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Thread: The Flower Kings - 2019 recap and look ahead to 2020

  1. #1
    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    Nov 2012

    The Flower Kings - 2019 recap and look ahead to 2020

    I'm a little late with my annual recap thread but here goes. 2019 was another great year in the World of Adventures!! And we actually got a Flower Kings album!

    Here are the "Flower King family" related albums in the order they were released:

    Steve Hackett - At the Edge of Light (Jonas bass - 3 songs)
    I liked it - Jonas sounds good on his songs. Production is a little dry. I wish Steve would change it up and ask Jonas to produce the next one. Those Karmakanic albums sound great.

    Hans Lundin - The Solo Years 1982 - 1989 (6 disc box set)
    Includes Hans' 3 solo albums: Tales (1984) Visions of Circles of Sounds (1985) Houses (1989)
    Plus 2 discs labeled as unreleased albums from the 80s and 1 of Kaipa demos. Roine Stolt plays on one song on the Houses album. It is a real highlight since most of the material here is written and performed by Lundin only. Nice melodies are here but when they aren't in a band environment they end up sounding somewhat soulless behind the drum machine backing. Also making appearances are Ingemar Bergman, Ulf Wallander, Hasse Bruniusson, Max Ahman, Mats Lofgren. The last bonus disc is a good one of Kaipa demos from 79-84. No Stolt but it hangs together pretty well as an unreleased Kaipa album. Nice to have but I wonder if he should have taken some of the stronger melodies and instead used them on a new Kaipa album. Maybe this set will encourage Roine to release his 80s material!

    United Progressive Fraternity - Planetary Overload Part 1: Loss
    Hasse Fröberg guests on one song. To tell you the truth on my first listen I totally missed him. He isn't the lead singer and just kind of doubles on the chorus from what I can tell. It's a decent song though - good rocker. Overall I enjoyed this CD. Artwork by the great Ed Unitsky! The long epic "Seeds For Life" is great.

    Erik Hammarström - Glödhet Rytmisk Svärta
    Truly fascinating solo album from the former Flower Kings tour drummer. Orchestral music with drums taking the lead in driving the orchestra. Totally unique but truly accessible. Loved it. What a missed opportunity it was that Erik never got to record an album with TFK.

    Nad Sylvan - The Regal Bastard
    Final chapter in the Vampirate trilogy. Jonas plays bass (splitting duties with Tony Levin). Some of these songs were not really to my taste like "Meet your Maker" but most of the others really drew me in such as "Leave me on these Waters" - He has a really cool funky prog r&b sound going on here. But for me I tend to play the Widow and Unifaun albums more than the last two. I suppose a reunion with Bonamici is unlikely but it will be interesting to see in what direction he goes next.

    Mind Key - MK III - Aliens in Wonderland (Mirkko drums)
    This is one of new drummer Mirkko DeMaio's other projects. Melodic Progressive Metal band. Maybe could be described as a cross between PoS and Evergrey. Leans more toward Evergrey sound I think. "Hate at First Sight" is one to definitely check out along with "Non-Existence".

    Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion (HFMC) - Parallel Life
    Ed Unitsky cover art here too - always wonderful. Their 2015 album HFMC was going to be a tough one to follow up. I really dug that one. This one is pretty close though. Although there is a 21 minute epic on here they really sound quite different from Flower Kings. More Classic Rock with some progressive elements. I'm super impressed by this young guitarist in the band Anton Lindsjö. He obviously has the chops to shred but his solos are very well thought out, fitting the songs perfectly and very melodic and moving. Great singing from Hasse of course.

    Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited Band & Orchestra: Live at the Royal Festival Hall
    Another in the Hackett live series and the very first one with Jonas on bass. The orchestra seems to be there mostly as an extra layer of depth to the overall sound. There are some occasional orchestral flourishes but not a whole lot of huge risks in the arrangement of the songs. Still its a great listen and the orchestra did add power to songs like The Steppes and Shadow of the Hierophant - Blood on the Rooftops also sounded beautiful with the orchestra backing.

    The Flower Kings - Waiting for Miracles
    The one we have all been waiting for finally arrived in November! Took me about 3 listens to warm up to it but when this one hit me it really hit hard. A triumphant return by the Kings! Majestic symphonic progressive rock at its finest. Kamins and DeMaio are both filling big shoes here but prove up to the task. They bring their own personalities and colors to the music. Still unmistakably TFK but unlike anything that came previous at the same time. Fresh and familiar.

    Pain of Salvation documentary has continued now on to season 4 - I need to get caught up on these:
    Mapenzi Film – DOCUMENTARY FILMS

    What's up for 2020?

    Transatlantic 5 - Yep - this is the big one for the year everybody is excited about. Probably second half or late 2020. Both Neal and Roine are in top writing and playing form based on their last few releases so this could be something special indeed.

    The Tangent - new album this year late summer, also new material from Kalman Filter and a whole extra album worth of Tangent related material coming out 2020 (i'm guessing that last one could be a compilation with some unreleased stuff)

    Pain of Salvation - new album probably early 2020

    Michael Stolt - new album called: Dodsdansen will be released this year - big brother Roine will be on it plus other friends from Kaipa DC I'm sure and also Lalle. Michael will also be doing a tour early this year playing songs from throughout his career and Roine will play guitar on this tour!

    An Endless Sporadic - Zach Kamins has said that this is definitely still an ongoing project of his so it is possible we could see some new music here this year or even a full album.

    The last show on the recent "Selling England by the Pound" show was filmed so it looks like the live series will continue and we will get another Steve Hackett live album/bluray - will be the second one with Jonas and the first with Craig Blundell. and I'll keep buying these.

    There is still that new unnamed project in the works with Jonas, Sven Esp and Felix Lehrmann.

    For live shows The Flower Kings have some live dates in Japan this week and Cruise to the Edge. Possible Transatlantic music on CttE? They will all be there. Live TFK shows seem to be limited due to Jonas' commitment to Hackett's busy tour schedule. I wonder if any thought has been given to letting Michael take back over bass duties for a more extensive TFK tour ?

    Anderson / Stolt 2 - every year the update seems to be the same. That it's about halfway done. But it certainly does feel that it is a lower priority for Roine right now compared with TFK and Transatlantic. And being honest it will have to be Roine that pushes this over the finish line, Jon won't do it. We are still supposedly to get a super deluxe remix package of the first album someday.

    The Sea Within - it seems with Brislin joining Kansas that this may have been a one and done project. It sure was a good one though!

    and finally what about the next Flower Kings album ? - from all appearances the band seems to be in a very good place right now so I wouldn't be too surprised if we hear words of a new recording this year.

    Did I miss any 2019 releases? what you looking forward to the most this year in The Flower Kings Kingdom?

  2. #2
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Near Mount Rainier
    Thanks for that extensive update! I’m really enjoying the new FK, Roine’s writing is strong and there is a lot of feeling on this one.

  3. #3
    Member Gerhard's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Cary, North Carolina, USA
    Love reading this summary each year, thanks for taking the time. I was unaware of the Erik H album or the PoS documentaries (or I forgot about them since you probably mentioned them in past years), will have to check out both.

  4. #4
    Member dgtlman's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    OKC, OK
    New Transatlantic???? Man I hope!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    Spot on. Yes, I think when I last talked with Roine he did indicate that work on another studio album could be in the cards for this year, given how well the band is gelling together.

    Transatlantic is in the process of recording right now, and I agree that this could be something special. I believe at this time Mike's drums are tracked, Neal just finished keyboards and is working on other odds and ends. Sounds like they were shooting for a September release, but who knows if that will get delayed somewhat. Touring will happen too, though it'll probably depend on everyone's availability for if that'll be the end of '20 or into '21.

  6. #6
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Plague Sanctuary, Vermont
    Appreciate the update! Thank you for pulling all that together. There are several things in there I was not aware of.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  7. #7
    New Transatlantic on the horizon?! WOO HOOOO!!!
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  8. #8
    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    New interview with Roine here:

    Seems to confirm what we speculated above - looks like more TFK in the works, also doesn't rule out Sea Within and has the usual update on A/S 2 (halfway done)

    The Flower Kings released a new album at the end of 2019. Is that going to be your main activity in 2020. Or what else will happen during the year?

    – I do think that is the case, it will be a lot of TFK activity, new album recording etc. I’m also in the process of finishing a brand new album with Transatlantic and if God will there may be another The Sea Within-album with the fabulous drummer Marco Minneman. I´m also finding time to finish the second album together with Jon Anderson we’re sort of halfways.
    – Next few weeks I will have some activity with a new band constellation with my brother Michael plus guitarist Jonas Isaksson, drummer Micke ”Syd” Anderson and bassman Robban Ivanson. We’ve put together more of a pop/rock unit. That’ll great fun for me!
    – Then I’ll be off to USA play Cruise To The Edge – a big festival in the Caribbean, with hosts Yes, plus Marillion, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Tony Levin & Pat Mastelotto, Jordan Rudess, Kings X


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