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Agents Of Mercy - The Black Forest CD (album) cover


Agents Of Mercy



3.96 | 251 ratings

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3 stars The Black Forest is the new album from Swedish symphonic/neo proggers Agents Of Mercy. Originally conceived as something of a side project for Flower Kings guitarist Roine Stolt and Nad Sylvan of Unifaun fame, it would appear that Agents Of Mercy has replaced The Flower Kings as Stolt's main gig, this being their third album in quick succession since their debut in 2009 and The Flower Kings having not released a new studio album since 2007. As on 2010's Dramarama the pair are joined by Stolt's Flower King's buddy Jonas Reingold on bass, Lalle Larsson on keyboards and drummer Walle Wahlgren forming what appears to be a now stable line-up.

Anyone having heard Dramarama in particular will know what to expect here as The Black Forest contains the same sort of symphonic prog. This time however the band seem to be going for a more bombastic approach with a number of songs such as Citadel and Black Sunday having a heavier edge than past outings. The more restrained Elegy and Between Sun & Moon is more in keeping with the past though. Agents of Mercy go for a more direct songwriting approach where the song takes precedence over the lengthy instrumental workouts the FK's often went for, though there's still much to enjoy on a musical level here. Best of all is opener and title track The Black Forest which does break the ten minute barrier. It's a dynamic piece with strong melodies and giving them more opportunity to stretch out on a musical level and the song most like The Flower King's on the album.

Another very good album from Agents of Mercy, with moments that equal Dramarama and in the title track surpassing it, though perhaps as a whole not quite on the same level. Well worth 3 stars though.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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