Leon : Roine Stolt is a musician who actually releases a new record almost every year, either with a band or solo. The Swedish singer and guitarist is, of course, well-known for his work in the bands The Flower Kings and Transatlantic but he does a lot more. Earlier this year he released an album with The Sea Within and in the very same year he is also releasing a solo thingie under the name 'Roine Stolt's The Flower King'. Stolt is, of course, collaborating again with bass guitarist Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, The Sea Within), but also brother Michael Stolt and The Sea Within comrades Marco Minnemann (drums) and Rob Townsend (saxophone) are part of the album. 'Manifesto Of An Alchemist' is already the ninth solo album of the Swedish musician, who has been active in the progressive rock industry for over forty(!) years.
If you are familiar with the music of The Flower Kings you won’t be very surprised, for those who are not familiar with this group then I can best describe the music as progressive rock that is similar to what Spock's Beard does. It’s not very surprising that these two groups will tour with each other later this year. The name Roine Stolt will basically guarantee that the music is of high quality, so this is also the case on 'Manifesto Of An Alchemist'. The album is especially strong instrumentally, the bass guitar parts by Jonas Reingold are played very tastefully, the organs of Max Loretz and keyboards by Zach Kamins give a lot of depth to the songs, and the guitar parts of Stolt are of a very high level. It’s striking that the drums of Minnemann sound quite restrained, as he is a bit known as someone who sometimes gives a bit too much! In this case I like that his drum parts are mainly supportive, of course of high quality, now the music gets the room it needs to breathe and is not unnecessarily chaotic. In terms of vocals the album is a bit less strong, Stolt is certainly not a bad singer but he is clearly more talented in playing his guitar.
What else can I say about it? The music is just of a high level and will certainly not disappoint the fans of Stolt’s music. It’s also worth mentioning that the music is reasonably accessible, despite the many progressive elements in music. Honestly, there is little to criticize, only that I don’t always like the vocals and lyrics but this is just a minor point of criticism. 'Manifesto Of An Alchemist' is a strong album that fans can buy blindly, and which progressive rock fans in general will probably like as well.