Roine Stolt — The Flower King
(Inside Out Music IOMACD 40913, 1994/2001, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01
Its been a while since we've heard from former Kaipa guitarist Roine Stolt. This album received a lot of hype recently, and claiming to be a symphonic rock album from a member of Kaipa, I certainly wanted to check it out. Overall, this CD gives me mixed feelings. Immediately noticeable are the pop-styled hooks in the vocals and choruses. I was unpleasantly reminded of Live-Aid singles - "We believe in love..." The Flower King is a concept album that you have to read the liner notes to believe; it seems that Roine Stolt has become the L. Ron Hubbard of symphonic concept albums. On the other hand, this disc also has a lot of nice moves — Stolt is and has always been a superb guitarist and although he occasionally tries to be a metal guitar god, it's always nice to hear him play. It's also good to hear Hans Bruniusson back on a real drum kit (he plays on half the tracks.) Instrumentally the music does approach Kaipa with some nostalgic backward glances and some new yet strangely familiar themes. The soft symphonic parts are very nice, with a dreamy atmosphere, but it gets hard to take Stolt's vocals over the 70 minute length. In summary, it's not a bad album for someone who hasn't been too active in symphonic rock for quite some time and I'd say recommended to those who like more accessible progressive stylings.
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more