It is always a pleasure to listen to a new Flower Kings album and especially if it is an album like this one; ten new songs celebrating the style Roine Stolt is most famous and loved for, being: progressive rock with lots of orchestration and improvisation!
On Manifesto Of An Alchemist Stolt sings most of the tracks. For me that is a real treat as I quite like his melancholic, very recognisable vocals, just as on his album The Flower King, which was released in 1994. Stolt's guitar work on this new album is also top notch, particularly his longer guitar solos in Lost America, The Spell Of Money and The High Road. Most of the songs here clock over six minutes but due to the musical diversity, these songs never get boring; in fact the longest ones, High Road (12:32) and Lost In America (9:50) belong to the highlights of this album. The two instrumental tracks, The Alchemist and Six Thirty Wake-Up show Stolt's musical variety as these songs feature jazzy, funky, bluesy and rocky characteristics. Stolt is assisted by a couple of excellent musicians like Marco Minneman (drums), Jonas Reingold (bass guitar), Hasse Froberg (vocals) and Rob Townsend (saxophone), making this album an even better listening experience.
Manifesto Of An Alchemist is another highlight in the amazing musical career of Roine Stolt, check it out, you will not be disappointed! Best track: The Spell Of Money.
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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