I did at one point have a big fascination for Roine Stolt,
Thomas Bodin and The Flower Kings, and did at one point even
run a tribute site for the band. Albums like 'Stardust we are' and
'Flower Power' marked the highlight of their career for me, and gave
me great pleasure back then. And even though the following albums
all had a lot of fascinating material, I somehow felt that they had
covered all the bases, and had become a bit stale.
To call a progressive rock band stale might be
a contradiction in terms, but I never quite felt the same sensation
when I put on an album like 'Paradox Hotel' or 'Unfold the Future'.
'The Sum of No Evil' is an album, which brings back some of the
fascination of The Flower Kings. The album has hints of their
earlier albums, first and foremost an album like 'Retropolis' comes
to mind when I listen to this one.
Traditional 70's prog is the name of the game,
and the vision they had early on of atmospheric and multi-faceted
timeless prog rock is back. The trademarks of epic songs with a lot
of prog-fusion parts combined with big symphonic parts all wrapped
in a traditional old school sound are brought back, and this is
their best album in many years.
The sound and style is still 100% Roine Stolt,
but the style and sound on this album has been cut into the bone,
and there's almost no room for more experimental like ambient and
jazz, which has had a big part of their sound on the previous
They have written one of the best songs in a
very long time in "One More Time", and the fans of big epic epos get
their satisfaction in "Love is the Only Answer", and the
instrumental "Flight 999 Brimstone Air" is even for The Flower
Kings an unusual piece of experimental rock.
'The Sum of no Evil' is a step in the right
direction for me as a long time fan of the band. The Kings are back
in good shape doing what they do best; play symphonic prog rock with
roots in the 70's.