The Flower Kings- Adam and Eve

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The Flower Kings- Adam and Eve

Postby FKYES » Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:35 pm


1. Love Supreme (19:50)
2. Cosmic Circus (3:00)
3. Babylon (2:41)
4. A Vampires View (8:50)
5. Days Gone By (1:10)
6. Adam & Eve (7:50)
7. Starlight Man (3:30)
8. Timelines (7:40)
9. Drivers Seat (18:22)
10. The Blade Of Cain (5:00)
Roine Stolt: Vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
Tomas Bodin: Keyboards
Hans Fröberg: Vocals
Daniel Gildenlöw: Vocals
Jonas Reingold: Basses
Zoltan Csörsz: Drumkit
Hasse Bruniusson: Percussion

All words & music by Roine Stolt, except "Days Gone By" & "Babylon" by Tomas Bodin and "Timelines" by Jonas Reingold & Roine Stolt

Recorded at Cosmic Lodge between January and May 2004
Drums & bass recorded at Reingold Studios

Produced By Roine Stolt 2004
Production assistant: Tomas Bodin
Layout: Hippified Art
Cover Painting By Ciruelo Cabral
Photo: Roine Stolt & Lilian Forsberg

It was with much anticipation as I waited to hear what The Flower Kings had in store for the progressive rock community with their 8th band release, “Adam and Eve”. I have long been of the belief that The Flower Kings are the best of the modern progressive rock bands and best symbolize what is still great about progressive rock. The last release, “Unfold The Future”, gave a glimpse of the jazzier side of the Swedish prog masters. When I heard that “Adam and Eve” was going to be a return the more symphonic style evident on earlier releases, I was very excited. Needless to say, I have not been disappointed.

The album begins with the epic, ‘Love Supreme’. After hearing a few minutes of this song, it was apparent that The Flower Kings have created another modern progressive rock epic, that will stand besides masterpieces such as ‘Stardust We Are’, ‘Garden of Dreams’ and ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’. Roine has mentioned that the feels that fans will most identify with this piece. I would agree, as it is an amazing piece of music. The song contains the best three part harmonies the band has ever done. Hasse Froberg handles the majority of the lead vocals at the beginning of the song, before deferring to the warmest voice in progressive rock, Roine Stolt. Stolt’s guitar playing is excellent as always. In addition to some blazing electric solos, I really enjoy the addition of the acoustic guitar to the mix. As with the more recent works, the best rhythm section in the business provides the foundation to the spiraling epic. It appears that Tomas Bodin’s keyboards are more featured on this release, and this is something that is a common thread throughout the album. It’s a great beginning to the album, and an indication that the magical journey has commenced.

The second song is the incredibly melodic, ‘Cosmic Circus’. Froberg’s lead vocals are featured and once again the harmonies take center stage. Mr. Swedish Family himself, Tomas Bodin’s synth mastery is once again featured. This song transitions beautifully into ‘Babylon’, a beautiful instrumental featuring Bodin. I have felt that the short instrumentals that transition some of the longer pieces on albums such as Retropolis, and Stardust We Are helped in making those albums so great. It is refreshing to see that the symphonic interludes have returned on “Adam and Eve”

The 4th song, ‘A Vampire’s View’, is a song that is going cause a great deal of conversation amongst Flower Kings aficionados. This track features the dynamic vocals of newest member, Daniel Gildenlow. I will admit it has taken a while for me to appreciate this song. That being said, other Flower Kings fans have told me that it is their favorite song on the album. I do believe that this song will sound amazing live.

‘Day’s Gone By’ is a Bodin piano piece much like the material that has been released on the Fan Club CD’s. It is another great transitional instrumental. The song ‘Adam and Eve’ is next, and the Flower Kings rock on this one! Daniel’s vocals are quite enjoyable and the song is full of several great Stolt solos. In addition, Reingold’s’ bass and Bodin’s organ and synth playing are superb. Once again, the warmth of Stolt’s lead vocals grabs the listener. The incredible drumming of Zoltan Csorsz also should not be overlooked. I’m sure this is a song that will translate very well to live performances.

After surviving the intensity of Adam and Eve, the listener is rewarded with the beautiful melodies of ‘Starlight Man’. Roine and Hasse share the vocal duties, with Roine providing some breath taking vocals done in a falsetto style. Brian Wilson would be proud of this performance! Hasse is fine voice as always and once again the harmonies are plentiful. Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite songs on the album.

After the reprieve of the previous song, the tempo picks up again on ‘Timelines’. After an intense beginning, the song takes a bluesy turn. Percussion legend Hasse Bruniusson contributes some tasteful percussive bits and Bodin’s mellotron is a treat for the listener. Stolt’s solo and Bodin’s organ adds to the bluesy feel and the song is quite different than the rest of the album.

The second epic on the album, ‘Driver’s Seat’ is next. Once again, The Flower Kings’ symphonic roots shine through. All the classic prog elements are present: incredible synth work by Bodin, great lead and harmony vocals, killer bass and drums, and plenty of Stolt solos. As always, The Flower Kings present the music in their unique style to prevent derivativeness. Roine’s guitar mastery may shine brightest on this piece as his solos are some of the finest he has done for The Flower Kings.

The album ends with the instrumental ‘The Blade of Cain’. Bodin’s keys and Reingold’s bass give way to another blistering, melodic, solo from Stolt. The album ends with some light acoustic guitar, a haunting vocal reprise of the ‘Love Supreme’ theme, and a fade out to ambient wind. The listener’s journey is now complete.

I guess it would be difficult for me to write an unbiased review of a Flower Kings album. I love them all and all for different reasons. As anyone who listens to my shows will know, I wear my love for The Flower Kings on my sleeve. As impressed as I was by the jazz fusion direction the band took on the last album, I am equally impressed this return to symphonic bliss.

It is difficult to conclude a review on a band that has provided me so much happiness over the years. I would to thank all the guys for this incredible music. Once again, they have a delivered an incredible progressive rock album. If I had to categorize the album (why do us proggers have to give everything a category?), I would say it is a cross between Retropolis and Space Revolver. It doesn’t really matter how we compare it to the previous works. What is important is that this is another great album by The Flower Kings. I have a feeling that Europe is in for a tremendous treat when The Flower Kings bring “Adam and Eve” to the stage later this year.
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Postby ianmitchell » Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:42 am

So far I like this album, but the 2nd epic (Driver's Seat) isn't really sinking in yet. I found that a bit surprising - after all, I'm one of the people that think Devil's Playground is way better than The Truth Will Set You Free. But maybe I just need to listen to it a few more times - it took a while to get the album out here, and I got a pile of other albums at about the same time so I haven't given it a huge amount of listening time yet.
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