The Flower Kings – Waiting For Miracles (2019) [24bit FLAC]

The Flower Kings – Waiting For Miracles (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:24:32 minutes | 0,98 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © InsideOutMusic

THE FLOWER KINGS are back! After 2018’s much-lauded solo effort ‘Manifesto of an Alchemist’, Roine Stolt (Transatlantic, The Sea Within, Anderson/Stolt etc.) and many highly successful FLOWER KINGS REVISITED shows, THE FLOWER KINGS now return with a revamped line-up and stunning new album! “Waiting For Miracles”, featuring striking artwork by Kevin Sloan, promises to be one of THE FLOWER KING’s strongest albums to date and features the line-up Roine Stolt (Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals), Hasse Froberg (Lead & Backing Vocals), Zach Kamins (Keyboards, Guitar), Jonas Reingold (Bass) and Mirko DeMaio (Drums, Percussion). Recorded over the summer at RMV studio in Stockholm, Sweden – a vintage studio space owned by ABBA star Benny Andersson – Roine Stolt describes the album as “pure prog rock – with boatloads of vintage keyboards – odd time drumming and long guitar solos, elements of pop, prog, rock, symphonic and cinematic music!” Citing Pink Floyd, Vangelis, The Beatles, Cream, King Crimson, Procol Harum, David Bowie, Utopia, ELO and Tomita as influence, “Waiting For Miracles” harks back to the joyful and playful style that made the band famous in the late 90’s yet also offers a fresh and timeless quality. Opulent, dynamic, melodic, catchy, complex, “Waiting For Miracles” is all you would expect from a proper prog rock monument!

Waiting for Miracles is the first long-player by the Flower Kings since 2013’s Desolation Rose. It marks a return from exile for the Flower Kings after 2018’s Waiting for an Alchemist — which was billed to Roine Stolt’s the Flower King. Here Stolt, Hasse Fröberg, and Jonas Reingold are joined by keyboardist Zach Kamins and drummer Mirko DeMaio. This is a real band offering that contains the complex mood, textural, and color changes, intricate melodies, atmospheres, and dynamics that are at the heart of TFK’s musical signature. Waiting for Miracles clocks in at 85 minutes but showcases TFK in a more economical mode compositionally. That’s not to say the band are writing pop songs; their music remains challenging prog rock that recalls the sound and feel of the band’s first five records. It’s sonically bright compared to most of TFK’s 2010s output. After the lovely intro that is “House of Cards,” complete with field-recorded gulls, waves, and thunder, a piano introduces an acoustic guitar on “Black Flag,” a paean to the glories and perils of pirating. Electric guitars, kick drums, Mellotron, and classical piano frame Stolt’s lyrics; its staggered vocal harmonies hover above stinging lead and slide guitar work. “Miracles for America” is the set’s longest track at ten minutes. Its lyrics walk a line between political commentary and clever irony. Sweeping Hammond, Mellotron, and analog synths swirl about the foreground as Fröberg, Stolt, and guest bassist Michael Stolt engage in lush yet playful vocal harmonies worthy of Yes and complex instrumental interplay. The song is built from a series of musical themes that don’t recur, but serve to move the melody along. “Vertigo” is an anthem; its lyrics confront fear head on, while the chorus’ melody deliberately channels Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly.” “The Bridge” is a gorgeous ballad that finds Stolt’s protagonist hopelessly intoning that he’s “waiting for miracles,” though he doesn’t expect them. As the song draws to its climax, his wonderfully moving guitar solo changes everything, and signifies that a miracle has been delivered. Stolt’s intuitive soloing is aimed at his accompaniment, not above it, displaying what a fine ensemble player he is. “Sleep with the Enemy” finds his verses dovetailing with Fröberg’s soaring harmony in the chorus. A menacing church organ builds intensity countered by fleet piano flourishes and spiky guitar fills. Disc two commences with a “House of Cards” reprise that bleeds into “Spirals,” a tune that further explicates musical themes from “Miracles in America” alongside syncopated, funky asides and electronic effects. “Steampunk” fuses prog and jazz seamlessly with complex rhythms. “We Were Always Here” is offered with layers of rolling tom-toms in the foreground. Reingold’s brilliant bassline is a lead instrument as the spine of the expansive melody guides the band. It’s a breathtaking climax; it should have closed the album instead of the throwaway “Busking at Brobank.” That small disappointment aside, Waiting for Miracles marks the welcome and artful return of TFK to active duty. ~ Thom Jurek

Tracklist:

CD1
1. House of Cards (1:56)
2. Black Flag (7:40)
3. Miracles for America (Edit) (9:57)
4. Vertigo (9:59)
5. The Bridge (5:31)
6. Ascending to the Stars (5:41)
7. Wicked Old Symphony (5:47)
8. The Rebel Circus (5:50)
9. Sleep With the Enemy (6:02)
10. The Crowning of Greed (4:49)

CD2
1. House Of Cards Reprise (1:21)
2. Spirals (5:06)
3. Steampunk (6:31)
4. We Were Always Here (7:35)
5. Busking at Brobank (0:52)

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