AGENT STEEL - Alienigma

Agent Steel - Alienigma

\r\nFour years after their last release the U.S masters of speed metal Agent Steel are back with their third full length album since their reunion back in 1999 and the fifth full length in their whole career. A band amongst all those misunderstood and misplaced bands of the mid-eighties that disappeared after only 2 albums and an EP, at some point became a legend and which reunited in 1999 with a new bassist named Karlos Medina and later on a new singer by the name of Bruce Hall and has released two full length albums since. Agent Steel recently signed to Mascot Records and their third album “Alienigma”, produced and mixed by the acclaimed thrash metal producer Bill Metoyer, is already a fact. The album features 10 tracks most of them defined by some new modern continuation of Agent Steel’s heavy power thrash mode into the 21st century, yet always with one eye fixed way back in the 80s. The album starts quite impressively and with a seer musical declaration that lots of things have changed from those long distant days of the past. And that’s pretty much obvious with this fresh new release. Not only with the modern sound, nor with a minor use of science fiction and extraterrestrial lyrical themes, but also with the degraded speed, replaced more with a groovy rhythm definition and riffs that aren’t so much on a speed gallop rather than developing the heavy energy along with the melodic wall on which Mr. Bernie Versailles and Mr. Juan Garcia are unfolding their combined guitar duet. Continuous leads, interesting solos and a beautiful rhythm section not in the raging elaboration of their first period but more dark and aggressive than on the predecessors of their second period. Although there are fast and furious parts in a thrashy up tempo like in the eighties as well as some mysticism’s moments, the rhythm often goes mid-tempo with an assiduous diversity. Mr. Bruce Hall from the other hand has lessened the high-pitched elevations and his voice sounds more violent and aggressive, a thing that may please some of you and may displease all the rest. If you were one of those who used to worship the heights and the high-pitched vocals of John Cyriis, the new singer seems determined that maybe it is time to exorcise the old ghosts. So if you belonged in the opposite side of the river where John Cyriis was just annoying and troubleshooting for your ears then Mr. Bruce Hall’s vocals will probably give you a justification. Advancing to the compositions it’s when I found the first negative side of Alienigma. There are some pretty good moments in this album, plenty of energy and general enthusiasm but somewhere in the middle the album loses its above the average musical structure and drops down to a lower quality level only to regain it within the last tracks. While the other thing that came strongly in my mind was the fact that Agent Steel lost besides their speed, their unique identity as well. At some points they reminded me something like Nevermore’s power metal and at some others Testament’s The Legacy era. Not that Agent Steel’s heavily historical figure is absent, simply it’s not all the way prototype any more although in nowadays this is a hard accomplishment anyway. Overall this album did give me some pleasant moments, its production surely it’s a top notch issue so I should place this effort not upon “a must have” comment but listen to it and most of the time you will definitely enjoy it. \r\n

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\r\n\r\nVaso "Necromass" Prassa \r\n

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