Flower Kings - Adam & Eve

10 songs
78:06 minutes
***** ***


People who live in countries where there's only two kinds of weather, rain and snow, must have lots of time to play music. The Flower Kings are one of those astonishing progressive rock bands who have been releasing albums and even double-album for a decade now already, and their leader Roine Stolt is busy doing solo work and used to do a couple of really long albums with the prog all-star band Transatlantic. And we should also not forget that already 30 years ago he was a member of the popular Swedish prog band Kaipa. And this guy is not even 50 years old (although he's only 2 years off).

This should already prove that the Flower Kings are a band that screams to be taken seriously. Considering that their last live release and the preceding studio album both ran over two and a half hours, the cynic in me declared Adam & Eve as one of the Swedes' shorter albums. It begins with the 20 minutes long Love Supreme, a beautiful epic prog song, although not the übersong we have come to expect with other of their openers, like I Am The Sun and Truth Will Set You Free. This longish opener is followed by the three minutes short Cosmic Circus, a nice and thoroughly poppy song begging for radio airplay. A short instrumental brings us to the creepy A Vampire's View, nine minutes of gloomy atmospheric prog rock. Another short instrumental, and we're at the eight minutes running title track, followed by the short and accessible Starlight Man. The nearly eight minutes running Timelines is probably the most aggressive song I have heard from this band in a very long time. Drivers Seat, fully blown up to 18 minutes, is again a cool epic, but again, they fail to really get you moved as it's too many ideas but not really becoming too coherent. The album ends with The Blade Of Cain.

I really forced myself to listen a couple of times to this album, because like usual it's so complex that you don't get the whole picture after just two hours of spending your time with. It's not as if Adam & Eve is a weak album, it's still stronger than anything you can expect from Marillion, and I also pay respect to their sticking to their truly wondrous retro sound, full of moogs and mellotrons, but let's face it, Roine Stolt is a workaholic. This makes Adam & Eve a must-have for every fan of 70s sounding prog, but it will definitely not be the album with which they will gain many new fans. A solid effort by a band probably unable to disappoint!

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