Roine Stolt’s The Flower King – Manifesto of an Alchemist (Inside Out Music, 2018)
Swedish guitarist, composer and progressive rock marvel Roin Stolt is a prolific artists who has been involved in numerous projects as band leader or as part of super bands: The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy, and Kaipa DC. His latest project is called Roine Stolt’s The Flower King, which is a subtle way to clarify that this is a solo endeavor rather than a new Flower Kings album.
Although many identify Roine Stolt as a progressive rock musician (which he is), the multi-faceted artists is also influenced by classic rock, blues and jazz.
The album begins with a short atmospheric piece titled Rainsong. This is followed by the least favorite song on the album, Lost America, which is a classic rock/hard rock song with catchy hooks.
Progressive rock starts trickling in with “Ze Pawns,” a track with dreamy keyboards and mesmerizing slide guitar. The introspective vocals recall the work by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.
High Road is one of the finest pieces on the album, symphonic progressive rock at its best; full of memorable and beautiful electric guitar work.
Rio Grande is an instrumental epic with outstanding guitar, drums and keyboard work, including evocative mellotron.
Next To A Hurricane is a happy, sing-along song with pop and jazz harmonies.
On The Alchemist, another instrumental, Roine Stolt incorporates jazz fusion, Zappaesque zaniness and blues, including interplay with saxophonist Rob Townsend.
Baby Angels is a sweet song with unexpected ukulele.
Thirty Wakeup sounds like a tribute to Focus’ signature classically-rooted instrumentals, with Roine’s guitar joined by electric organ and flute.
Roine Stolt has a great ability at making epic progressions. The Spell of Money is an instant-epic that feels familiar right from the dramatic beginning. It combines superb musicianship with politics and social criticism about the dark side of money.
The album includes Roine Stolt on lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass, ukulele and drums; Hans “Hasse” Fröberg on vocals; Nad Sylvan on vocals; Max Lorentz on vocals and Hammond B3; Zach Kamins on organ, Moog synth and Mellotron; Rob Townsend on soprano saxophone and flute; Michael Stolt on bass and vocals; Jonas Reingold on fretted and fretless basses; and Marco Minnemann on drums
The album is available in various formats: limited edition CD digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD and as digital download.