The Flowers of Hell

The Flowers of Hell - The Flowers of Hell


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All Music Guide Review

On their debut album, the U.K.'s Flowers of Hell aren't shy of one of their key sources of inspiration -- the Spacemen 3 family tree, being clearly fond of both the core band itself and the careful orchestrations that came to typify much of the work of Spiritualized afterwards. (Not for nothing does the album start with an elegiac, epic yet mournful brass arrangement called "The Sunrise Retreat," which sounds like it should soundtrack the conclusion of a World War I era movie.) As a result, much of the CD essentially derives from a familiar template rather than making a radical new mark; more than once it's almost utterly obvious which song or part of one in particular they're drawing from. ("Sympathy for Vengeance" in particular could fit onto any one of Spiritualized's first three albums without anyone blinking an eye, especially with its rollicking barrelhouse-into-the-future conclusion.) That said, there's no question it's a good recasting of the base model, from the slowly phasing up-and-down keyboards to the steady progression of each song, with slow crescendos and a feeling of overpowering bliss. Have started with the brass, the band makes use of it well throughout the album, adding a strong solo element to many songs, such the lengthy "Opt Out," at nearly 15 minutes the album's longest cut; the punctuation of the extended break in the middle with a solo horn is a striking moment. Other songs like "Compound Fractures" bring in other influences, with piano, strings, and musical saw suggesting the work of Piano Magic and even the Durutti Column. Notably, most of the album is instrumental, with the singing that does appear being of a quiet chorale type, as on "The Joy of Sleeping." ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi

The Flowers of Hell Track Listing

Credits of The Flowers of Hell

  • Tom Hodges
  • Flute, Saw, Bass Harmonica, Sax (Tenor)
  • Steve Head
  • Bass, Piano, Organ (Hammond), Telecaster

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