Agent Steel

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

“2019 was a dream for me when it came to reviews: nearly 20% of the albums I covered were released by bands within 150 miles of my house, and of those several can be found in my own Puget Sound area of Western Washington. Quayde LaHüe and Mortiferum impressed me, and the now infamous “Skelator Incident” induced heretofore unseen levels of arousal and nearly resulted in my actual firing from this site. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the temptation to grab the debut of Seattle’s Sölicitör.” Criminal sölicitatiön.

Metalian – Vortex Review

Metalian – Vortex Review

“Canada is in the midst of a speed metal renaissance at the moment, with bands like Skull Fist and Riot City blazing burning pathways back to the 80s. Now you can add Metalian to the backward focused mob rush. Their third opus Vortex is a shameless throwback dose of speed mixed with traditional and NWoBHM ideas, designed and executed to sound totally natural in 1984. That means tossing Agent Steel, Razor and Judas Priest in a burlap sack and shaking furiously to see what happens.” Dad metal happens.

Riot City – Burn the Night Review

Riot City – Burn the Night Review

“Before one can burn the night, one must first own the night. That’s exactly what Riot City set out to do on their rip roaring retro 80s metal debut. Properly done, retro metal is synonymous with unbridled enthusiasm, fun, and a middle finger to all authority everywhere. It should overflow like a latrine at a 4-day metal festival with in-your-face riffs, pounding drums, and vocals higher than Colorado post-2014. Nuance, subtly and restraint all must be forsaken and expunged and animal spirits embraced. Riot City know these truisms and live them as they rock hard and ride free like the 80s never ended.” Burning the midnight steel.

Armory – The Search Review

Armory – The Search Review

“Before the thrash explosion of the 80s truly took off under the guidance of rising stars like Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, there was its ugly predecessor, speed metal. Basically, traditional metal played faster, speed metal often approximated the sound of a record spinning at the wrong speed. It was a loose, unrefined and fun style often lacking the hard-edge of thrash. I was sad to see it all but die out by 1987, and Sweden’s Armory apparently feel the same way, so they painstakingly recreated the speed metal sound on their sophomore outing, The Search.” Speed still kills.

Masters of Disguise – Alpha/Omega Review

Masters of Disguise – Alpha/Omega Review

“Hey look, the weirdest inside joke in all of metal is still going strong. Backstory: Masters of Disguise is a throwback speed metal act living and breathing to pay homage to a particularly obscure band from the 80s called Savage Grace. Who, you ask? Exactly. They were a good band but barely got any traction or notoriety despite a pretty solid outing with 1986s After the Fall From Grace. Now Masters of Disguise (named after Grace‘s debut album) seek to revive their hero’s nonexistent legacy due to some highly tenuous ties to the original singer.” First Will and Grace comes back and now Savage Grace too?

Sacred Steel – Heavy Metal Sacrifice Review

Sacred Steel – Heavy Metal Sacrifice Review

“In the rich annals of metal bands crossing over into unintentional parody, Sacred Steel looms large. The perpetually over-the-top cheese fueled trve metal warriors led by “unorthodox” vocalist Gerrit P. Mutz have been pounding on the doors of the Great Hall ov Great Metal demanding entrance since 1997 only to be met with a shrug and a “No Solicitation” sign. But ignore them at your peril, for they’re as relentless as they are comical.” In trvth there is pain.

Enforcer – From Beyond Review

Enforcer – From Beyond Review

“The classic 80s metal sound will never go away, because bands like Enforcer still live, breathe and eat that stuff. Their entire career has been spent chasing the closest approximation to early 80s speed metal as humanly possible and when they nail it, it stays pretty damn nailed.” It’s time for your required dose of old school metal, so open up and say…Enforcer!

Alpha Tiger – iDentity Review

Alpha Tiger – iDentity Review

“In the recesses of my chrome and iron 80s heart, I have endless affection for the early Fates Warning albums like The Specter Within and Awaken the Guardian. They just don’t make classy, traditional metal like that anymore and I wish more retro noodle heads would turn their gaze back to that golden era of metal and give it a go.” What’s new, pussy cat? Quite a bit, actually.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Body Count – Manslaughter

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Body Count – Manslaughter

“June 10th, 2014: I looked out of my window and saw pigs flying, and shortly thereafter received a text from Satan asking why Hell just froze over. Suddenly I remembered that Ice-T’s rap metal outfit Body Count had just released Manslaughter, so I grabbed hold of one of the aforementioned pigs and flew to my local record store to pick up a copy. Upon hearing Manslaughter in its entirety, I texted Satan the answer to his question: “because a great rap metal album was released in 2014.”” There goes the neighborhood, again!

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

“As a wise man named Mr. Fisting Himself once observed, the latest trend in metal is finding the most obscure acts from the past and repackaging them as underground, cult and cool, or to quote the man Himself, embarking on “the slow journey up it’s own ass.” Taking part in this mining mission to Uranus, Masters of Disguise is a band wholly created to pay homage to the extremely under known mid 80s speed metal act Savage Grace. Whom, you ask? Exactly.” Talk about wallowing in obscurity! These guys are so far up metal’s ass they may never be seen again, but I thought the same thing about their progenitor too.