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The Flower Kings — Scanning the Greenhouse
(Musea FGBG 4384.AR, 1998/2000, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01

Scanning the Greenhouse Cover art

The second best band at Progfest 97 is back with their first full-fledged stateside release, a compilation of their best work over the last three years. This collection includes two re-recorded pieces, just for inclusion in this special package, both of which benefit from stronger instrumental passages and a more updated sound. The ensemble has been favorably compared to Yes and Genesis with both traditional and rock elements, but this is not another neo-prog rehash like Arena or Pendragon. Band leader, Roine Stolt and keyboardist, Thomas Bodin together with festival organizer, Shawn Ahern chose a representative sample of compositions across four albums of material which are mostly sweeping monster tracks. Each communicates the King's Swedish approach to the traditional symphonic progressive style the band excels with. What we have here is a very tight selection of tracks featuring blistering lead guitar work similar to Trevor Rabin's and slide guitar not unlike Steve Howe's. Keyboard work is evident on "Pipes of Peace," an organ-based fugue reminiscent of the best / worst of Wakeman or Emerson, but short enough not to be so indulgent. Lyrics are enclosed on a credits page including pictures of the band from their exceptional LA appearance. Scanning the Greenhouse serves as more than an appropriate introduction to a band poised to conquer America.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 16, 2000 releases, 1998 recordings

Related artist(s): Tomas Bodin, The Flower Kings, Roine Stolt


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