Agents of Mercy – Discography (2009 – 2011) Re-up

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Agents of Mercy - Discography (2009 - 2011) Re-up

Agents of Mercy – Discography (2009 – 2011)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
4CD | Scans | Label: Various | ~ 1952 or 768 Mb
Progressive Rock / Neo-Prog

Agents of Mercy - Discography (2009 - 2011) Re-up

Formed in 2008, AGENTS OF MERCY was originally a side-project by Roine Stolt (guitars, bass, vocals) of The Flower Kings fame, whrere the goal was to create a low key, mostly acoustic based type of music.

Along the way Nad Sylvan (vocals) from Unifaun was invited to participate with vocals. However, one thing lead to another, and pretty soon the two of them found themselves involved in a creation that almost took on a life of it’s own – for some reason or other the compositions got longer and longer, more and more progressive rock elements found their way into their creations – pretty soon this had evolved into a collaborative project, and the music had changed from low key and acoustic to anything but low key and highly progressive.

With the participation of several musical friends debut album The Fading Ghosts of Twilight was issued in March 2009. Sylvan and Stolt finished some additional projects following the album release; and are taking this project on the road in the autumn of 2009 – in most cases doing a double bill with another Flower Kings side-projct; Karmakanic.

~ progarchives
Agents of Mercy – Discography (2009 – 2011):

Agents of Mercy - Discography (2009 - 2011) Re-up

CD01: Agents of Mercy – The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight (2009)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans | Foxtrot Music, FOX CD 029 | ~ 539 or 192 Mb
Progressive Rock / Neo-Prog

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 Csursz (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.

by Ron Fuchs, prognaut

Tracklist:

01. The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight
02. The Unwanted Brother
03. Afternoon Skies
04. Heroes & Beacons
05. Jesus On The Barricades
06. Wait For The Sun
07. A Different Sun
08. Ready To Fly?
09. People Like Us
10. A Soldiers Tale
11. Bomb Inside Her Heart
12. Mercy & Mercury

EAC Log
Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 4 from 23. January 2008

Отчёт EAC об извлечении, выполненном 26. марта 2009, 14:52

Agents Of Mercy / The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight

Дисковод: HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-H55N Adapter: 1 ID: 1

Режим чтения : Достоверность
Использование точного потока : Да
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Коррекция смещения при чтении : 102
Способность читать области Lead-in и Lead-out : Нет
Заполнение пропущенных сэмплов тишиной : Да
Удаление блоков с тишиной в начале и конце : Нет
При вычислениях CRC использовались нулевые сэмплы : Нет
Интерфейс : Встроенный Win32-интерфейс для Win NT/2000

Выходной формат : Пользовательский кодировщик
Выбранный битрейт : 1024 kBit/s
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TOC извлечённого CD

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Характеристики диапазона извлечения и сообщения об ошибках

Выбранный диапазон

Имя файла D:mydocMy MusicAgents Of MercyAgents Of Mercy – The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight.wav

Пиковый уровень 98.8 %
Качество диапазона 99.9 %
CRC копии D6B1A332
Копирование… OK

Ошибок не произошло

AccurateRip: сводка

Трек 1 нет в базе данных
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Ни одного трека нет в базе AccurateRip

Конец отчёта

Audiochecker Log
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Agents of Mercy - Discography (2009 - 2011) Re-up

CD02: Agents of Mercy – Dramarama (2010)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & iPod & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans | Foxtrot Music, FOX CD 030 | ~ 544 or 252 Mb
Progressive Rock / Neo-Prog

Roine Stolt. Do I really need to say anything more in regards to his body of work? Without a doubt, one of the most respected musicians in the progressive genre with his band The Flower Kings. He has established himself in the upper echelon of today’s prog musicians. I won’t get into his other projects like Transatlantic, Kaipa and The Tangent because that would make this (my first) review MUCH too long. Suffice it to say, the respect fellow musicians and the fans have for Roine is truly abundant.
As amazing as the first incarnation of Agents were, it seems Roine has assembled a truly stellar band for the follow up. The constants are (of course) Roine, fellow Flower King Jonas Reingold on bass, and vocalist Nad Sylvan. Now in the fold, however, is drummer Walle Walgren, and Karmakanic keyboardist Lalle Larsson. With the first album under their belts, I found Dramarama to be a bit more focused and streamlined. “Cohesive” comes to mind when comparing the two.

I think with Agents being more of a “band” now, it’s reflected in the music therein. The album kicks off with a blistering song entitled “The Duke Of Sadness”, which should appease Flower King fans alike. Throughout the album is the usual sturdiness of a Stolt project. Omitted are the 20-30 minute epics like “Stardust We Are”. What we have are shorter, more controlled songs. The fat has been trimmed, and the songs are lean and VERY mean. As much as I like the Kings, I thought there was too much gimmickry in postproduction. Anything from horse noises to a sample of the old lady yelling, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” seemed to be added as if an afterthought. This I found very annoying. Seems the producer side of Stolt has left all of that behind…thank goodness.

This album isn’t breaking new ground. It’s just solid from beginning to end and a natural progression (pardon the pun) from the last album. I’m not really certain what comes next for Agents, but they have been responsible for some of the better progressive music of 2009 and, now, 2010.

Eric Walker, prognaut

Tracklist:

01. The Duke Of Sadness (9:17)
02. Last Few Grains Of Hope (6:47)
03. Peace United (5:44)
04. Journey (7:38)
05. Gratitude (6:27)
06. Meet Johnnie Walker (5:28)
07. Cinnamon Tree (3:15)
08. The Ballad Of Mary Chilton (4:28)
09. Roger The Tailor (4:35)
10. Conspiracy (4:05)
11. We Have Been Freed (8:36)
12. Time (5:00)

EAC Log
Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 5 from 4. May 2009

EAC extraction logfile from 10. November 2010, 5:21

Agents of Mercy / Dramarama

Used drive : SONY CD-RW CRX230EE Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 6
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Installed external ASPI interface

Used output format : Internal WAV Routines
Sample format : 44.100 Hz; 16 Bit; Stereo

TOC of the extracted CD

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Range quality 99.9 %
Copy CRC 5821648A
Copy OK

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None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

End of status report

Audiochecker Log
AUDIOCHECKER v2.0 beta (build 457) – by Dester – opdester@freemail.hu
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Path: …Agents Of Mercy – 2010 – Dramarama

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Also available on AH => Agents of Mercy – Dramarama (2010) by rd

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Agents of Mercy - Discography (2009 - 2011) Re-up

CD03: Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The Power of Two (2010)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans | Reingoldrecords, RR CD 003 | ~ 460 or 183 Mb
Progressive Rock / Neo-Prog

1. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?

“The Power of Two was a joint-venture between Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy in 2009.” “Why would two forces in music work separately while it’s more powerful to work together?” “In Autumn 2009 both bands went on tour in Europe and the USA playing two different repertoires performed by one single group.” “This live album has been recorded during the shows in the USA and represents the finest songs from both bands.” “And because Karmakanic drummer Zoltan could not join the US shows, Nick D’Virgillio (Spocks Beard) replaced him.” “He blended in perfectly, after rehearsing three hours of material in just 6 hours, and made it sound like they had been playing together for weeks” (JonasReingold‘s website, 2010).

2. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?

1. The Fading Ghosts of Twilight (8:21) – Agents of Mercy’s opening track off their debut album. The opening piano is wonderful, as the band welcomes their fans to the performance. Beautiful song, well orchestrated. Almost a dream of walking through an other – worldly existence. Remembering “the things that make you smile.” “They’re getting hard to find somehow.” “Look for trails in old familiar faces.” “We stand alone.” “The ground which once was ours is now gone.” “The world is bigger than the both of us.” Almost a Robert Plant moment on the live version of Stairway to Heaven, “does anybody remember laughter?” Roine Stolt urges the audience to “Come on smile for me”.

The drums, keys, piano and vocals surround you with a melody that helps wrap you in this world of feeling in the same wonderful way the song open Agents of Mercy’s debut. Powerful lyrics and music that take you away from your earthly cares, if only for a while. “Sleepy fields of the unreal.” “High silver moon, land of the shadows in the fields.” “The tick tock of the clock, no sleep, and nothing’s real.” The piano closes with wonderful orchestration as the crowd rises with cheers.

2. Heroes and Beacons (10:00) – An Agents of Mercy song. Another beautiful piano opening after the introduction of the song title. A fan favorite, “ah you like this one don’t you.” The synth keys are wonderful supporting the piano as the song opens with these lyrics, “King and queen, lofty dream, waiting by the ocean.” “High or low, side by side, waiting for the tide.” “Staring back, into the deep, where the ocean floor is deeper.” “I can hear your voice of hope, echo across the ocean.” A very Fountain of Salmacis – like opening to this one. Memories of the best of the Foxtrot/Nursery Cryme era. Echoing the lost time that will never return. “The last lonely outpost, summer or winter.” “No miracles for people like us.” The bass, lead guitar, keys and drums create a melody of reminders as the supporting backing vocals surround the instrumentation with feeling. That wonderful Wind and Wuthering era keyboard solo which follows could have lasted forever for me, but it is followed by beautiful piano, before the refrain of vocals returns. The guitar solos and riffs lift the composition and the solid drumming keeps the pace flowing. The piano is a constant reminder of the acoustic flow of this song of nature and the past. “Turn your face to the sky.”

3. Jesus on the Barricades – (6:31) – Another Agents of Mercy song. Lalle Larsson’s piano solo at the beginning of this song is worth the price of the album alone. Then Jonas’ bass and soft drums join in for support. Nad’s vocals take over as the lyrics unfold, “Love is just a dream away.” “Life is just a fading day.” “Here I am so many questions without answers.” “Life is just a flick of light.” “Day is just a child of night.” The piano rolls on with the support of the bass and lead, with Nad’s vocals now growing louder as he demands answers. Beautiful melody with incredible vocals and instrumentation. The piano trails off into silence as Nad closes with “that’s right.”

4. Where Earth Meets the Sky (14:43) – A Karmakanic song off Wheel of Life. The roar of the crowd bears witness that this is a crowd favorite. The tingling piano opens as the drums, bass and lead roar through. Magnificent opening with that glorious piano. I have the Who’s The Boss in The Factory? album, but not this earlier work from Karmakanic. That will have to be remedied! This is wonderful and I understand why the crowd loves it. The fantastic keyboard, drum, bass, and piano instrumental which follows, is another highlight of this album. You want it to last forever. Then the vocals enter with these lines, “Here, where Earth meets the sky.” “Heaven is high and silence forever escapes.” “In my dreams I see the only/lonely world.” “I hear angels sing the age old song of freedom.” “And when I wake up, I know where my soul belongs.” The guitar bass, drums and piano capture the incredible emotion of these lines so well. “Time doesn’t matter at all.” “Summer and fall, variations of the same.” This epic song really captures that feeling so well.

Another great epic from Karmakanic brought to life on stage so well. Then we’re back into another magnificent musical interlude between drums, bass and that awesome piano. Almost a jazz improvisation. Very nice mood setter. Lalle’s solo is up in two songs, but he gets an early start here along with driving bass and drums. The piano and bass interweaving towards the end of this classic is amazing. Strong enough to sell another copy of Wheel of Life!

5. Do U Tango? (8:39) – Another Karmakanic song off Wheel of Life. Jazz based drums, piano, and bass as the tango rhythm begins. The bass is the standout along with the keys as this instrumental takes off with abandon. The guitar and synths wind this one into a faster building rhythm as you try to keep up with the pace. An instrumental on fire with sound full of variations, twists and turns. Then a cool drum solo as this one begins to rock the windows and foundation. Must have been cool live.

6. Lalle’s Solo (5:46) – Lalle Larsson revs up the keys and that beautiful Lamb Lies Down on Broadway running piano cuts through the silence. He builds the sound slowly with a piano style drawn from the classical piano masters. Then a fun romp of wandering keys before he settles down to open the synthesizer part of his solo. The synthesizer screams to full power as we are reminded of some of the best from Tony Banks to Keith Emerson, all done in a classical almost Rick Wakeman style. You feel the majesty of the power of the sound surround you. But is over way too soon.

7. Eternally (10:01) – The story behind this song is tragic, but it is one of a kind, and my favorite off Karmakanic’s Who’s The Boss in the Factory? album. It sounds even better, performed with care in front of an audience of friends. The keys and bass that open the song create that sad and contemplative effect so well. This is a song of great feeling. A song of longing and regret. It is sad, but holds hope as it progresses. Probably not a dry eye in the audience as Goran sings the lyrics to this one. The lead guitar is more prominent in this live performance. The drums and building keys and bass really bring home the power of this epic. Goran’s vocals, the supporting keys and string sounds really pull at the heart and make this a perfect closer for the show. IMHO, the next song is a glimpse into the musical inspiration for this song. Eternally so reminded me of Afterglow the first time I heard it. Now with the two played back to back, I hear the power in their similarity more than ever.

8. Afterglow (6:36) – The encore is a fantastic rendition of the Genesis classic from Wind and Wuthering. They really cover the song well emphasizing the many important features of this incredible epic closer. Nad does a very good job of capturing the power of the lyrics. And to my ears, his vocals give us a preview of what this song might sound like if it was Peter Gabriel who sang the original, and not Phil Collins. The drums and keys live up to the original. The crowd roars with enthusiasm. The power of two cannot be matched by a single band alone.

3. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?

With any live album or performance a band has the opportunity to find new fans by unveiling some of their greatest hits. When you put two bands together the bounty for the listener is even larger. I already was a fan of Karmakanic and the Flower Kings, so I had an interest in Agents of Mercy. The first three tracks on this CD are a great introduction to the power of the Agent’s music. I am already searching out their first album after hearing the power and emotion in the songs on this album. I already own one of Karmakanic’s albums but this was an introduction to another of one of their albums that I must also find and add to my collection. So this promo helped sell at least two other albums. If this happens to each person that buys this album, both bands will be doing very well.

The live performance of these classics really should help both of these bands realize their original goal of playing together to increase the power of their message and music.

4. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?

Yes, I have been listening to it since I received the promo. It is a wonderful afternoon or evening ‘pick me up’ that delivers the power and personality of these two bands.

Rating: 9/10 – Only wish there was more. Eight songs are not enough.

by Prof, prognaut

Tracklist:

1. The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight (08:21)
2. Heroes And Beacons (10:00)
3. Jesus On The Barricades (06:31)
4. Where Earth Meets The Sky (14:43)
5. Do You Tango? (08:39)
6. Lalles Solo (05:46)
7. Eternally (10:01)
8. Afterglow (06:36)

Personnel:

Nad Sylvan – Vocal & Keyboards
Goran Edman – Vocals
Roine Stolt – Guitars, keyboards & vocal
Lalle Larsson – Keyboards
Jonas Reingold – Bass
Nick D’Virgilio – Drums

EAC Log
Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 4 from 23. January 2008

EAC extraction logfile from 26. March 2010, 22:17

Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy / The Power of Two

Used drive : TSSTcorpDVD+-RW TS-L532B Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 704
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000
Gap handling : Appended to previous track

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 768 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:ProgrammiFLACflac.exe
Additional command line options : -8 -V -T "ARTIST=%a" -T "TITLE=%t" -T "ALBUM=%g" -T "DATE=%y" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%n" -T "GENRE=%m" -T "COMMENT=EAC FLAC -8" %s

TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.00 | 8:21.71 | 0 | 37645
2 | 8:21.71 | 10:00.04 | 37646 | 82649
3 | 18:22.00 | 6:31.03 | 82650 | 111977
4 | 24:53.03 | 14:43.04 | 111978 | 178206
5 | 39:36.07 | 8:39.54 | 178207 | 217185
6 | 48:15.61 | 5:46.28 | 217186 | 243163
7 | 54:02.14 | 10:00.61 | 243164 | 288224
8 | 64:03.00 | 6:36.08 | 288225 | 317932

Track 1

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]1 – The Fading Ghost of Twilight.wav

Pre-gap length 0:00:02.00

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 48D56265
Copy CRC 48D56265
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 2

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]2 – Heroes and Beacons.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 99.9 %
Test CRC 63825832
Copy CRC 63825832
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 3

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]3 – Jesus on the Barricades.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC AE317B26
Copy CRC AE317B26
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 4

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]4 – Where Earth Meets the Sky.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC A6F377D7
Copy CRC A6F377D7
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 5

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]5 – Do You Tango.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 09B3524F
Copy CRC 09B3524F
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 6

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]6 – Lalles Solo.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 3A6EF18C
Copy CRC 3A6EF18C
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 7

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]7 – Eternally.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC E666219E
Copy CRC E666219E
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 8

Filename C:Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The power of Two (2010) [FLAC]8 – Afterglow.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 221E764E
Copy CRC 221E764E
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

No errors occurred

End of status report

Audiochecker Log
AUDIOCHECKER v2.0 beta (build 457) – by Dester – opdester@freemail.hu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-=== DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE! ===-

Path: …Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – 2010 – The Power of Two

1 -=- Karmakanic and Agents of Mercy – The Power of Two.flac -=- CDDA (100%)

4881380

Accurip(CUETools 1.9.5)
[Verification date: 28.10.2011 16:43:53]
[Disc ID: 0016897d-0096109b-72108f08]
Track [ CRC ] Status
01 [602bdd24] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
02 [03d3f0a8] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
03 [1a3068ec] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
04 [c95f498e] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
05 [1426b59c] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
06 [0964293e] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
07 [c6f48e44] (09/09) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1
08 [181b9bd6] (08/08) Accurately ripped as in pressing(s) #1

Track [ CRC32 ] [W/O NULL] [ LOG ]
– [4B763CD5] [FABA5C74]
01 [48D56265] [574D08E7] CRC32
02 [63825832] [C989A0A2] CRC32
03 [AE317B26] [AC31256D] CRC32
04 [A6F377D7] [FE2283F8] CRC32
05 [09B3524F] [7F31E546] CRC32
06 [3A6EF18C] [B862A394] CRC32
07 [E666219E] [443B4C2A] CRC32
08 [221E764E] [577A9FEC] CRC32

==============

Agents of Mercy - Discography (2009 - 2011) Re-up

CD04: Agents of Mercy – The Black Forest (2011)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans | Foxtrot Music, FOX CD 031 | ~ 409 or 141 Mb
Progressive Rock / Neo-Prog

An interesting change of direction.

At the time of this review’s writing, it is fairly obvious that Agents of Mercy has become Roine Stolt’s main gig. Roine has established himself as a true symph-prog maestro trough his work with The Flower Kings and Transatlantic; in my opinion, he is one of the best and most accomplished progressive-rock musicians not only of the past twenty years, but of all time. While Roine has firmly established his finesse for bombastic symphonic grandiosity, he has recently shown a desire to tweak his normal compositional attitude. Agents of Mercy seems to be the medium through which he is doing so. Because of this tweaking, the Agents have been rather controversial among Flower Kings fans. The Black Forest is the third Agents album after only three years. So far, each of these three albums has been stylistically unique, but still characteristic of Roine’s signature style. The first album, The Fading Ghosts of Twilight, was a low-key and fairly underwhelming affair. The follow-up, Dramarama, was a symph-prog charged Beatlesesque treasure trove. That album was a masterpiece for me. This third album, The Black Forest, takes a new musical approach. The retro sensibility is still present, but in an entirely different way. This is by far the heaviest album Roine has ever been involved with. There is a strong hard-rock influence here, but it’s combined with symph-prog bombast to create a consistently interesting listen that sounds like nothing Roine has ever done before.

The eleven-minute title track is a superb epic hard-rock song with sublime vocal lines from Nad and a wonderful keyboard solo from Lalle. The concluding section features a driving bass-line that blossoms into a fantastic conclusion. This track will be a classic in the years to come. "A Quiet Little Town" is centered on an infectiously funky bass-line. The drumming is particularly impressive here: Walle lays some very complex rhythms to back up the throbbing bass. "Black Sunday" is probably the heaviest thing on the album. The guitar is hard-hitting and the chorus is quite memorable. Jonas’s bass is superb, as always. While "Elegy" is technically a ballad, that term greatly underestimates the power of this track. Nad’s voice is in top game here, and Roine plays a magnificent solo near the end. "Citadel" features a hard-hitting Zeppelin-inspired riff, and Lalle’s synth solo is one of the best on the album. Roine takes up the vocal duties on "Between Sun & Moon." This is certainly the most lighthearted song here, with great vocal melodies and guitar playing. "Freak of Life" is certainly the strangest song here, but in a good way. The instrumentation is excellent as always, but the vocals really stand out here. The combination of spoken-word, vocal interchange, and vocal harmonies make this quite an interesting listen. The closing piece "Kingdom of Heaven" is a somber piece that ends the album perfectly. The album’s best guitar work is found on this track; Roine can really make the instrument sing.

I was enormously impressed with The Black Forest. The alternative musical approach the band has taken here manages to work extraordinarily well. One of the most impressive elements of this album is the democratic balance between the five members. Jonas and Walle create a grinding rhythm section that never ceases to be fantastic. Lalle lays down some phenomenal synth solos that would have made Peter Bardens proud. Roine’s guitar takes a slightly different role here than normal – he uses it more as a rhythmic instrument and less as a melodic forefront. This style fits the music swimmingly. Last but certainly not least, Nad’s wonderful voice ties the whole package together. Pieces like the title track and "Elegy" provide even more evidence of his vocal power. The Black Forest doesn’t reach the same level that Dramarama did, but it is a phenomenal listen that I would recommend to any fan of heavy retro-inspired progressive music.

by Anthony H, progarchives

Tracklist:

1. The Black Forest (11:10)
2. A Quiet Little Town (6:58)
3. Black Sunday (6:20)
4. Elegy (6:14)
5. Citadel (7:02)
6. Between Sun & Moon (5:07)
7. Freak of Life (8:15)
8. Kingdom of Heaven (6:20)

Personnel:

– Nad Sylvan / vocals, keyboards
– Roine Stolt / guitars, vocals
– Jonas Reingold / bass
– Lalle Larsson / keyboards, vocals
– Walle Wahlgren / drums

EAC Log
Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 5 from 4. May 2009

EAC extraction logfile from 4. October 2011, 11:09

Agents Of Mercy / The Black Forest

Used drive : TSSTcorpDVD-ROM SH-D163C Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 6
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000
Gap handling : Not detected, thus appended to previous track

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 1024 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:ProgrammeExact Audio CopyFLACFLAC.EXE
Additional command line options : -6 -V -T "ARTIST=%a" -T "TITLE=%t" -T "ALBUM=%g" -T "DATE=%y" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%n" -T "GENRE=%m" -T "COMMENT=%e" %s -o %d

TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.00 | 11:06.63 | 0 | 50012
2 | 11:06.63 | 6:53.63 | 50013 | 81050
3 | 18:00.51 | 6:14.30 | 81051 | 109130
4 | 24:15.06 | 6:14.50 | 109131 | 137230
5 | 30:29.56 | 7:03.66 | 137231 | 169021
6 | 37:33.47 | 5:04.65 | 169022 | 191886
7 | 42:38.37 | 7:57.27 | 191887 | 227688
8 | 50:35.64 | 5:30.02 | 227689 | 252440

Track 1

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 01 – The Black Forest.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC F0C00ACF
Copy CRC F0C00ACF
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 2

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 02 – A Quiet Little Town.wav

Peak level 100.0 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC AE09B1BA
Copy CRC AE09B1BA
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 3

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 03 – Black Sunday.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 4841ABB8
Copy CRC 4841ABB8
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 4

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 04 – Elegy.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 0F3E9D41
Copy CRC 0F3E9D41
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 5

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 05 – Citadel.wav

Peak level 100.0 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC D9FB8032
Copy CRC D9FB8032
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 6

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 06 – Between Sun & Moon.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 310A1AB0
Copy CRC 310A1AB0
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 7

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 07 – Freak Of Life.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 1FCF749C
Copy CRC 1FCF749C
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

Track 8

Filename C:EACSRIPPINGAgents Of Mercy – The Black Forest – 08 – Kingdom Of Heaven.wav

Peak level 98.8 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 2C42317B
Copy CRC 2C42317B
Track not present in AccurateRip database
Copy OK

None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

No errors occurred

End of status report

Audiochecker Log
AUDIOCHECKER v2.0 beta (build 457) – by Dester – opdester@freemail.hu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-=== DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE! ===-

Path: …Agents Of Mercy – 2011 – The Black Forest

1 -=- Agents Of Mercy – The Black Forest.flac -=- CDDA (100%)

155257812

Accurip(CUETools 1.9.5)
Verification date: 28.10.2011 16:43:06]
[Disc ID: 001297a1-0078cc89-670d2508]
Disk not present in database.

Track [ CRC32 ] [W/O NULL] [ LOG ]
– [287188C2] [D7AC185F]
01 [F0C00ACF] [19AFA5B1] CRC32
02 [AE09B1BA] [5D340547] CRC32
03 [4841ABB8] [01F361F5] CRC32
04 [0F3E9D41] [54FF0585] CRC32
05 [D9FB8032] [7941A866] CRC32
06 [310A1AB0] [89CD43DB] CRC32
07 [1FCF749C] [2097703E] CRC32
08 [2C42317B] [28E3D7AB] CRC32

All thanks to pars, erro and andre88

Discography in my Blog

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