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THE FLOWER KINGS

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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The Flower Kings picture
The Flower Kings biography
Founded in Uppsala, Sweden in 1994 - Hiatus between 2008-2012

It's hard to make a biography about THE FLOWER KINGS, being that there's so much to say about them, so any attempt of telling their history may seem insufficient.
This essential Swedish group was born around 1993 as a power trio formed by Roine STOLT (Ex-KAIPA) in guitar and vocals, Jaime SALAZAR (Drums) and Hasse BRUNIUSSON (percussion), and ex-SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, this lineup worked with Stolt in his solo album "The Flower King" with the participation of Hans Fr鯾erg (Lead and Backing vocals) who would stay with them.

Soon they decided to form a band using the name of the solo album so THE FLOWER KINGS was born, the keyboardist Tomas BODIN and Roine's brother Michael in the bass joined and the band was officially born.

For 1995 they have their first release ready "Back in the World of Adventures" which impressed the critics very much for their closeness to the style of early bands such as Moody Blues, genesis, Jethro Tull etc, borrowing ideas but not music, so you can easily find their inspiration but a single chord copied, I personally liked the album but found it closer to Neo Prog than to Symphonic but this is only a stylistic precision that has no relation with the quality of the album.

The next few years are prolific with few changes and they release "Retropolis" in 1996. Stardust we Are" in 1997 and "Flower Power" in 1998 with no great changes.
In 1999 Michael Stolt leaves the band and is replaced by Jonas Reingold so the new formation for "Space Revolver" in the year 2000 also includes Ulf Wallander playing the Sax as a guest that remains for a long period with them.

After "The Rainmaker" in 2001 Jaime Salazar leaves the band and the drums are taken by Zoltan Cs鰎sz who stays in the band until the release of "Paradox Hotel" (2005) when is replaced by Marcus Liliequist.
As most Swedish bands the quality of their music and the musicianship of their members is impeccable but don't expect the complexity of their most illustrious compatriots like Anglagard or the dark and almost religious atmosphere of Par Lindh Project (With whom Roine worked in Gothic Impressions), being that the music of THE FLOWER KINGS is a bit lighter but not inferior by any means.

Iv醤 Melgar Morey - Per?br>
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THE FLOWER KINGS discography


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THE FLOWER KINGS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 636 ratings
Back In The World Of Adventures
1995
3.76 | 553 ratings
Retropolis
1996
3.92 | 635 ratings
Stardust We Are
1997
3.96 | 543 ratings
Flower Power
1999
3.86 | 578 ratings
Space Revolver
2000
3.47 | 476 ratings
The Rainmaker
2001
3.89 | 576 ratings
Unfold the Future
2002
3.50 | 510 ratings
Adam & Eve
2004
3.74 | 517 ratings
Paradox Hotel
2006
3.81 | 581 ratings
The Sum Of No Evil
2007
4.06 | 842 ratings
Banks of Eden
2012
3.98 | 617 ratings
Desolation Rose
2013
3.74 | 229 ratings
Waiting for Miracles
2019
3.95 | 119 ratings
Islands
2020

THE FLOWER KINGS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 135 ratings
Alive on Planet Earth
2000
4.37 | 182 ratings
Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording 2003
2003
3.47 | 34 ratings
Carpe Diem
2008
4.11 | 76 ratings
Tour Kaputt
2011

THE FLOWER KINGS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.15 | 129 ratings
Meet The Flower Kings @ Live Recording 2003
2003
3.76 | 100 ratings
Instant Delivery
2006
4.24 | 53 ratings
Tour Kaputt
2011

THE FLOWER KINGS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.46 | 49 ratings
Scanning The Greenhouse
1998
4.00 | 8 ratings
Two In One
2006
3.26 | 77 ratings
The Road Back Home
2007
4.81 | 21 ratings
A Kingdom of Colours
2017
4.54 | 24 ratings
A Kingdom of Colours II
2018

THE FLOWER KINGS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 10 ratings
蒬ition Limit閑 Qu閎ec 1998
1998
4.29 | 7 ratings
The Flower Kings
1999
2.88 | 17 ratings
Fanclub CD 2000
2000
3.09 | 39 ratings
The Rainmaker (Limited Edition)
2001
3.73 | 27 ratings
Live in New York - Official Bootleg
2002
3.90 | 26 ratings
The Fanclub CD 2002 - A Collection Of Flower Kings Related Music
2002
2.21 | 37 ratings
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid!!
2004
2.44 | 13 ratings
Fanclub CD 2004
2004
2.95 | 29 ratings
Fanclub CD 2005 - Harvest
2005
3.69 | 44 ratings
BrimStoned In Europe
2005

THE FLOWER KINGS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Banks of Eden by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.06 | 842 ratings

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Banks of Eden
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars The flower kings is one of the best bands that emerged in the 90's and made prog grand again. Through out the years the band produced a lot of albums, some good, some great, never bad, but their 2012 release Banks of Eden is a brilliant showcase of how majestic prog rock can be and their best album so far.

Numbers is a 25 minute epic and my favorite song from the band. It starts with a small but notable guitar part and vocal introduction only to explode with an amazing riff, beautiful guitar part that starts at the 2 minute mark and heavy riffing again, make the beginning of this song a true prog heaven. The entire song is brilliantly constructed from melodic and catchy to heavy and complex parts. The rest of the album delivers nothing but fantastic music a truly enjoyable album trough out.

 Islands by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 119 ratings

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Islands
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Devolvator

4 stars "Fantasy tangerine" keyboard landscapes are forever behind!" But the blues crunchy guitar tunes intensified. Complex, sometimes unnecessary, but this is the nature of the most sophisticated and multifaceted neo-progressive group titled The Flower Kings. It is not clear what was the reason, but two double albums in 2 years are a titanic success. While both records are great! Since 2012 - from the album "Banks of Eden" (which your humble servant considers one of the three strongest releases by TFK) - a strong bias towards a powerful guitar sound has been taken, which has benefited the musicians. And the last record to date is no exception. The music is still full of optimism and unrestrained fantasies of Roine Stolt, only with a different approach. The album is imbued with morning mood and layered guitar landscapes, and is very suitable for displaying large-scale scenes that are literally "off the ground". This time the music, almost devoid of sharp jumps, rather resembles the transition from "hill to river". The main drawback of the album (although more likely the last 10 years) is the vocalist's somewhat worn out: the voice has become too quiet and almost devoid of past emotions. Years are felt in it, which is depressing, given the general "pacifying" canvas of the group. It is still difficult for me to choose the highlight, because in fact all tracks are insanely interesting. So, "From The Ground" is a good example of a classic TFK with all their soaring chants and "widescreen bridges". Morning News is a fun, almost Christmas "connective tissue" between powerful album hits. Its initial simplicity is deceptive, and very soon it turns into sublime sadness, which culminates in a virtuoso and rather dynamic "Broken". And, in general, the whole album is incredibly good, the material is of the highest quality, despite the rather spoiled vocals. Perhaps the only miss is "Tangerine". Hey guys! You shouldn't write silly songs with a lack of melody and integrity. Perhaps, only it completely falls out of the album - and indeed not in the spirit of The Flower Kings. Everything else is better just to listen, because I will not have enough nerves to describe 2 discs, superbly played and complex pieces, as well as your desire to read all this! In any case, the dying world of the neo-progressive is still tapping out of the grave, and in this case, it broadcasts from it quite confidently and beautifully. True, no one knows how much of this is left ...
 Islands by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 119 ratings

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Islands
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

3 stars The band is in a relaxed mood with this album that seems to be less structured and more improvised with some jazzy passages. The performance of the new musicians is spot on with some innovative keyboard lines. However, I have tried to enjoy this album by repeated listening, it's 90 minutes difficult to digest. It was supposed to be a single song, but it doesn't sound that way. The cohesion found in the first Flower Kings albums is not here. There are some good parts in various places in this long journey, but too many moments where my attention drift away. I don't know if a single album would have improved things because there's not a standout track here that still is sonically a beautiful work of art, but something is missing in the songwriting. Maybe I need to listen more, if not I will go back to my old Flower Kings or Kaipa albums.
 Islands by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 119 ratings

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Islands
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

3 stars The flower kings are back with a new studio effort a year after their great album Waiting For Miracles. First off all I have to say that Roger Dean did a great album cover. Islands is another great double album that gives us a nice melodic ride through prog rock world of TFK. It's also important to say that the production on this album is fantastic. The highlight of this album is a great guitar work, lyrics from Mr.Stolt and a bass preformance from Jonas Reingold. I must say when I saw track listing I was a little disappointed that we will not get a long epic track which the fans of the band really love, but after listening to the album I must say that Islands is a great album with almost all trademark sounds of TFK, it is a nice ride for everyone with relaxing tones, at times strong and powerful, nice to meditate to, it's an album that takes you to land of tranquility and keeps you there.
 Islands by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 119 ratings

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Islands
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Tull Tales

5 stars OK, I am a fanboy. I love pretty much everything Roine Stolt is involved in, but this truly is a great album in my opinion. This one is comprised of shorter more concise SONGS, while still retaining all of the elements of the Flower Kings' sound. Subtle, nuanced, beautiful, melodic, complex... You get the idea.

Others have mentioned the drums being mixed a little lower, which reminds me of most of my 70's favorites where this was quite common. It does allow for the melodic complexities to shine, but make no mistake, you can still hear every nuance of Mirko DeMaio's playing and it is some great playing at that. It is definitely more rock drumming than some of TFK's former drummers, but really works well.

I really enjoy Zach Kamins' contributions. He still utilizes many of the classic keyboard sounds we are used to hearing in TFK albums, but also interjects some more modern sounds which keeps this album sounding fresh. In addition, his orchestral flourishes add an element that I have always thought would work well in TFK's music, and it does! His instrumentals are also a little more "technical" sounding than most of TFK's music, which is an interesting addition to the sound.

Jonas Reingold's bass playing is just fantastic. Sometimes thundering, some times gentle, always perfect. Hasse Froberg's vocals continue to be top notch whether singing lead or adding layers of harmony.

Roine's guitar really shines on this album, and there are LOTS of opportunities to hear it. There are many solos and they are all great! He is such an emotional and tasteful player and I love his tone.

The Flower Kings have carved out a sound that, while certainly informed by the 70's greats (of which Roine was involved via Kaipa), is uniquely their own. I love this and all of their albums.

Bonus: Roger Dean cover art! You can't go wrong.

 Banks of Eden by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.06 | 842 ratings

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Banks of Eden
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by ComaEcliptic

5 stars Banks of Eden by The Flower Kings, a 55 minute album with everything a prog lover should enjoy. I think anyone who likes Genesis, Yes, and The Beatles would really love this album. Its the right mix of all 3 bands. This album is the first to not include Ulf Wallander, and brings in a new drummer to replace Zoltan Cs鰎sz, and the replacement being german drummer Felix Lehrmann. So, time for a track by track analysis.

Numbers, 25 minutes of prog goodness. Starts with some very Genesis type instrumental for the first two and a half minutes roughly. Once the lyrics start coming, it goes to a Beatles type zone with some Genesis influence. A part of the track that showcases both Roine and Hasse's best vocal work. The song transitions into a more plan old Beatles tone that resembles songs like Come Together. It has its moments with Blues influenced Genesis and Yes type instrumentals. A two minute section with Yes type harmonies, and Genesis instrumentals. A reprisal of the first vocal section, and finally a gorgeous, slower instrumental passage that closes this perfect epic. Numbers is one of my favourite epics of all time, just altogether a really damn good epic, its definitely an epic worth listening to. 25/25

For The Love Of Gold, Very Beatles-esc. I like the keyboard solo provided by Tomas Bodin around the two minute mark. Like the mellow tone of this song, its very calm and well done. So the score? 4/5

Pandemonium, very very cool. More Genesis like, a bit more instrumental based, but overall still a really good track with a more busy tone. 4/5

For Those About To Drown, wow wow amazing! A very soft Yes and Beatles track, love the harmonies, I love the instrumentation, and I just love how this song is placed on this album. 5/5

Rising The Imperial, a very unique song by the band. Its very original, very very soft, great vocals, amazing bass work, everything about this song is just... perfect. I love this track. 5/5

Total Grade: 43/45 Percentage: 95.5%

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 Waiting for Miracles by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.74 | 229 ratings

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Waiting for Miracles
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by ComaEcliptic

3 stars Honestly, I hate to be the one to say it but I find this album to be kind of boring. A few really great tracks and a bunch of filler. For the amount of times I have listened to this album I find nothing on this album to be top tier Flower Kings material, except one song, "We Were Always Here" which has a clear throwback to albums like Stardust We Are and give us that nostalgia. Unfortunately, the singles released for this album were the best tracks (besides one other) on the album "Black Flag", "Miracles For America", and "Wicked Old Symphony". I do enjoy "Sleep with the Enemy" because it provides a nice and refreshing side of Hasse Fr鯾erg's voice we don't often get to hear. Unfortunately, the longest song on the album "Vertigo" is vocally fantastic but musically not something I'm too happy with.

I would love to go track by track on this album to give my final score, but I honestly don't have the motivation to provide one on this album. I still think this album is good, but many many many times far from a top tier Flower Kings record.

I will give a track by track analysis, but edited in later. For now, I say between 2.5 and 3 out of 5 stars. Best I can really do.

 Islands by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 119 ratings

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Islands
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by ComaEcliptic

5 stars The Flower Kings come off the back of releasing their increasing mediocre record from 2019 entitled "Waiting For Miracles". Did they come back with a better album in 2020? With the same lineup from 2018, Zach Kamins replacing longtime keyboardist Tomas Bodin, and Mirkko DeMaio taking over the drums. Have The Flower Kings come back with a better album than their previous? I think this is an easy answer, absolutely. They brought back their sound but with a mellow tone, and a bunch of jazz fusion. They have Rob Townsend of Steve Hackett to come in and do all the wind instruments on this album. What does this album have? It has 21 tracks, 95 minutes in total. Shall we go through these tracks now?

SIDE ONE

Racing With The Blinders On, opens the album, being a fairly fast paced jazz influenced Genesis/Yes type track with soaring keyboard licks and smooth guitar work from Zach and Roine. Overall a really compelling way to open up the album, on the plus side two, slappin bass from Jonas! 5/5

From The Ground, Yes... sounds like Yes and I love it. The keyboard work on this one, great keyboard solo, very Yessy but keep in tone to their original sound. Spectacular track. 5/5

Black Swan, very original track but definitely a Flower Kings track through and through. I really love the vocals on this track, really good. 5/5

Morning News, you can't get more of a Beatles track if you tried, this sounds like it was written by John, Paul, and George. Very mellow song, very soft and acoustic, love it. 5/5

Broken, this was the first song to be released to promote this album and it was a smash. The lyrics were very real, the music itself was banging, and it showcased that the band can still write damn good prog. 5/5

Goodbye Outrage, I am not too much a fan of this track but still, pretty nice, a 2 minute song written by both Zach and Roine but ultimately not my favourite. 3/5

Journeyman, Jazz Fusion to a tee. I absolutely love this track, the keyboard work is ridiculous well done, the drumming, just the bands overall playing is fantastic. Well done to Zach Kamins to writing a really good Tomas Bodin style interlude. 5/5

Tangerine, another track that I'm not thrilled about but still very enjoyable. More psychedelic and jazz influenced but the harmonies are the best part of this track. Cool. 4/5

Solaris, the longest song on this album and it might be the best song on this album. I'd gladly take this track over Miracles for America or Vertigo off the previous record. It has the large scale vocals, a choir and sting opening to give this track a huge sound like back in the good old days of FlowerPower. The vocals are absolutely incredible on this track in particular, the mellow middle section leads back into a huge vocal base. This song is just perfect, well done on all fronts, playing, and otherwise. 10/10

Heart Of The Valley, is back to being Yes. I love this track too. Its very vocal based again, like the majority of this album. Good track to lead off of Solaris. 5/5

Man in a Two Piece Suit, a little too much bluesy guitar riffing for me but still really good. 4/5

SIDE TWO

All I Need is Love, sounds to me like soft rock of the 70s. Very pleasant, nice opener to the second disc. 5/5

A New Species, I heard a lot of different material in here. This is an instrumental with a lot of cool playing, and one section that sounds a bunch like Dream Theater... never thought I'd ever say that about a Flower Kings track but still cool. 5/5

Northern Lights, Vocal based as this album is, another gorgeous track from the band. 5/5

Hidden Angels, another jazz fusion interlude. Another amazing track by Zach. 5/5

Serpentine, Sax and fast paced. Rob Townsend's feature track, really well done sax soloing, fast paced song, great vocals again. 5/5

Looking For Answers, Church Organs... thats all I have to say. 5/5

Telescope, not my favourite material either, its calm and soothing but just not the best thing on this album. 4/5

Fools Gold, probably my least favourite song on this album, I just don't like bluesy noodling on this one personally. 3/5

Between Hope and Fear, this is probably my second favourite song on this entire album. I love Roine's idea to use a high pass filter on high voice to make it sound like he was coming through a radio or something of the sort. Really really love this track. Amazing. 5/5

Islands, the title track, another amazing instrumental to close this album. To be honest, I kinda wish Between Hope and Fear ended this album? Still a good choice, nice, gorgeous. 5/5

So! 2020 Flower Kings, a huge improvement over the previous, and Roger Dean artwork? Just for the gorgeous artwork this album deserves 5 stars, just kidding but... the art fits the album. Time for the final score.

Side One : 51/55 Side Two : 47/50 Side One Percentage : 97.272% Side Two Percentage : 94%

Total Grade : 98/105 Percentage Total : 93.33%

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 Islands by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 119 ratings

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Islands
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by Hrychu

4 stars The Flower Kings sound is back!

I initially thought the album was going to be TFK on sleeping pills in a way. Like a continuation of Waiting for Miracles except even less exciting. Welp, I was dead wrong. It's one of the most exciting albums Roine and Co. have done in a long time. I love it. The sugary and safe vibe of the previous album is there, yes, but the compositions are way more fun this time. Every piece sounds more musical and fresh. The compositions touch my heart in a similar way, the 90s tracks did.

Zach Kamins' keyboard work which to be frank, while not that different from Bodin's, did have its dose of Casioesque cheese on W4M. However, this time, the sounds he choses to utilize are way more elegant. Especially the orchestral tones which Bodin couldn't quite nail. Sweet! I also really dig the idea of having the drums less in your face in the mix. Jonas's bass really shines. The nasal gooey tones we all like are once again adding a lot of excitement to the mix! It's hard to believe this was all recorded in virus lockdown mode. It sounds just right! The guitar and vocal work by Roine and Hasse is absolutely gorgeous but I think it might be time for Roine to step down as the lead singer for IMO his voice lost the power that it had back in the early 2000s. :(

This album does have some filler though and longepicoholics may not be 100% satisfied but the REALLY really good moments do compensate for it all. So in conclusion, I totally recommend this album. Go listen to it.

 Desolation Rose by FLOWER KINGS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 617 ratings

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Desolation Rose
The Flower Kings Symphonic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

4 stars 'Desolation Rose' is an album I am quite fond of, for a couple of reasons. One of them is that this was my 'official' introduction to the band (and I was quite mesmerized by what I was hearing, back in 2013), and probably the more essential one is that this is one of the records that really converted me into a full-on prog maniac and made me want more and more.

Now, this is the band's twelfth album, and at such a point in a band's musical career, the expectations are probably not as high as they have been eight or ten years ago. Well, not with the Flower Kings, as this album comes shortly after the brilliant 'Banks of Eden' which was their first release after a 5-year break.

The core of the band is the same as usual with Roine Stolt as the captain of the ship, Tomas Bodin handling all the keyboards, the stunning Jonas Reingold on bass, Hasse Froberg on vocals and additional guitars, and a new drummer in the face of German guy Felix Lehrmann who plays on the previous album as well, of course.

Musically, 'Desolation Rose' is a thematic, in a way, continuation of 'Banks of Eden' but darkened even more. If elegance and lush were prevailing on 'Banks', anxiety and agitation are my best words for this album. These words should not confuse, of course, as the very recognizable and original sound of the band is also present - the big riffs, the catchy choruses, the beautiful vocal harmonies, the quirky keyboard madness, the abstract lyrics, and the pounding bass.

Some consider this a safe album but I really disagree with this statement. The band did not write tremendously long pieces, nor did release this as a double album (I am excluding the bonus disc from this review), these are the facts. But it is also true that they haven't blended the heavier moments with the playful (or 'proggy') ones that flawlessly on any other release. This album is marked by stupendous songwriting, memorable songs, jaw-dropping instrumental sections and an overall sensation of grandiosity, alongside quite a metaphysical exaltation when experiencing the music.

Opening track 'Tower One' is one of the truly wonderful longer pieces of the band, with many mood shifts, not so dramatic instrumental ones, imaginative lyrical content, and ingenious interplay between Roine and Tomas but also between Jonas and Felix.

'Sleeping Bones', one of the shorter tracks on the album, is a more peaceful song, contrasting with 'Tower One' (and this contrast is something the band will use further in the album again on several occasions). 'Desolation Road' is what could be classified as a classic prog song, very symphonic and all over the place. 'White Tuxedos' is a bit of an unexpected entry, as its chorus is a variation of a children's song (I can't really remember the song's name but the melody is quite recognizable) and is one of the things that really sticks to one's mind as a more easy-going song, if this could be said about a Flower Kings song.

'The Resurrected Judas' is an eight-and-a-half-minute exercise in orchestral elevating rock music, sounding very mellifluous and delightful, and carrying the signature TFK retro sound. A retro sound that, in my humble opinion, is given a unique spin of originality which is the reason why the band is so beloved and celebrated, as they never really mimicked any band in particular but embraced the approach of Genesis and Yes, as the two most obvious examples, and furthered it which ultimately led to some of progressive rock's most representative and impressive pieces ever created, but enough with this little lyrical deviation. 'Last Carnivore' is definitely the big rocker of the album, where the punchy verses are excellently followed by the bluesy chorus and the bluesy solo by Stolt. I have never been bored by this song and I've heard it a good bunch of times. 'Dark Fascist Skies' is a critical observation of the contemporary moral of political leaders giving misleading promises, another great track in the Kings' catalogue.

The two final tracks 'Blood of Eden' and 'Silent Graveyards' form a brief closing suite with some reprises of melodies or riffs that were already used on some of the previous songs.

'Desolation Rose' is an excellent album, this I have no doubts about. It is menacing, it is symphonic, it is different from what the Flower Kings usually put out, and it is hauntingly memorable. The performances by the band members are excellent as expected, with my two highlight musicians on this album being probably Hasse, whose vocals are at this point a mandatory part of any Flower Kings album for me, an absolutely powerful and majestic voice and Jonas, whose bass is so prevalent and blissful that I just cannot leave him without a special mention. All this is elevated by the beautiful artwork, one of my favorite TFK covers.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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