Flower Kings, The - Adam & Eve

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut Music
Catalog Number: IOMCD 174/SPV 085-60892
Format: CD
Total Time: 76:33:00

Adam & Eve has the darkness of Retropolis, the light-heartedness of Space Revolver, the symphonic spirit of Stardust We Are, and the experimental nature of Unfold The Future. To settle on one comparison, the album is probably closest to The Rainmaker, however, it is actually a great deal more ambitious.

Adam & Eve does everything that has been done before while trying out an entirely new bag of tricks. The album might only be a single disc, but there is quite a bit to absorb. The music wanders in all directions. Each song is significantly different then the next. The epic pieces are swarming with ideas. You'd need a sponge to soak it all up. The album gets under the skin more and more with every listen.

"Love Supreme" is an epic with many twists. The themes seem to come and go as they please. The song takes numerous listens to fully comprehend, because it's based on a convoluted design. After several visits, the brilliance begins to surface in all kinds of ways. The melody becomes quite unforgettable.

Another epic, "Driver's Seat," comes late in the album. The song is funky and psychedelic. It's a barrel of research monkeys on hallucinogenic drugs. Not one of the chimps has been given the placebo. Towards the center, an unusually long pause comes unexpectedly. The silence brings the action to a screaming halt. During this delay, its internal motors are expertly calibrated and lubed up. When the system becomes operational again, it returns to a comfortable coasting speed. The musicianship is divine, especially in its final moments. The Flower Kings masterfully convey the clincher here. The ending rivals the Transatlantic greats. The earlier epic's finish is not too shabby either. The Flower Kings know how to deliver a punchline.

The highlight of the album is probably "A Vampire's View." It is hard to compare this song to anything they've done before. It is most similar to Steve Hackett's "The Devil Was An Englishman," though it is more song than dialogue. It is actually creepier. The track is a ghoulish piece, which seems to be inspired by Interview With A Vampire. Tinges of Pain Of Salvation and Karmakanic emerge from the catacombs of this condemned characters lair.

Daniel Gildenlow sings more on this album than he did on Unfold The Future. This works in the music's favor. He is a progressive version of Josh Groban. He hits his notes with the elegance of an eagle riding on the air currents. He takes his voice so high he touches the stratosphere. He swoops back down and swiftly strikes his prey with incredible accuracy. With his wings spread wide and sharp talons exposed, he is a menacing figure to behold.

While Daniel sings more, Roine sings less. When he does, his voice is more profound and pronounced than ever. He singing is stupendous on "Starlight Man." This is a rare moment when he sings lead on the album. While providing vocals in a smaller capacity, his concentration is turned exclusively to the guitar parts. In some places, he has completely redefined himself as a guitarist. The album is laced with so many innovative guitar licks that Roine becomes a guest musician in his own band.

Jonas Reingold continues his reign as the elite bassist, Tomas Bodin demonstrates extraordinary ability on the keyboard, and Zoltan Csorsz does some of his finest drumming.

If The Flower Kings interest you, be sure to check out Karmakanic's Wheel Of Life. That album shares a similar disposition as well as several members from the same crew. Not to mention, it might ultimately be the album of the year. The Tangent, which is also heavily populated by garden royalty, is working towards another album as well. The word on the street is that their second album, The World That We Drive Through, will be amazing. This news came long before it was ever finished. Tomas Bodin has even developed his own version of Spinal Tap named Swedish Family. If that's not enough, there is indication more material will be available from these workhorses soon.

While many artists are lucky to release an album every now and then, The Flower Kings bring their fans hours and hours of music every year. That alone has to blow the mind of any progressive rock aficionado. When you consider the quality of their music, the quantity they regularly churn out is almost incomprehensible.

In the end, Adam & Eve is one stick in a hearty bundle. When these projects are brought together as a collection they are unbreakable, leaving it difficult to direct any criticism their way. Their output for the year is impressive and this album is no exception. Any fan should be happy to have this album. Adam & Eve is a fantastic album. It's the baby's breath in a beautiful bouquet.

Love Supreme (19:50) / Cosmic Circus (3:00) / Babylon (2:41) / A Vampires View (8:50) / Days Gone By (1:10) / Adam & Eve (7:50) / Starlight Man (3:30) / Timelines (7:40) / Drivers Seat (18:22) / The Blade Of Cain (5:00)

Roine Stolt - vocals, guitars
Hasse Fröberg - guitars, vocals
Jonas Reingold - bass, bass pedals
Zoltan Csörsz - drums
Tomas Bodin - keyboards

Guest Musicians:

Hasse Bruniusson - percussion and voices
Daniel Gildenlöw - guitars, voice, keys and percussion

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: August 8th 2004
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website: www.roinestolt.com
Hits: 1423
Language: english


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