creating another strong Flower King instumental."Life In Motion" closes the record in fine style and is another 13 minute prog jem that again takes the listener on a journey. The ltd version comes with 3 bonus tracks and 2 video's shot while recording the record. Of the bonus tracks,"Carved In Stone" is my fave. It's a funky rocker that would have been right at home on the "Paradise Hotel"cd. It starts off with a chunky,bluesy riff that reminds me of something Deep Purple probably would like to have written for their last record. Throw in Hasse's bluesy Glenn Hughes-ish vocals and you have great Rocker with some nice prog overturns. All in all this is another great release fron The Flower Kings.Fans of old prog,new prog or just fantastic music in general should pick this up. It does not disappiont. Sorry for the lenth of this reveiw,but I was in a long winded mood![/quote]