Swedish guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Roine Stolt has certainly been prolific during the course of his near 45 year musical career, which includes his time in acts such as Kaipa, The Tangent, Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy, The Sea Within, and of course, The Flower Kings. It's this band that he's spent the most time in and released the most recorded output, but after taking a bit of a break since 2013's Desolation Rose (their 12th studio album in 18 years!) to concentrate on other musical projects, Stolt returned in 2018 with Manifesto of an Alchemist under the guise of Roine Stolt's The Flower King, before going back to the full The Flower Kings moniker for their latest InsideOut release Waiting For Miracles. Most of the classic members of the band are back with Stolt, such as vocalist Hasse Froberg and bassist Jonas Reingold, and they are joined by new members Mirko DeMaio (drums, percussion) and Zach Kamins (keyboards, guitar, percussion). The one notable missing piece here is keyboard wizard Tomas Bodin, who bowed out after Desolation Rose, and while his presence is initially missed, after a few spins of Waiting For Miracles you begin to realize just what a talented player new member Kamins really is. Additional instrumentation on the album is supplied by Michael Stolt, John Dellinger, and Paul Cartwright.
As with any album by The Flower Kings, expect plenty of material here, as this is a 2CD set containing nearly 90 minutes of music. Chock full of epic, melodic, and at times bombastic progressive rock, Waiting For Miracles has its fair share of standout tracks, such as the upbeat & catchy "Miracles for America", the engaging '70s styled prog of "Vertigo", complete with some excellent keyboard work from Kamins, the gorgeous "The Bridge", the classical-meets-symphonic rock of "Ascending to the Stars", and the muscular mix of complex prog and hard rock that is the vibrant "The Rebel Circus". Stolt's guitar solo on the latter is a thing of beauty, his Allan Holdsworth inspired legato lines weaving, snaking, and bobbing around swirling Hammond organ, velvety bass from Reingold, and intricate drumming. Over on CD2, you get the prog/fusion gem "Steampunk", complete with more layers from Kamins, including Mellotron, MiniMoog, and Fender Rhodes, and the grand, melodic "We Were Always There", a symphonic pleasure in the style of classic Yes, featuring another stellar vocal from Froberg.
Waiting For Miracles is one of those albums that takes a few listens to really sink in and start to reveal its riches, but, that can really be said about any Flower Kings albums due to their being so much material to digest on each one of them. Once you really start to reveal all that this one has to offer, it's ultimately another complete winner from Roine Stolt and The Flower Kings.
CD 1 (63:28)
1. House of Cards (1:58)
2. Black Flag (7:42)
3. Miracles for America (10:03)
4. Vertigo (9:59)
5. The Bridge (5:32)
6. Ascending to the Stars (5:45)
7. Wicked Old Symphony (5:47)
8. The Rebel Circus (5:50)
9. Sleep with the Enemy (6:02)
10. The Crowning of Greed (4:50)
CD 2 (21:28)
11. House of Cards Reprise (1:21)
12. Spirals (5:06)
13. Steampunk (6:34)
14. We Were Always Here (7:35)
15. Busking at Brobank (0:52)