Unfold The Future
Inside Out Music America, 2002
REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/01/2002
The Flower Kings appear to be one of the most popular progressive acts of the 90's. The band is considered veterans of the genre. For this writer this is the first brush with Swedish prog kings. In other words, finally I get to experience what everyone was talking about.
Being a big fan of progressive sound of the late 60's and 70's, the 90's come across sounding very poppy, and polished. This is definitely the case with band like The Flower Kings, and Spock's Beard, and even Transatlantic. While the musical ability is there, and the chops are visible at every transition, this material suffers from coming across little bit too commercial. The initial rawness of the progressive edge is no longer here. On the other hand this could be the sign of times this music was composed and recorded in, and this reviewer may find himself being little bit out dated.
Having made my initial point or complaint, The Flower Kings are very enjoyable. This music they play has a very flowing qualities, it is very inviting, and does not disturb the listener. There are a lot of relaxing elements that made up the whole recording. The transitions are very smooth, and well executed.
Unfold The Future consists of two CDs, so the amount of music is rather extensive. The band is trying to display just about everything they're capable of. The songs range from thirty-minute epics to simple three to six-minutes compositions. In a very progressive manner the influences are very visible. There's definitely a strong Yes flavor, especially on the opening "The Truth Will Set You Free", where the band really shines. It's a track Jon Anderson and the crew wouldn't be ashamed to write. In addition to that, traces of Tangerine Dream, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra can be found while listening to The Flower Kings. Of course these samples are only interpretations of one writer, who could be right or wrong.
Having said all this, and listened to both discs, I can see myself becoming a Flower Kings fan. The band has enough going on musically to be able to sustain enough attention from this new devotee. Unfortunately, not having heard any previous material sort of hurts because I'm not able to compare it to anything the band already did. What we're dealing with here is a highly developed group of musicians who know what they are doing.