The Flower Kings had a 5 year hiatus and they returned last year with the very good “Banks of Eden”. The band wasted no time for the release of their 12th album.  For those that have not heard of the band, they usually contain a 20-30 minute song in each record, but that is not the case in this release. Also while most of their releases are more optimistic and divine in this record they have a darker approach to their music and lyrics.
The album feels like it’s split in two. The first part is pretty coherent and lasts 5 songs. Maybe the band decided to split the 30 minute song in to five smaller ones. The album starts with “Tower One” which is the longest song in the record running 13 minutes long. The song showcases the ability and talent the band has to write varied compositions with memorable melodies and cohesion.
The next series of songs seem to be a part of a longer track. Nice riffs and great instrumentation. The tracks are short and this gives the songs a bit of a “single” feeling that could easily have been heard by a 70s radio. Really nice songs that give the sense of adventure to the listener.
“The Resurrected Judas” is one of the best songs in the album. It showcases all the positive aspects of the band in an 8 minute song. Strong melodies, powerful instrumental segments and lots of different layers. But when the song ends so does the coherence of the album. The next sequence of songs is a bit weaker and seem to be a bit disconnected with each other.
As units the songs have some strong parts, like the song “Last Carnivore” which is exceptionally groovy and “Dark Fascist Skies” which is a rock song that has a nice Zappa feeling to it. But overall the second half of the album feels a little weaker.
The Flower Kings is a great symphonic prog rock band and it is really a positive thing that they are back and really active from their hiatus. Their second release is still at very high standards and will win any progressive rock fan, but it seems a bit unfocused at some points.