A Bouquet of Riffs: Four Floral Albums for Spring

Published: June 04, 2024

It’s springtime, which means I hope you’ve been skipping in the meadows and frolicking in the sunshine to soak up some vitamin D. In lieu of flowers for my apartment, I made myself a playlist with albums featuring floral artwork that also felt like appropriate seasonal listens. The metaphorical bouquet lasts longer this way while conjuring up the same rosy feelings. Today, behold the fruits of my labor in the form of four of my favorite albums off the playlist for your enjoyment and said frolicking. 

–Karen Espronceda

Sunrise Patriot Motion – Black Fellflower Stream

Sugar, spice, and everything nice turns to black metal, gothic rock, and post-punk—an amalgamation of genres you’d imagine probably don’t work together but do in the hands of Sunrise Patriot Motion. Black Fellflower Stream proves its existence and beauty. If you read the original IO album review, you’ll know that the album takes place “in a single isolated field and details a man in the throes of mania [who] believes he is capable of digging a hole deep enough to reach oil.” The concept and songwriting make you feel like you’re in that yellow-tinted meadow—the air warm, still, and stark silent as you watch this dude go crazy digging for oil with his bare hands. A bleak and dreary image and yet, the dungeon synth and goth rock still make you want to put on some mesh gloves and combat boots to dance to the madness, even as the album spirals into dreariness. The intentful use of various genres allows the black metal vocals to act as an instrument for storytelling, removing the iciness one usually attributes to black metal albums. Instead, what you get is an album worthy of thawing your soul as we enter a new season.

OpethOrchid

While I was coming out of my mother’s womb, Mikael was conjuring up the beginning of progressive metal as we know and love it today. The album weaves through a melting pot of influences, playing a nice parkour session from melo-death to doom and black metal. PARKOUR! After several listens of this gem, you settle into the Opeth we’ve all become obsessed with. Every ten-minute track takes those familiar, unexpected turns that keep your ears glued to each track and, for me, staring out the window longingly, missing the growls but in utter appreciation of the band’s musical evolution. And so, this album is on this list because a) it has flowers on the album cover and b) this album was released in the springtime of 1995, so let’s celebrate the nearing of its 30th birthday. 

Fluisteraars – Bloem

You can’t find an album more fitting for this round-up than Fluisteraar’s Bloem. The Dutch album title translates directly to “Flower” and makes for what I think is the best black metal listen during the spring—when we’re saying goodbye to our seasonal depression and welcoming consistent sunshine. The sweeping, heavy tremolo picking and raspy, screeching vocals make for a trademark black metal album that you’d reach for in the winter months. Still, the usage of piano and brass in “Nasleep” or the trumpet and tambourine played throughout the album gives way to a textured, melodic experience as a respite from the winter we just left behind. At just below 34 minutes, this record is a beautiful and emotional lush garden to get lost in. I imagine the Dutch have beautiful fields for the occasion.

WilderunVeil of Imagination

Wilderun’s Veil of Imagination is last but definitely not least (and quite actually should’ve been first but we had to end this list on the highest of notes). This album still makes my heart flutter a hundred listens in, or whatever amount of times my ADHD brain has beat the play button on this record into a pulp. Wilderun balances the ethereal, transcendent, and fleeting with the heavy and menacing, making the songs feel intimate and human. No two playthroughs are the same.  Each is a chance to find that buried synth or appreciate the woodwinds you somehow let sit in the background before. If I had to encapsulate the springtime into an album, it’d be this—hopeful and gleaming yet grounded in the reality that with spring comes storms. 


Rock / Metal / Alternative
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