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Thread: The Flower Kings - 2021 recap and look ahead to 2022

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    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    The Flower Kings - 2021 recap and look ahead to 2022

    Happy New Year - time for my annual recap thread - let's run down the TFK related releases for 2021

    as usual in the order they showed up in my mailbox

    February
    Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe - (TFK Connection: Roine Stolt)
    The big release of the year was the the first one out of the gate in 2021. Lots already written on this. Personally I loved it and think it is their definitive statement as a band (so far). Perhaps not as many of the emotional peaks as Bridge Across Forever which remains my favorite but I think it tops The Whirlwind. About the different versions - well we can all make our own versions using the two sources. I did so and it included some from all 3 versions (including Mike's Ultimate version on the blu-ray) so in a way this turned out great. I do wonder what it means for the future of the band that they could not find a way to agree on song selection and production choices. But as fans I guess we oddly win this time cause we got even more to listen to. But I doubt we will get a new TA album anytime soon which is OK for me, I think this should be a every 7-10 year project - keep it special.

    Ana Patan - Spice, Gold and Tales Untold - (TFK Connection: Zoltán Csörsz drums)
    Cool jazz rock album from Ana. All original material performed as if in a live setting with simple instrumentation. Sultry vocals nightclub feel. Zoltan in the pocket doing his thing. Good stuff

    March
    Lifesigns - Altitude - (TFK Connection: Zoltán Csörsz drums)
    3rd album from Lifesigns and the first with Zoltan. I found myself quite moved by this album. There are some very beautiful passages with lush symphonic arrangements. Very emotionally moving music. I really loved this album and Zoltan gives a great performance, obviously more restrained than on Unfold the Future but just right for this music. Glad he has found a new prog home.

    Transatlantic - INNER CIRCLE MARCH 2021: THE MAKING OF THE BREATH OF LIFE - (TFK Connection: Roine Stolt)
    DVD release from Neal's Inner Circle membership. I love these type of behind the scenes making of releases. This one was a little tough to watch though as Neal is quite an emotional person and the making of this album seemed to be a very trying experience for him. These are times where he says it is almost done but then there always seems to be something else that needs to be worked on and it truly becomes the album that never ends. It is funny at one point he laughs saying that the "Making of Documentary" is complete but the album itself is no where near done. The decision to release 2 albums seems like it finally frees Neal to complete his vision for the album.

    April
    Nad Sylvan - Spiritus Mundi - (TFK Connection: Jonas Reingold Bass 1 song, Mirkko DeMaio drums 4 songs)
    Using poems from William Butler Yeats set to new music created by Nad and Andrew Laitres this is a dramatic change from the prior Vampirate trilogy. This took me a few listens to warm up to, I first tried to listen in the car and it isn't really suited for that, it is more contemplative, for long walks or late nights while reading the lyrics. But I kept being drawn back to it and sections caught my ear one by one until it became whole. Beautiful album.

    Jordan Rudess - Rockestra (TFK Connection: with Zach Kamins)
    This year we have learned a lot more about Library Music - what with the Yes/Downes/Monkman incident. Well Library Music is still being created and here we have some from Jordan Rudess (with Zach Kamins who is on his team for this) Rockestra is an album as advertised designed specifically for use in Film, TV, Advertising and any other media. I can imagine if one of these tracks got licensed for use by the NFL, Olympics or a movie it could make Jordan quite a bit of money so this makes sense to do and I hope it happens. I'm not exactly sure which pieces Zach plays on or helped with but you can listen to it here and who knows maybe in 20-30 years, just like the Yes thing, some of these themes will show up on a Dream Theater or Flower Kings album - lol:

    It is kind of fun to listen to check out with the titles and descriptions: For example "Rush" (The excitement starts with a classic sports theme, tough and inspiring with strings, electric guitars and a feeling of invincibility.) "Epic Journey" (Cinematic, sweeping and emotional. A hero returns home, proud and deserving of glory, but not with out some scars and heartache.)

    May
    Transatlantic - INNER CIRCLE MAY 2021: THE ABSOLUTE UNIVERSE DEMOS - (TFK Connection: Roine Stolt)
    The Demos Neal sent to the rest of the band before they met up. Interesting to see what made it and what was left out. In some weird way I actually prefer the closing section from the demo to what they ended up using even though it is pretty rough sounding with some scratch vocals. I made an alternate TAU version that uses it instead of "Love Made a Way".

    June
    Marriage Material - Marriage Material (TFK Connection: Felix Lehrmann drums)
    Listen to a clip here Call it fusion, world music, modern jazz, neoclassical or even progressive rock, but the founders of Marriage Material prefer to call it ‘cinematic jazz.’ Felix is great on this but there is a lot of vibraphone on this album and that tends to induce sort of hypnotic state in me. I did like a lot of this release but not to the extent I thought I would.

    Chalice of Sin - Chalice of Sin (TFK Connection: Mirkko De Maio drums)
    Alessandro Del Vecchio / Frontiers Records project with Wade Black (Crimson Glory) on vocals. It's like the the old Flower Kings days when we would get all those different metal albums from Jonas and Jaime. Mirkko on drums here. It's a solid metal album for sure. Good riffs. Here is the title track and I particularly like the song "I Stand" for the great riff and lyrics with a surprising anti-poaching message in supporting animal rights.

    Chunck - Super Monkey Prog DX (TFK Connection: Zach Kamins - guitar/keyboards, Jonas Reingold - bass)
    Music inspired by Video Game music! From Zach: I had a blast producing and playing guitar and keyboards on this record for Cole Abramson (Chunck)! Cole reached out to me to enhance his songs that are inspired by the music of the video game, Super Monkey Ball. We had the pleasure of having Jonas Reingold play bass and Matt Graff on drums, mixed by Bradley Dujmovic Super Monkey Prog DX is available on all streaming services!
    Here is a taste to check out where you can clearly hear Jonas.

    September
    Tillison Reingold Tiranti - Allium: Una Storia (TFK Connection: Jonas Reingold - bass)
    This was such a surprise and wonderful album. I'm not really an RPI specialist so I'm sure some of the homages i'm missing out on. Wonderful back story to the album with Andy's recollections of a family trip to Italy where he saw this long lost band Allium. I'll just link to Lorne's excellent review. This was a favorite of the year.

    Steve Hackett - Surrender of Silence (TFK Connection: Jonas Reingold (7 tracks), Nad Sylvan (1 track)
    I saw a comment somewhere that it is like we have an endless To Watch the Storms going on 7 volumes now. That said a new Hackett album is always cause for rejoice, the guitar playing alone is worth it. I was looking forward to the one 'band' track "Devil's Cathedral" and while I didn't think the song was that great it at least offers a potential direction going forward that I hope he takes. Bring the full band in for the entire album and have everyone contribute 2-3 song ideas and have the entire band develop and play them.

    October
    The Grandmaster - Skywards (TFK Connection: Mirkko De Maio drums)
    Another Alessandro Del Vecchio lead / Frontiers Records Metal project - this time with Brazilian vocalist Nando Fernandes and Jens Ludwig on guitar (Edguy) Hard to say if these groups are really 'bands' in the sense we are familiar with, I'm sure all parts are recorded separately and maybe they have never even played in the same room together. - But still a very solid old school style metal album. good riffs and powerful vocals, perhaps Chalice of Sin was a little better IMO.

    Bad Habit - Autonomy (TFK Connection: Jaime Salazar - drums)
    Bad Habit returns with their first new album in 10 years. I had sort of lost track of Jaime but here he is back with his original band that has a history dating to 1986! I don't know much of their early albums but this new album could best be described as AOR with some heavier songs as well. Think along the lines of Toto and Journey and their heavier material as a reference. So top level musicianship over catchy material. Video to check out where you can also see Jaime: "Back to Life" - trivia note the lead guitarist is Sven Cirnski who deputized for Luke Machin on one of The Tangent tours.

    <continued>
    Last edited by SRS; 01-03-2022 at 12:37 PM.

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    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    December
    HFMC - We Are The Truth - (TFK Connection: Hasse Froberg - vocals and guitar)
    For me I think HFMC has been getting better and better each album. Perhaps that is because they are now more a prog band with some rock characteristics and before they were more rock with some prog characteristics. They are a band of a lot of diverse influences and sometimes the songs take some really unexpected turns! And I never would have a guessed we would have a time when all the epic songs are on the HFMC album and all the short songs are on TFK!! lol - I love the playing of Anton Lindsjö on guitar.

    Syrek - Story (Marco Minnemann Drums / Lalle Larsson keys)
    Not really a direct TFK connection per se but Marco was in The Sea Within and on Manifesto and Lalle was in Agents Of Mercy and played in Kaipa DC so I'm including it. GREAT prog metal album. Incredible virtuosity on display with melodic songs over a concept album. Just fantastic. Give a listen to this entire song. "Balloon Ride Over A Jigsaw Map"



    So what do we have coming up in year 2022??



    Live shows already scheduled for TFK and Transatlantic. Probably some will be soon for HFMC as well.

    The Flower Kings - By Royal Decree out on March 4. I haven't listened to the one preview track, waiting for the full album.

    Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side - Miles From Nowhere - out on Feb 18. Roine will guest on the 25 minute title track. This one got picked up by InsideOut so great news for Jonas and they must have really good feelings on it.

    Vivaldi Metal Project - EpiClassica - out on Feb 22 - All-Star Symphonic-Metal Project created and produced by Mistheria. Mirkko will play on at least one track.

    The Tangent - Songs From The Hard Shoulder - out sometime early to mid 2022

    Kaipa - new album from the Hans Lundin lead version with Jonas - we thought this would be out 2021 but looks for sure now to be 2022

    Michael Stolt - Live på Katalin - Live album with Roine should be out early 2022, also hopefully his solo album sometime next year as well.

    Tomas Bodin - Nosferatu 2022 - we got this 9 minute preview video - that says release March 2022. Nosferatu originally came out in 1922 so this is a 100th anniversary edition with new music composed by Tomas. He's been working on this for 5 years. Not sure how and in what format this will be released.

    Peter Lazar - A Single Book of Love - out in Feb with Zoltan on drums

    The Morsefest 2022 and Paris Transatlantic shows will be filmed so those will bring live releases later

    I think one of the Hackett Seconds Out Revisited shows was filmed so we should get a live release of that with Jonas and Nad

    Finally we will start to see reissues of ALL The Flower Kings albums on vinyl - remastered with some songs remixed. And possibly extra bonus tracks...? not sure about that last part. But this should start early in the year with BITWoA and Retropolis.

    And that is what we have so far. I'm sure there will be plenty of surprises. Maybe new Karmakanic?? The big question I suppose is where will Roine turn his attention to next for new music recording? Anderson / Stolt 2? The Sea Within? Kaipa DC? TFK? No bad choices there!

    What were your favorites of the year? Did I miss anything?
    Last edited by SRS; 01-03-2022 at 05:43 PM.

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    Looking forward to the Jonas Lindberg CD. If the track up on YouTube is anything to go by it will be a great release!

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    And Jonas Lindberg appears on the new Flower Kings album in a little act of quid pro quo.
    The Prog Corner

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    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Thanks once again for putting all this together. Lots of stuff here that was not on my radar.
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    Transatlantic - INNER CIRCLE MAY 2021: THE ABSOLUTE UNIVERSE DEMOS - (TFK Connection: Roine Stolt)
    The Demos Neal sent to the rest of the band before they met up. Interesting to see what made it and what was left out. In some weird way I actually prefer the closing section from the demo to what they ended up using even though it is pretty rough sounding with some scratch vocals. I made an alternate TAU version that uses it instead of "Love Made a Way".
    I love that ending. It's very touching although because it's a demo you get lyrics like:

    There's a fair wind
    Blowing cross my shoulders
    Longing for the ride again
    And it'll fall low...
    Hay'n hay roa oh
    There I will be home again
    And it's a fair wind
    Rising now
    And I'm a baaaawwwyaay
    On my shoulder
    And it's a fair wind
    Hold me down
    And it might take me home again
    My little home
    Hey lay
    Dodo tono dono
    Dodo tall a dong I know
    Ah ah roooo
    Hey the power radar
    Thay the tada paw I doh

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ It's like a dialogue bubble from a Pogo comic strip.

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    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    Czyszy That is in fact a 100% accurate transcription of the first sections lyrics !! I am not kidding. But yes it just works somehow and I also find it touching and innocent sounding!
    And I like the "Fair Wind" lyrical theme as a resolution to "The Whirlwind" theme and the..uhm...'ambiguity' of the lyrics work better (for me) than the directness of 'Love Made A Way': "This is the way that you MUST know yourself"
    Last edited by SRS; 01-04-2022 at 09:11 PM.

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    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Did Jon Anderson ghost write those lyrics?
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    I have tickets for this show but am not sure I will go, I am really hesitant to travel these days. However, my son's College graduation from Concordia University will be around those days so it may still happen :-)

    From Prog Montreal website:
    A new date has been confirmed for the Flower Kings' show which was to take place at Théâtre Plaza (6505, rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal) on Saturday April 4, 2020, the new date will be on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Hey SRS, not sure if you’ve mentioned this, but Spotify suggested a new song by a band called Pymlico, and the single features a lengthy solo from Roine. Worth hearing!
    Primary procreation is accomplished…

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Hey SRS, not sure if you’ve mentioned this, but Spotify suggested a new song by a band called Pymlico, and the single features a lengthy solo from Roine. Worth hearing!
    Pretty cool! I had no idea about this. Thanks for the heads up.

    I've got one of their albums, Nightscape, on vinyl. It's good!
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
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    随缘 SRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Hey SRS, not sure if you’ve mentioned this, but Spotify suggested a new song by a band called Pymlico, and the single features a lengthy solo from Roine. Worth hearing!
    Thank You ! I'll check this out and be sure to include it on the 2022 recap next year!

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    ^
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    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    FREE Ticket to The Flower Kings

    If anyone is interested and is in Montreal today, I can send you a free ticket to the show at Club Soda. I will eat the cost and will not use it.

    Send me a PM and include your Email address and I will send you a PDF that has a QR code (that will be scanned at Le Club)
    The show is general admission but get there early and enjoy the show - first come, first served

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajaz View Post
    FREE Ticket to The Flower Kings

    If anyone is interested and is in Montreal today, I can send you a free ticket to the show at Club Soda. I will eat the cost and will not use it.

    Send me a PM and include your Email address and I will send you a PDF that has a QR code (that will be scanned at Le Club)
    The show is general admission but get there early and enjoy the show - first come, first served
    Nova Scotia to Montreal? Man that's a hefty drive, yeah?
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

    "And it's only the giving
    That makes you what you are" - Ian Anderson

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    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Nova Scotia to Montreal? Man that's a hefty drive, yeah?
    I've driven there only once, it is a 12 hour drive but I always fly there. I had plans to go see FK but covid messed up the schedule.
    But there is a guy "rickawakeman" I think is his avatar name who drives there tons of times from Massachusetts, that is hefty ;-)

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajaz View Post
    I've driven there only once, it is a 12 hour drive but I always fly there. I had plans to go see FK but covid messed up the schedule.
    But there is a guy "rickawakeman" I think is his avatar name who drives there tons of times from Massachusetts, that is hefty ;-)
    Twelve hours is intense! Montreal is only 4.5 hours from me (Hudson Valley, NY)
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

    "And it's only the giving
    That makes you what you are" - Ian Anderson

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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Twelve hours is intense! Montreal is only 4.5 hours from me (Hudson Valley, NY)
    Man, you're closer than I am! 6 hour drive for me.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Man, you're closer than I am! 6 hour drive for me.
    It's a straight shot up there - 87 North then the A15 across the border. 292 miles. Not terrible at all.

    Well, plus the border stuff.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

    "And it's only the giving
    That makes you what you are" - Ian Anderson

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