I can dig most anything in which Flower Kings chief Roine Stolt is involved. Agents of Mercy is another one of those profound projects of creative and classic progressive rock for which he and his band mates are known for (in a variety of other bands). The Black Forest, the band's third release, is another prog delight.
Agents of Mercy does little here to deviate from their previous successful formula. However, you might sense a slight bit more edge as there's a strong rock feel coursing through the album (without being overbearing). This is notable within A Quiet Little Town, which blends a rock groove with a bit of jazz and smattering of a funky feel. Also, Freak of Life has a bit of rock heaviness to propel the arrangement. Yet both are tempered by the melodic and symphonic notes.
Yet, traditional melodic progressive rock is still the main attribute of this album, and both Black Sunday and Citadel pack plenty of intrigue from composition to musicianship. The title track is the longest and most expansive offering moments of heaviness against light segues with plenty of synth and guitar solos. On the lighter side, there's quiet melancholy of the aptly titled Elegy, which finishes with soaring Stolt solo; and, also, the beautiful, solemn, and stirring Kingdom of Heaven, Stolt's tribute to his father who passed in January of this year.
In short, fans of Roine Stolt, vocalist Nad Sylvan (Unifaun), and all the other participants (and their projects) should pick up on this wonderful album of melodic progressive rock. Strongly recommended.
On The Black Forest, Agents of Mercy offers another creative tapestry of traditional melodic progressive rock, sometimes with an edgier feel.
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