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 Roine Stolt - Hyrdophonia (1998)

Roine Stolt - Hyrdophonia (1998) Whom else but the great guitarist, writer, and vocalist, Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) would ponder why he creates music and in the same breath humbly give a nod to his influences? Then state that the importance of his art is insignificant in terms of the grand scheme of things? After all, we are all stardust in the beginning then we return to that form of existence upon expiration of our existence in this realm. I beg to differ; I think his music is as important as life itself, it is the essence of who we are and it brings us closer to our maker. For me, besides looking into my children’s eyes, music is one of the only things that remind me from whence I came. I am sure that Roine would consider every day life as part of his artistry, and in turn, his expressiveness through his music vividly interprets those events. They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul; I think music serves this purpose very well too.

“Hydrophonia” is a classic progressive rock instrumental statement from one of the most important and influential guitarists of our time. Although you may not hear his name mentioned in the same frame of reference as a Page or Clapton, Roine Stolt is without any doubt one of the best guitarists to ever pick up the instrument. Because his music is not mainstream, his popularity is not on the level that it should be, but believe me, he belongs in the upper echelon of great musicians of the last decade, and surely beyond as he continues to blaze a path for all of those that yearn to follow his legacy. This album is as strong as anything that he has done with The Flower Kings, and it is also proof positive that he is the musical genius that has propelled his band to great heights that they have reached over the last several years. This solo flight is just as prolific as his work with the band.

Every track is a sonic delight filled with essential progressive energy stemming from rock, pop, jazz, blues, and many other origins of musical and cultural diversity. Listening to the title track pretty much sums up the feelings and sounds that you will become engrossed in while taking in this recording. The song has Middle-Eastern leanings charged with dreamy saxophone and sharp keyboard shades. Stolt is an exceptional virtuoso that plays hard to formulate adventurous naturally rocking melodies. He succeeds in every way. On “Lobesterland Groove”, you will find familiarity with the sounds, as they are reminiscent of some of the best Flower Kings material. Those are just two examples from an outstanding album jam packed with high points that are in a perpetual state of escalation and flux within the framework of each song.

I found this album to be exhilarating and consistent in quality from start to finish. It leaves nothing to be desired for substance and meaning. It is a five star outing beyond compare.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Posted By: Keith Hannaleck
Genre: Instrumental Progressive Rock
Record Label: Foxtrot Records

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