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miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994)

El disco que arrancó la aventura de los Reyes de la Flor: tremendo neoprogresivo escandinavo que empezó centrado en la guitarra de su líder para ir transformándose en una de las más interesantes experiencias de rock sinfónico de los 90 hasta nuestros días.

Artista: Roine Stolt
Álbum: The Flower King
Año: 1994
Género: Rock progresivo sinfónico
Duración: 1:10:31
Nacionalidad: Suecia


Lista de Temas:1. The Flower King
2. Dissonata
3. The Magic Circus of Zeb
4. Close Your Eyes
5. The Pilgrims Inn (Parts 1 & 2)
6. The Sounds of Violence
7. Hummanizzimo
    A. Twilight Flower
    B. The Messenger
    C. The Nail
    D. Only Human
    E. This Is the Night
    F. The River of Love
8. Scanning the Greenhouse

Alineación:
- Roine Stolt / Guitarras, bajo, teclados, voz
- Hasse Bruniusson / Batería (4, 5, 7, 8), percusión
- Jaime Salazar / Batería (1, 2, 6)
- Hasse Fröberg / Voz (1, 8)
- Ulf Wallander / Sax soprano



En 1994 Roine Stolt inició como solista la aventura que se convertiría en la larga saga de The Flower Kings, banda que tomó su nombre del tema principal de este disco, al decidir sus músicos invitados seguir adelante en el proyecto. La base es el trío formado por Stolt que toca todos los instrumentos, Hasse Fröberg en la voz y Jaime Salazar en los tambores, mas músicos invitados en saxo y percusión.

Sobre el disco dice el propio Stolt:

A principios de 1993 decidí grabar algunas canciones que podrían clasificarse como "rock sinfónico" pensando en la posibilidad de un lanzamiento en CD. Cuando escribí "The Flower King" supe que sería el tema que daría tiulo al disco. En cierto modo quería que fuera una declaración: "Apoyo las buenas fuerzas; el amor, la luz, la ternura". Quería que fuera una alternativa a la marea de música destructiva, dark 'n evil-hardcore-death-trash-speed-black-metal y suicida de nuestros días. Así que inventé al Rey-Flor: profeta, sanador, hippie, bufón, viajero espacial, gran jardinero y quizá... hijo de Dios.
En un tiempo en que a veces el poder y el dinero son nuestros únicos dioses, debemos hacer un alto y preguntarnos ¿de qué lado estamos?, ¿con qué alimentamos nuestras cabezas?, ¿qué pasa con nuestros niños cuando la violencia, la avaricia, el egoísmo y el terror se exhiben diariamente por televisión? Es tiempo de movernos en una nueva dirección. ¡Ahora! ¡Antes de que sea demasiado tarde! ... Tal vez un día "logremos unir lo que se ha dividido, levantar al caído y servir al Rey Flor".


Con la guitarra de Stolt como protagonista central y dando muestras de una inteligente poética, en The Flower King tenemos todos los elementos que caracterizan el buen progresivo sinfónico: la vuelta de tuerca a la canción pop, la exploración armónica y rítmica, las letras interesantes y comprometidas y ese sonido lleno y abarcador que disfrutamos los asiduos a este género.

El tema prinicipal, "The Flower King" (no sé si se traduce como "Rey de la Flor" o "Rey Flor", pero ¿qué importa?), parece un tema convencional surgido del pop noventero, pero solo hay que llegar al minuto 5 para reconocer que el viaje no será tan suavecito: ahí está la calidad compositiva de Stolt que se irá haciendo más compleja cada vez.

"Dissonata", más agresiva, ya muestra las preocupaciones que son características en la imaginación stoltiana con un discurso que se plantea críticamente esos valores relacionados con el éxito, la ganancia, la ambición y la injusticia, que suelen estar presentes en sus temas.

Un instrumental de mediana duración sigue a los dos iniciales: "The Magic Circus of Zeb" es un tremendo progresivo en 6/8 que recuerda por momentos la emersoniana "Fanfarria del hombre común". Como si fuera su coda, "Close Your Eyes" nos trae calma y armonía etérea en forma de balada amorosa, para luego volver a lo instrumental en la microsuite (de 10 minutos) "The Pilgrims Inn", que en su camino pasa por lo acústico y vuelve al solo de guitarra eléctrica del virtuoso líder.

"The Sounds of Violence", también instrumental, en un tempo casi de vértigo, se asoma al rock duro con unísonos y solos de teclas (otra vez se siente la influencia de ELP) y guitarra, hasta cerrar con la disminución de esos recursos con la que al final se introduce la suite que es probablemente el plato fuerte de la serie: "Hummanizzimo".

Esta suite en seis partes ("Twilight Flower", "The Messenger", "The Nail", "Only Human", "This Is the Night" y "The River of Love"), de más de 20 minutos, contiene recursos muy diversos; la primera parte presenta el tema en forma de balada; la segunda responde con más energía, desembocando en una marcha; la tercera plantea temas como la guerra y los motivos detrás de ella, comentarios sobre la irracionalidad de las masas que gritan al individuo "¡No eres uno de nosotros!, extenidéndose hasta llegar a la cuarta parte, un largo crescendo en que el individuo reconoce su humanidad y por ello sus limitaciones, sus ambigüedades y hasta sus miedos. La sensación final es de una profunda nostalgia, como dice el último verso: "como días infantiles de un tiempo hace tanto perdido". La pieza vuelve a descender, cae la noche y la música se hace nuevamente etérea, disonante y arrítmica, hasta desembocar en una melodía esperanzadora que nos pide volver al día y aferrarnos a la "flor del amor".

El cierre es brillante y esperanzador, "Scanning the Greenhouse", que sirve como una especie de credo (no cabe duda de que Stolt es una persona religiosa), en el que se recupera el tema inicial del disco y se establece de nuevo al Rey-Flor como símbolo de amor y sanación, lo que también convierte al disco en un álbum conceptual.

¡Puro sinfonismo nórdico, como debe ser!

Dicen por ahí:

MusikMan en Progarchives (hay varias reseñas más ahí, sigan el link):

You may know Roine Stolt as the leader and guitar player of The Flower Kings, even though he has a rich and storied past in music since the 70's. You may be unaware that he filled important roles with other groups such as Kaipa and Fantasia. Stolt is another one of those legendary guitar maestros that started off playing the bass, which seems to be more common than not in the development of any artist that plays the six-string. His second solo album The Flower King was released in 1994 and was subsequently reissued on Inside Out America in 2001.
Stand out solo albums such as this will separate an artist from all of his contemporaries. Stolt is not only the consummate professional and leader of one of the most successful prog-rock bands in the world; he has the talent and vision to create music that is able to stand on its own merit without any reflection on previous collaborations or projects. That in and of itself is the most difficult thing to overcome when an individual has a vast repertoire to look back upon over a long period of time such as Stolt does. The format he follows with the albums sequence is classic prog-rock. He uses an intelligent combination of instrumentals and vocal tracks along with the expected multi-tiered prog- rock magnum opus as the meat of the recording. "Humanizzimo" runs over twenty minutes and breaks down into six parts. With help from his band mates from TFK he creates a steadfast and unyielding project from start to finish. Instrumental tracks such as "The Sounds of Violence" spotlight Stolt's innate ability to squeeze every ounce of resonance and beauty out of his guitar without uttering a word. Talented players like this man eliminate the need for vocals (even though he has a good voice). The beauty of his craft becomes personified in a note for note interpretation of feelings and a well spring of spontaneous emotions. He not only transcends all preconceived ideas of what the ideal guitar player and musician can be, he defines it.
It's time for the world to take it upon themselves to delve into the history and back catalog of music that Roine Stolt has given us to enjoy, only then will we completely understand his importance and the critical contributions that he has made in regards to the development of a continually evolving and blossoming musical genre. Sitting in the fan's seat for a moment as an enthused listener ... I would like to see him come up with the unexpected the next time he records a solo album. Something like a completely instrumental acoustic recording to show his diversity and ability to cross over to another style seamlessly would be appropriate, and a welcome change. I have no doubt that he can do anything he decides to do and the fan base of TFK will continue to grow and flourish because of his open ended approach to music.
Insideoutmusic:
Roine Stolt, guitar player and vocalist from Swedish prog rock icons The Flower Kings, is a true workaholic. Despite his involvement with other renowned band projects (Transatlantic, The Tangent and the reunited Kaipa) the founder and mastermind of the The Flower Kings still finds time for his own solo projects. After the last Flower Kings opus “Adam & Eve” (2004), Stolt sets a completely different path for his fifth solo album, which sees him charting some previously unexplored musical territory.
The double album “Wall Street Voodoo” is a kind of reminiscence to the blues rock of the late Sixties and Seventies, with the exceptional guitarist bowing before the musical pioneers who were obviously a much more formative influence on him than he has previously showed.
“I grew up in a time”, says Stolt, “when the shape,substance and expression of rock music still was something important ,a vision and a way of life,often with a political touch in the lyrics ,as we were in the middle of the Vietnam war and times were changing ,people liberated themselves from old ideals. Music was something more than just a cool image,pre-fabricated aggression of hardcore metal or a careless dance and fashion of today’s MTV. It was a time when rock music, as we know it today, was shaped and defined, an era of change when fixed R&R patterns of Bill Haley's “Rock Around the Clock” were gradually mixed with a new artistic inventions and new instruments such as Moog synthesisers, Mellotron,Wha-wha ,phasers and fuzzboxes and other new effects. Just imagine you are thirteen years old and this wave of creative musical power just flood your mind you. I guess this was the most important time of my music life as far as influences and inspiration goes. Without it I would probably not have decided to get myself an electric guitar”.
Stolt is obviously very deeply rooted in this era as evidenced by his words, “I still love the smell of a Fender amp which has been running for a while”. So it was only a question of (a long) time until Stolt would pay musical tribute to these times. Together with Marcus Liliequist, the new Flower Kings drummer and burlesque percussionist Hasse Bruniusson, as well as some other selected prominent guests, he began to work on his latest project. One of the album’s guests is former Spock’s Beard lead vocalist Neal Morse. The other performers however have more of an air of mystery to them. “I must not reveal them”, Stolt says regrettably. “They are all well known musicians from other genres who, due to contractual reasons, cannot reveal their real names”. So one can only guess who is behind the curious pseudonyms of Mr. Geffen, Pothead, and Woof.
There is no mystery however behind the sixteen new songs on “Wall Street Voodoo”. Each song holds a sense of fascination and an undoubted quality. Once again, Stolt proves to be a master of the strings, as he conjures the memory of former greats Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower and Frank Zappa. The album recalls the musical feel of such acts as The Allman Brothers, Cream,The Beatles,Procol Harum, as well as newer contemporaries Don Henley,Prince or Steely Dan.
However, Roine Stolt would not be Roine Stolt if he didn’t set his own trends. The album’s familiar sounds therefore seem to have undergone a radical transformation. This is made possible by excellent and dynamic recordings, an incredible creative rhythm section, and ideal 6-string arrangements. “I started with a blues album which gradually became a ‘post-psychedelic blues album, and then finally just a music album" Stolt sums up the results of “Wall Street Voodoo”. Those who are familiar with the musical pioneers Stolt pays tribute to will hear some illuminating before and after comparisons, while others will simply enjoy this music that is carried by outstanding guitar work, radiating enthusiasm and credibility. The way Stolt performs on this album shows that he would have been a celebrated guitar hero in the Seventies. And the heroes of days past would have found him a worthy adversary.

2 comentarios:

  1. Grande Calle Nep! no tenía escuchado este disco, se agradece. Y espero que podamos tener más Flowers Kings en el blog cabezón, tremenda banda.
    Gracias de nuevo! te queremos Callenep!

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