RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

The Flower Kings – Desolation Rose
InsideOut Music

Rating: B+

Back after a five year hiatus, Sweden’s prog rock titans The Flower Kings stormed back onto the scene with their celebrated Banks of Eden disc in 2012. Hot on the heels of that album, Roine Solt and crew have returned with another stunning collection of symphonic progressive rock songs, entitled Desolation Rose.

The stage is set right from the onset with the majestic opening track “Tower ONE”, which clocks in at a whopping thirteen minutes. Gorgeously crafted lead guitar, melodic, thundering bass lines and shimmering keyboard passages dominate, as the group takes the listener on a whirlwind journey that features a plethora of varying time signatures and shifting moods. This is just the beginning though, as for the next 45 minutes the listener is held captivated as the band weaves their trademark, supremely crafted, symphonic tapestries, which have kept them at the top of the heap since their inception in the mid 90’s.

What is great about The Flower Kings is that while one can easily distinguish the 70’s prog rock influence (think Genesis and Yes as perhaps the most obvious reference points), they’ve managed to firmly carve out their own identity over the course of their distinguished, twelve album career. Desolation Rose also features a beautifully warm, analogue sound that will have any classic rock fan salivating.

Whether you’re a prog rock nerd or a relative newcomer to this genre of music, Desolation Rose is a fascinating ride from beginning to end and certainly worthy of purchase.           

By Ryan Sparks