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


Agents Of Mercy


Symphonic Prog

3.17 | 123 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Agents Of Mercy is the latest side project of Flower Kings guitarist Roine Stolt. I am generally a fan of everything he does so I was excited about this latest venture of his. I also consider myself a casual fan of neo-prog (I like plenty of what Marillion and IQ have done). While there are a few glimpses of good music here, the majority falls disappointingly flat. In order to not sound repetitive I'll only review songs I like or was indifferent to. Pretty much everything else drags on far too long, has nothing happening musically (or if it does, the music is pretty much lifted from previous Flower Kings' work), and has atrocious vocals by Nad.

The title track gives you a false hope of a good to great album lying ahead. It starts off with a chilly tone created by a hollow-sounding piano and Nad's vocals. Things are slightly cheered up with the introduction of the guitar and drums at the 1 minute mark but the original mood returns after 30 seconds. A constant shifting between these two moods occurs for the first four minutes but this movement overstays its welcome by about a minute. Next comes a two minute section with subdued playing all around to create a menacing atmosphere which works out well but still overstays its welcome by a bit. Lastly we have a reprisal of the first movement which is the highlight of this song. A bit of trimming to make this around 6 minutes would have been best, but as it stands it's still an enjoyable song.

Afternoon Skies is as peaceful and pleasant as the title suggests. It embraces its simplicity, adds a few vocal harmonies. There isn't a whole lot to talk about here musically speaking and despite my general dislike of Nad, I have to say his vocals work well with the song and make it one of the best songs here.

I'm surprised "People Like Us" wasn't a decent radio hit. It's catchy, has a swingsy feel to it, and has blue collar lyrics. It follows the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-instrumental bridge-chorus formula and has Roine on vocals. Nothing too complex here but it's still my favorite track on here.

"Bomb Inside Her Heart" is OK. It is exciting by adding elements of Egyptian and Mexican music to the mix. Unfortunately it also has the characteristic weaknesses of this album which makes it have the perfect balance of good and bad to make this song completely neutral.

So there it is. A disappointing album with few highlights. I honestly cannot recommend this album to anyone.

TheCaptain | 2/5 |


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