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Agents Of Mercy - The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight CD (album) cover


Agents Of Mercy



3.17 | 120 ratings

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3 stars Prog muzak?

Well, not really, but there are times on this album when this thought comes into my mind. There is a mellowness and softness to a lot of this that seems very muzak like, kind of mushy I guess. Okay, enough with the technical terminology :-)

This album has been a grower I must say. There are things about it I enjoy, like the heavy Genesis vibe on several songs, the more folksy tunes, and of course Roine's guitar. But it does seem to lack the spark of most of his projects. I think a lot of the mellowness is down to the fact that it started as an acoustic folky type project and grew into a more prog one. The inclusion of various big names (Pat Mastelotto, Jimmy Keegan) seems to have little impact on the overall sound. The mysterious Biggo Zelfries strikes me as sounding quite a lot like Tomas Bodin, but there has been no word yet as to who this person really is (internet searches yield absolutely no reference to anyone by this name, except for references to this very album).

Afternoon skies is a good example of what the album may have originally been intended to sound like, and it's a great song with a very Cat Stevens vibe (reinforced by Nad's vocals sounding very much like Cat on this track). The Genesis vibe is strong on the title track, a very nice symphonic number with Nad sounding very much like Peter Gabriel. Heroes & Beacons is a great mini-epic with the Genesis sound in full flight, but of course being a Roine project the Flower Kings vibe is also included in fair measure. A great track. A Different Sun and A Soldiers Tale are, along with the final track, the other proggy numbers. A Soldiers Tale in particular is another great dose of the Genesis vibe with some lovely melodies and guitar from Roine.

The rest of the songs don't really do a lot for me, with The Unwanted Brother being my least favorite on the album and possibly my least favorite thing Roine has ever written, with it's awkward melody and uninteresting progressions. The songs Roine sings actually don't appeal to me much, as he doesn't sound as good as he usually does on them (the intro on Waiting For The Sun being the worst singing I've ever heard him do). This is unusual as I normally love his vocals.

On the whole, this is a pleasant and even at times beautiful album, but fails to really hold up the standard that we usually expect from a Roine Stolt project. I am still looking forward to seeing the live show, but this album will not be in heavy rotation like most FK related projects usually are for me. I'll give it a 3.5, because it is a good album with some lovely songs and I really like Nad's voice and the Genesis vibe that permeates the best tracks. So 3 stars for the archives, a good album and worth checking out if you like Roine's other bands and projects.

infandous | 3/5 |


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