The Flower Kings: Roine Stolt (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Tomas Bodin (flute, piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, sound effects); Michael Stolt (bass, background vocals); Hasse Bruniusson (drums, percussion); Jaime Salazar (drums).
Additional personnel: Ulf Wallander (soprano saxophone).
Recorded between December 1994 and September 1995.
Roine Stolt's voice is strong, full, passionate, and delightfully accented. The Flower Kings' lyrics are heady, compelling, and hook city. The guitar work is extremely melodic and rates right up there with anything Brian May or David Gilmour has offered. Stolt is expertly meshed in this band with brother Michael on bass and voice. Tomas Bodin excels on Hammond organ, Mellotron, piano, and flute. Hans Bruniusson plays percussion alongside Jaime Salazar on drum kit, while Ulf Wallander guests on sax. The ten songs here are split between five instrumentals and five featuring great vocals mingled with extended instrumental bridges and a variety of sonic excursions. Each piece is a rocking, swirling matrix of multifaceted sound, with the opening "World of Adventures" a particular highlight. Take the best of Crack the Sky, Pink Floyd, early Genesis, and the slick cool pop/rock of Queen and Prince's 1999, mix everything together in the cauldron of Stolt's vision of world peace, and out comes a fresh batch of magic. ~ John W. Patterson