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The Banks Of Eden

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

After five years of absence, progressive rock band THE
FLOWER KINGS return with Banks Of Eden. Led by mastermind
Roine Stolt (Transatlantic), the material is classic
FLOWER KINGS, with all the dreamy, melodic and cinematic
elements that fans around the globe have learned to
love over the years. However, the 2012 incarnation of the
band mixes it up with both psychedelic and darker metal
passages that place this album somewhere in between
the late 60's proto prog and the new generation of art
rock.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Numbers
  2. For The Love Of Gold
  3. Pandemonium
  4. For Those About To Drown
  5. Rising The Imperial


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: June 19, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B0080R7Q70
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Banks of Eden, to this reviewer, is probably one of the better Flower Kings releases I have heard in about the past decade. Keeping in mind that this is the only release in the last five years. But, I think the time off has really done them a lot of good. They seemed to have stepped back from the machine like rhythm they got themselves into. You could expect a new release every year. Getting apart from one another, working on independent projects, and tours seems to have really refreshed them.

All of the numbers are enthusiastically played and where the Flower Kings can seldom be accused of "going through the motions" there seems to be something that just sounds fresh and renewed about their performance. Dare I say that some of their recent work was getting boring?
One of the best things to come about during their recording hiatus is their new drummer Felix Lehrmann. Definitely the best drummer they have had since Jaime Salazar and may be the best they have ever had. While not as heavy handed as someone like Mike Portnoy, he has a similar style where drumming becomes much more than just keeping a beat. He fills in holes and adds runs and rhythm changes; making a significant and exciting change to their rhythm section. The strongest compliment I can give a drummer is that you notice them! You hear them doing something special and you concentrate on listening just to them. Felix is this type of drummer. When you add this to Jonas Reingold's superior bass work you now have one of the most exciting rhythm sections in progressive music. Missing is Hasse Bruniusson on percussion, but dare I say with Felix he is not missed. (Sorry) Even though Roine Stolt's guitar playing has always been impressive, his many solos on Banks of Eden are fresh, sharp, and often stunning.
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Format: Audio CD
After a long hiatus and a couple of slightly disappointing albums The Flower Kings return with a strong effort. Not least thanks to the fact that they finally have found the perfect substitute for Zoltan Csörsz on the drums. In the form of the young German Felix Lehrman who is nothing short of brilliant. Dancing around the odd metres and a perfect combination of prog and fusion drumming.

Ofc we all know that Roine Stolt, Jonas Reingold and Thomas Bodin are world class virtuoses and if anything they have only become better - taking part in many different projects like Karmakanic and Agents Of Mercy - during the 6 years break. And also the vocal parts have improved, the harmonies tighter and more varied.

A 25 min.long suite in classic F.K. style, "Numbers" and a bunch of shorter songs. The usual Stolt lyrics with their (understandably) gloomy outlook of the world of today though sprinkled with some hope of healing and inner transformation. Influences from Genesis, Yes and Procol Harum and a broad spectre from jazzrock to heavy.

Everything a prog and F.K. fan can dream of. It's just that they don't really come up with anything you haven't heard before. Definitely refined once again, but not breaking any new ground.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm new to The Flower Kings, so take this as an outsider's (and old fart's) view. I've only recently come across this Swedish prog band, (the only other thing I'd heard was their first Back in the World of Adventures, which frankly I was not overly impressed with - good, but too derivative sounding, although probably something I'd have enjoyed a lot more as a teen), yet my second impression of them with this latest recording is very positive. There is the obvious influence of early Genesis (their label IS called Foxtrot), with many obvious similarities to the sound and sensibility of guitarist Steve Hackett, but also with some sudden changes that remind me of a kinder-gentler King Crimson. And then there is the contrast of vocals that at first seem slight, but to be generous can be described as smooth, almost like an early 70's R&B sound (which at many points reminds me of George Duke, when he was with Zappa), crossed with the thin gentle tenor harmonies of Yes, lulling us with sweetness just before a wickedly complex instrumental break. This makes for an interesting mix of influences, and although I was at first reluctant to accept it, it works!

This is no prog-rock masterpiece from the 70's (like the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), but it is solidly "progressive", has a live-in-studio sound, with many beautiful symphonic moments, soaring guitar solos and exciting interplay, and is easy to sit back and just listen to.
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Format: Audio CD
The Flower Kings' latest album, BANKS OF EDEN, is more of what you would expect from the Swedish progressive rock band. The instrumentation here is fantastic; guitars are soaring, the vocals and harmonies work well together, the drums are pounding (but never overbearing), and the bass holds it all together. For all its potential though, this album sounds familiar -- too familiar perhaps. One of the hallmarks of prog is the forward-thinking nature of its music. Here, the Flower Kings look to the past, rather than the future. This album feels as if it could have easily been released 30 years ago. This might be progressive rock, but there's not much forward-thinking about it.

"Numbers" is a sprawling 25+ minute track. It is littered with great lead guitar, time changes, timbre shifts, and song-within-songs. It contains some of the best moments on the album. The remained of the album (6 more tracks) are standalone songs that feature the Eric Johnson-like lead guitar, the manic drumming (the band picked up a young, new drummer for this album), and lyrics based in spirituality. "For the Love of Gold" sounds like a solid Yes song, with its refrain interjected between cymbal crashes. The closer, "Going Up," is an uplifting song that works great as an outro to the album. The lead guitar of Roine Stolt is more expressive than his voice, so it is only fitting that his solo brings BANKS OF EDEN to a close.

Fans of the Flower Kings will enjoy BANKS OF EDEN -- it's a solid album by the band and one of the better ones in recent years. Fans of Yes, early King Crimson, and early Porcupine Tree will find something here to enjoy. Again, it's not a bad album, there's just nothing that elevates it against its peers. BANKS OF EDEN is good in the moment, but it isn't strong enough to create any real lasting appeal. The execution of Flower Kings can't be argued; I'd just like to see a bit more individuality.
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