Agents of Mercy – The Black Forest

The Black Forest

For my previous reviews of Agents of Mercy, I had only heard bits and pieces of the albums I talked about, a fact I hope I made that clear in those reviews. However, for their 2011 offering The Black Forest, I got to hear the album in its entirety several times. So what to say about this album? It does indeed have the similarities to Transatlantic I mentioned before, particularly in the high quality of the production. But where Transatlantic has a definite Beatles vibe, The Black Forest is completely missing such a flavoring. Instead, imagine if Genesis had become a bit more accessible while still remaining progressive and you’re in the ballpark of what this sounds like. That’s doubtless at least in part due to vocalist Nad Sylvan‘s Peter Gabriel-like tone, though he seems to have cut back on this just a bit for this album, at least for some of the songs. He’s a very verstile and emotional vocalist, and it’s great for him to have such a high quality backing band behind him now (relative to his former band Unifaun, even though I liked them too).

And it’s great for us too, because The Black Forest is a really good album. It’s not ground-breaking or challenging in any way, but it’s really good symphonic neo-prog with great playing, mature compositions, and sparkly-clean studio work. If you need challenging or avant-garde wierdness in your music, you’ll undoubtedly characterize The Black Forest as “boring and uninspired” or something similar. But for my tastes, this is a really good album that I’ll be listening to with some frequency for years to come. Check it out and decide for yourself … very nice in my opinion. — Fred Trafton

Click here for Agents of Mercy‘s web site
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