Showing posts with label the flower kings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the flower kings. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

video review: 'desolation rose' by the flower kings

So happy that I could get this out, mostly because this is a band that really deserves more attention. 

Next up... oh boy, let's see how much hatred I get if I tackle One Direction...

album review: 'desolation rose' by the flower kings

It shouldn't be any surprise to, well, anyone at this point that I'm a big fan of progressive rock. Bearing its roots in the psychedelic rock, classical rock and early metal of the late 60s, it was a genre known for concept albums, virtuosity in instrumentation, complex and cerebral themes and lyrics, and off-beat experimentation that defied commercialism. The genre definitively peaked throughout the seventies and declined with the rise of punk, but that doesn't mean prog rock has gone away. Far from it - it still exists in the form of prog rock harkening back to the golden age, prog metal in the vein of acts like Dream Theater, Ayreon, and late-period Porcupine Tree, and even what has been described as nu-prog like Coheed & Cambria and the Mars Volta. 

And really, there are great acts in all three categories, but today we're going to be talking about a favourite act of mine that fits closest into the group of prog metal calling back to the past, yet with enough a modern touch not to brand them as a throwback. Yes, I'm talking about The Flower Kings, a Swedish prog rock group that began in the early 90s and have continued releasing albums for the past two decades. And yet, they've never really had that critical breakthrough single that would have propelled them to anything close to chart success, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a huge following for the band - which is really disappointing, because they're awesome, a cerebral act that often goes for broke with interesting concept album ideas and some great instrumental segments to back it up. I got into The Flower Kings first through their 2006 album Paradox Hotel, which acts as an exploration of various paradoxical situations with breathtaking variety. 

But it might have been an inopportune time to get into The Flower Kings, because after their 2007 album Sum Of No Evil, the band took a five year break to recharge, coming back with their exceptionally strong 2012 album Banks of Eden. And thus, I was overjoyed to hear that they had released another album this year, titled Desolation Rose. The band has made the statement that they consider this album their 'most involved, important, and interesting album ever', designed to make the audience 'question the mainstream media and rethink your whole world view'. Now I always get skeptical when prog bands become political, but to be fair, prog rock might be one of the few avenues where political music works well, assuming they put the time and intellectual nuance into articulating their points of view. And really, The Flower Kings have proven in the past that they are capable of doing this, so I went into Desolation Rose with more than a little excitement. How did it turn out?