Flower Kings, The - The Sum Of No Evil

Year of Release: 2007
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 285
Format: CD
Total Time: 75:00:00

The opening track on Dream Theater's Octavarium album is called "The Root Of All Evil." With Portnoy and Stolt having been partners in Transatlantic, maybe it isn't such a big surprise to find a Flower Kings album with a slightly alternative title. If you toy around with the words you soon come up with The Sum Of No Evil yet as Roine explains, he wanted to simply call the album Love but the Beatles beat him to it. Maybe afraid of a legal battle with Yoko Ono it looked better to go for another title.

Long before the album was due, Roine mentioned this would be a much more progressive sounding album than the last couple of albums had ever been. With drummer Marcus Lilliequist having too much work with his band Clark, none other than Zoltan Cs?rz was called to the rescue. Lending his talent to completely new material once again illustrates just what a brilliant drummer he really is. However, to be very honest with you, after only one spin I didn't like what I had heard. Thank god for multiple spins, as the material grew and grew [on me] time after time, with the album now being one of my all-time Flower Kings favourites! True, some of the long tracks could've been a little shorter without losing their impact, but then maybe we'd lose one or two impressive solos along the way, which most certainly is something we can't miss.

From Roine's perspective, the new material gets as close to the original idea of Flower Kings as possible. Admitting a lot of musical detours over the years, it's like it has all come full circle with this new album. No doubt the use of a superb studio together with tons of vintage equipment has helped this idea a long way, as the result nicely settles between the best Flower Kings and the highlights of the glorious seventies. Contrary to a lot of bands, FK has the great talent to write extremely strong melodies and this time is no different. The opening chords to "One More Time" already deliver one of the strongest melodies on the album, something that will pop up several times in the same song. Here the vocal harmonies sometimes sound like Starcastle whilst the end gets the "Close To The Edge" treatment.

Throughout the album FK maestro Roine Stolt keeps his fellow musicians on their toes, as the music is filled with time changes and pure progressive sidesteps. It's his magic that keeps it all together in a way no other band can compete with. So maybe Roine is Harry Potter in Progland? The longest track, "Love Is The Only Answer," does give space for some soft jazzy input with superb bass lines and tasty Fender Rhodes, leading Roine's guitar towards a well deserved climax. Perhaps the mad nature of the musicians can best be illustrated by the instrumental "Flight 999 Brimstone Air," which is the closest you'll get to a pure jam session, even including the prance of a horse. Maybe they should have titled this as a warning: "Mothers and fathers lock up your daughters!"

The album closes with a more straightforward rock song called "Life In Motion." As throughout the entire album every sound has been recorded in the finest detail, resulting in some crystal clear music. Also from a vocal point of view this new album easily beats a lot of the previously released Flower Kings material. Should Yes be in their twenties today The Sum Of No Evil could well be their Close To The Edge. For sure The Sum Of No Evil will do very well in the forthcoming polls, whilst I'm sure everyone is curious to hear what Pat Mastelotto will do with the new material as it'll be hard to top Zoltan all the way. [Mastelotto had been on tour with TFK in Europe this past November -ed.]

One More Time (13:05) / Love Is The Only Answer (24:30) / Trading My Soul (6:25) / The Sum Of No Reason (13:25) / Flight 999 Brimstone Air (5:10) / Life In Motion (13:30)

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

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: December 10th 2007
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.roinestolt.com
Hits: 1786
Language: english


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