Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck|
4 stars out of 4
While groups like ELP and King Crimson continue to gain popularity
without making any new music, they can continue their legacy based
on what they have already accomplished, not what they are currently
recording. The Flower Kings however have been making their mark since
the 90's and have been moving forward since their inception. They
are only second to "Dream Theater" in popularity, and in my estimation
right on their heels poised to take their place. Musically they are
more interesting and unlike any other prog-rock band active today.
Now that I am working my way backwards through their sizable catalog
I have an opportunity to see how they have developed over the years.
In 1999 they released this two disc set titled "Flower Power." It's
not as strong as their best "Stardust We Are," but very close. Although
the musical intensity, complexity, and sophistication are in place,
the sound and production isn't quite as good. All the same its an
awesome exploration of musical interpretations of their thought provoking
colorful stories and characters- "Captain Capstan" and "Astral Dog" to name a few.
Mr. Flower King himself, Roine Stolt, once again leads the rest of
his band mates to prog-rock utopia with his dazzling and clean guitar
work. I really think that developmentally this group is light-years
ahead of every one of their peers, and always has been. The brilliance
and compositional range of "Garden of Dreams" on disc one offers a
multi-tiered extravaganza comprised of twenty one tracks of the most
virtuous prog-rock you will ever hear.
I can foresee more changes and musical surprises over the course of
time with this group's proactive progressive evolutionary mindset.
They are the real deal, and they're in it for the long haul. How many
groups put out double albums loaded with strong material from start
to finish like The Flower Kings? And they do it on a regular basis.
Look at the total times for each disc! They are phenomenal. Add this
to your collection, for that matter pick up every single CD that you
can find by this group. You will not be disappointed, I personally guarantee it.