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Agent Steel Order of the Illuminati

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, July 9, 2003 @ 4:13 PM


(Artillery)

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Los Angeles thrashers Agent Steel have been around for 20 years now – that’s right. And yet, somehow they were never able to garner and capitalize on the same success as their peers, such as Metallica and Megadeth. With their old-school brand of metal and mayhem, the band struggled to find their niche in the industry. Such tensions caused a revolving door of band members. Even major tours with Anthrax, Overkill and Nuclear Assault throughout the ‘80s couldn’t get the band to higher grounds.

But now, Agent Steel, with a fresh new line-up, release their 5th full-length studio album, that roars with an unstoppable vengeance against all those who didn’t take notice their first time around. The resurrected band includes the following musicians: Bruce Hall, vocals; Juan Garcia, lead and rhythm guitars; Bernie Versailles, lead, rhythm guitars and vocals harmonies; Karlos Medina, bass; Rigo Amezcua, drums.

Order Of The Illuminati is as old-school and as pure as metal gets. It’s straight-ahead ferocious pounding, with the guitar solos and instrumental breaks that are missing from today’s newer metal albums. The vocal stylings of Hall rival that of Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford and Joey Belladonna. Yeah, I like to call those screams the “sack-grab” – you know what I’m talking about! His vocals are crisp and melodic and nails all ranges. The other seasoned band members each hold down their own with each instrument standing out while still blending together in harmony. There are some really cool creeping guitar riffs that will not go unnoticed.

Killer tracks that really stand out are “Enslaved,” “Forever Black” and “Human Bullet.” The slower “Insurrection” has a Queensryche vibe to it. “Dance of St. Vitus” is a nice little stoner instrumental.

If you like your metal crushing, annihilating, and brutal with melodic vocals, then this is a must have! Fans of Belladonna-era Anthrax, ‘80s Maiden, Halford-era Priest, Overkill, Kreator, Nuclear Assault, Testament and Dio will certainly dig this!

* * * * ½


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