Flower Kings, The - Unfold The Future

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut Music America
Catalog Number: IOMA 2047-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 136:35:00

There are not too many groups that garner attention and gather the anticipation of a new release like Sweden's progressive rock superstars The Flower Kings. With that, the responsibility they carry on their shoulders attaches a huge accountability to everything they do. In a marvelous and humble way, they always come up with an outstanding effort every time they go into the studio to record. In addition, they have come out of several sessions with enough material to fill two CDs, which is once again the case with Unfold The Future.

They continue to amaze me with every album. I ask myself each time- ?Can this band actually become better?? I answer that question with a resounding and affirmative "yes." They sound hauntingly similar to Yes, then follow with a track that puts them in a league all their own, quickly turning things around to sound like a stand alone great prog-rock band with a first class lead singer that has a definitive Swedish accent. They are indeed the purveyors of some of the most sophisticated and pure music here on the planet earth. With each listen of this album, and believe me there were several, I hear more intricacies and developments in their music that I did not hear on the previous listen. From my point of view as a critic and someone that studiously pays attention to every note, that carries a tremendous amount of weight. So where do I start with my rundown on this set with over two hours of prog-rock bliss? It is not an easy task mind you, but I will pick out what I though were the brightest spots on the recording.

Disc one starts things off with a classic FK oeuvre called ?The Truth Will Set You Free.? It is 30 minutes of progressive nirvana. ?Monkey Business? is a rockin' romp in the musical jungle, putting a decidedly straight-ahead rock slant on their sound. My absolute favorite is the ever-changing ?Silent Inferno.? The time signatures in the song are extraordinary, and it is the band in their most essential element. They are obviously talented enough to flip-flop between genres and seamlessly blend several styles into one song by adding a tasteful saxophone here and an airy keyboard layer there. I normally rant and rave about Roine Stolt's guitar playing, and yes, it is always superb, but this time out I must say that this is a total and complete effort from every member of this group, it always is, I noticed it more than ever with this album though. The maturity of each group member, and how that aspect helps to evolve the band's overall sound, becomes more important as the recording plays deep into the first disc then continues with the second. The advent of successful solo albums by the members of the group also gives them more depth and variety than ever before.

Side two opens with a delightful ?Genie In The Bottle? and ?Rollin The Dice? is equally engaging with snappy hooks and dreamy vocals. The solos that each band member has the opportunity to produce is another factor that makes this release so much more intriguing and introspective than previous albums. I have enjoyed everything that this group has ever done, it seems now that they have moved up yet another notch and taken it all to the next level in their select dominion of prog-rock. I dare say that there are only a few groups with this kind of power and presence, I think you know who they are fellow prog-heads. This group has been one of the very few consistently great ones over the past 7 years. So, I ask you now, who will fall from your good graces this year? Moreover, who will stay right there in front of you to keep your focus? I can tell you that this group is not giving an inch on their position, with this album they have a firmer grip on their place in musical history reserved for only legends.

Also released by InsideOut (IOMCD 112/SPV 089-65392 DCD)

Disc One: The Truth Will Set You Free (30:40) / Monkey Business (4:20) / Black And White (7:40) / Christianopel (8:30) / Silent Inferno (14:25) / The Navigator (3:15) / Vox Humana (4:30)

Disc Two: Genie In A Bottle (8:10) / Fast Lane (6:35) / Grand Old World (5:10) / Soul Vortex (6:00) / Rollin The Dice (4:15) / The Devils Danceschool (3:45) / Man Overboard (3:40) / Solitary Shell (3:10) / Devils Playground (24:30)

Roine Stolt - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Hasse Fröberg - vocals
Jonas Reingold - Fender bass, fretless bass
Zoltan Csörsz - drums
Tomas Bodin - Grand piano, keyboards

Guest Musicians:

Hasse Bruniusson - percussion
Ulf Wallander - soprano saxophone

Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994/2001/2004)
Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
Retropolis (1996)
Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
Edition Limitée Quebec (1998) (only 700 copies!)
Flower Power (1999)
TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
Space Revolver (2000)
Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
Unfold The Future (2002)
Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
Adam & Eve (2004)
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid (2004)
Harvest (fan club CD) (2005)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)
Banks Of Eden (2012)
Roine Stolt's The Flower King - Manifesto Of An Alchemist (2018)
Waiting For Miracles (2019)

Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
Instant Delivery (DVD) (2006)
Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin SE

Added: October 13th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.roinestolt.com
Hits: 1706
Language: english


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