Agents Of Mercy, for those that don’t know, is a side project from The Flower Kings mastermind, Roine Stolt. Nad Sylvan of Unifaun provides a bulk of vocals with his unique voice. They are joined by on different tracks by an amazing roster of guest drummers; Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Tuner etc.) Zoltan Csörsz (TFK, Karmakanic) and Jimmy Keegan (Spocks Beard Live). Fellow TFK member, Jonas Reingold provides fretless bass.
Musically, Agents Of Mercy falls under the song oriented symphonic progressive rock genre, which is very similar to Roine and Nad’s respected bands. They do have a unique identity. The uniqueness comes partially due to Nad’s vocals, as it takes a while to get used to. A brief description is a mix of classic Yes (Roine’s guitar playing) & mostly Lamb-era Genesis (Nad‘s vocals).
Once you start listening to The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight, you are instantly hooked. Each song is like a musical and lyrical journey. The lyrics are often cynical, which is another part of the band’s unique qualities. My favorite tracks are the opening title track, “The Unwanted Brother”, "Afternoon Skies" (shows off an acoustic side of the band), “Heroes & Beacons”, “A Different Sun“ and “Ready To Fly”. These tracks stand out the most for me.
The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight is by far one of the best releases of 2009. I believe that this is both artist’s most inspired work to date. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long road for these agents. Perhaps they’ll support the album with a tour and maybe even gracing one of the many progressive rock festivals here in the USA. There are many elements on this album, that draws me to progressive rock in general. So a high recommendation is in order, especially for fans of The Flower Kings and Unifaun.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 23rd, 2009