metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk






  THE FLOWER KINGS
'Banks Of Eden'
(Inside Out Music)


Michael Foley


michael foley

Pin It
Share |


flower kings banks of eden

Every four years the Olympic Games are held but Swedish heroes The Flower Kings, in true epic prog-rock style have waited five years to release a new album, 'Banks Of Eden'. They have not been lazy boys though; since the release of 'The Sum Of No Evil', the group have pursued their own different projects, the most high profile being prog supergroup Transatlantic with featuring band leader Roine Stolt, along with Neal Morse and other prog notables.

Opening with a drum roll, then crashing guitar chords, the first track 'Numbers' says WE ARE BACK in no uncertain terms. This song showcases what TFK are all about; intricate yet beautiful melodies, with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, backed up with some superb musicianship.

Article continues below...

   


At 25 minutes, or the whole of Side One in old money, it's a true epic and certainly holds the listener's attention throughout. Flowing like a river, it is sometimes stately and majestic, and at other moments it is a rippling brook, lively and playful.

Lyrically the song is a musing on the conflicts between the spiritual and the material, telling us how we can be too easily influenced by money, fame and possessions, at the expense of love and spirituality. This verse is a great example:

"You look around for the brightest minds
Or just a few simple words of kindness
A world gone shallow, cold and mean
It's like a wasteland void of dreams"

The other (shorter!) songs on the album cover similar themes, with for example, 'For The Love Of Gold' exploring how working for big business diminishes one's individuality, and deadens the human spirit. 'Pandemonium', 'For Those About To Drown' and 'Rising The Imperial' all in their different ways also cover the greed and shallowness of 21st century life.

Thanks to such recurring ideas and themes, it is appropriate to use the phrase 'concept album' here. If you like lyrics that make you think, and touch you emotionally then there is much to enjoy here.

Musically the album is Prog with a capital 'P', with lashings of old skool keyboards, and technically brilliant playing. Unlike much of this genre, it's not mindless noodling. Each song has a definite structure, and each instrument has its own place in building that structure. There is not a note or solo that is just there as pure showboating.

Although each song can be enjoyed individually, the use of repeated phrases and riffs does give the album a very unified feel, best enjoyed in one session. The music has a real enthusiasm to it, which is no surprise when you discover that the backing tracks were played live in the studio, then overdubbed upon as needed. No recording drums today, and bass tomorrow here. This is a band playing together, and it shows.

This does not have the immediacy of impact that some other music has, and it takes repeated listening to fully grasp what TFK are striving for both musically and lyrically. On first listen I found 'Banks Of Eden' to be a pleasant sounding album, with some pretty tunes and good guitar solos. Keep listening though, and the subtleties of the musicianship, plus the emotions contained in the words soon make sense.

It pays to hear the album in the best possible quality. I had an MP3 for review, and although that was perfectly adequate, the CD and vinyl versions with their superior resolution do make it much easier to hear everything that is going on in the mix.

Both the double LP/CD special edition and Digipack two CD version feature four bonus tracks, which don't quite fit the theme of the main album, but are worth having and enjoying. Mention of the vinyl edition brings me to the artwork. Quite simply, it looks stunning in the 12" gatefold format. If you fancy giving 'Banks Of Eden' a whirl, then this is the one to go for, as you get fabulous artwork, and the whole album on CD, so even if you don't have a record player you can still enjoy it.

The Flower Kings have done themselves proud on this album, and serious prog fans will truly love it, although it does deserve a wider audience. I'm not a massive progger, but I think this is a fantastic piece of work, and any rock fan who wants to try something challenging, yet rewarding, really should give it a try.

Tracklisting:

Numbers
For The Love Of Gold
Pandemonium
For Those About To Drown
Rising The Imperial

Illuminati (Bonus Track)
Fireghosts (Bonus Track)
Going Up (Bonus Track)
LoLines (Bonus Track)

Extra Material:
Interview with the band in the studio - video feature.


18.7.12



Pin It
Share |






 
nicko mcbrain AN AUDIENCE WITH NICKO McBRAIN ANNOUNCED FOR THIS SUNDAY IN LONDON
Nicko will not be doing any drumming at the event but it will a chance for fans to meet the legend up close and personal...

lemmy MOTORHEAD 40th ANNIVERSARY TOUR ALL GOING WRONG AS ANOTHER GIG IS PULLED AFTER THREE SONGS
Lemmy let out a sigh and announced: "I can't do it", before leaving the stage with the rest of the band...

edagr winter EDGAR WINTER ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN TOUR
"Are Y'all ready for The Monster?" Edgar Winter hits European shores including a UK date in December...

ghost GHOST ANNOUNCE UK LEG OF EUROPEAN HEADLINE TOUR
Prepare for the full Ghost experience with tickets available from 4th September...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

monkees THE MONKEES PLAY LONDON HAMMERSMITH EVENTIM APOLLO ON SEPTEMBER 4th
The set will include selections from the pyschedelic cult classic 'Head'...

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be prepared for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery