The passage of time has not proved fortunate for AGENT STEEL, more or less the 80s finest Speed-Thrash band. "Skeptics Apocalypse" is plain and simple straight up in your face Heavy Metal, with awesome riffs, excellent songwriting and a vocalist whose falsetto could shatter glass. Recorded for 800 dollars, SA belongs up there with ANGEL WITCH's "s/t" and the first METAL CHURCH... but alas, they are largely overlooked. =*( . Anybody who digs on Classic/Speed Metal should do themselves a service and check out AGENT fucking STEEL!
The production is pretty rough, but nothing too overt... just 80s style. The thing that makes AS stand out is singer John Cyriis, whose voice is somewhere in the stratosphere between King Diamond and Rob Halford without sounding like either. His twisted lyrics about outer space and the supernatural really add character, especially on "144,000 Gone". Points for picking a truly unique and Metal subject matter (Mayan sacrifices) for "Bleed For The Godz", AGENT STEEL's best song and an 80s classic.
Juan Garcia is a talented guitarist and has a knack for coming up with riffs that are propelling and catchy... sort of like PRIEST meets METALLICA. "Bleed For The Godz", "Agents Of Steel", "Children Of The Sun"... solid stuff. "Taken By Force" is a mid paced number, but fits well with the album... ditto for "144,000 Gone", a most creepy track with interesting use of twin guitar harmonies.
As mentioned above, if you like Speed Metal or traditional Metal at ALL, pick up "Skeptics Apocalypse" or the follow-up "Unstoppable Force", this is grade A shit and needs to be heard. The End Records has this shit in stock so get on it juniors. There's some cool biographical stuff and liner notes by Juan Garcia on the remasters, which is a welcome bonus. (Online February 14, 2003)