Omega Conspiracy

Agent Steel

Metal Blade Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Agent Steel is the kind of band who sometimes make you think that some groups still worship the style of '80s metal... yet they also make you believers in it as well. So what if it's the new millennium, so long as the music constantly kicks ass?

Agent Steel has indeed done this on their latest disc Omega Conspiracy. Taking the lessons they learned from the bands they undoubtedly worshipped in the '80s (as well as from their own releases at that time), Juan Garcia and crew have created an album that is surprisingly accessible and enjoyable, even if you don't want to believe that such a thing is possible... isn't that right, Mulder and Scully?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band - guitarists Garcia and Bernie Versailles, vocalist Bruce Hall, bassist Karlos Medina an drummer Chuck Profus - have more than a retro metal glint to their musical blade, taking lessons from such bands as Overkill and Judas Priest for their own musical attack. (Note that I'm not saying they stole anything from these bands... I get enough hate mail as it is.) But what sets Agent Steel apart is that they're not only able to bring this sound into the 21st Century, but that they're able to make it sound fresh.

You want proof of this supposed alien form of music life? (God, it's amazing how many X-Files references you can make when you review an album that has an alien on the cover.) Just check out tracks like "Know Your Master," "Into The Nowhere," "Bleed Forever" and "Illuminati Is Machine". Fact is, there's not a single bad track on Omega Conspiracy - something which is a rarity in the world of metal.

Agent Steel is even able to repay their musical debt to Judas Priest with a cover of "Beyond The Realms Of Death," which is a bonus track on the U.S. release. (The track was taken from a Judas Priest tribute album that Agent Steel worked on.) To their credit, the band stays close to the bone, and makes sure that their version stands on its own while maintaining a respect for the original version.

Agent Steel know that the truth is out there - namely, the truth in regards to how to make a retro metal album sound incredibly fresh. Omega Conspiracy is the alpha dog in that quest, and will easily find its way into permanent rotation on your CD player... and there's no mystery surrounding why that is.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.