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Classic Review: Agent Steel - Unstoppable Force
Agent Steel
www.agentsteelonline.com
Unstoppable Force

Label: Century Media
Year released: 1999
Duration: 39:10
Tracks: 9
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: March 23, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
for:
Unstoppable Force

Rated 4.55/5 (91%) (40 Votes)
Review


Agent Steel are one of those bands whose discography I have in my collection but to which I've never given due attention. Shame on me. "Unstoppable Force" is the successor to the highly-acclaimed "Skeptics Apocalypse" and has always suffered from the comparison, making it a bit of an underrated classic. Overall the album is a mix of thrash and speed metal, with the emphasis on the speed aspect while the thrash sound sticks to some select appearances, with even a bit of a more straightforward heavy metal moments creeping in here and there. There are a lot of similarities with some classic bands in there (which back then were pretty much in their prime) - think of a chaotic-yet-clean mix of Metallica (first three albums), Maiden (first two), Priest (early 80s) and the early Kreator stuff and you get this. The beginning of the song "Never Surrender" sounds a lot like Maiden's "Running Free" - I wonder if they realised that at the time! :)

The vocals might take a bit of getting used to, when it's not a love-or-hate situation. Very high pitched, a bit like a mix of Rob Halford and Bobby Lucas (Overlorde-era.) There's next to no low pitched vocals here - even the closing power ballad "Traveler" is mostly sung with relatively high pitched vocals), so some people might be turned off by the style. Personally I found the vocals a bit annoying at first, but after a couple of listens I quickly grew accustomed to them.

While the album is pretty fast-paced, the closer "Traveler" comes to the rescue and gives some breathing room for your heart to catch up with the insane headbanging induced by the previous songs. It took me a while to get used to having that song end the album, I usually don't like slow-paced stuff like this as the closer, but the song is pretty damn good and, well, I just got over it. :) All in all, one damn fine speed/thrash album that never got the recognition it deserves. Highly recommended.

Additional Information

Originally released in 1987 on Combat Records


Track Listing:
  1. Unstoppable Force
  2. Never Surrender
  3. Indestructive
  4. Chosen to Stay
  5. Still Searchin'
  6. Rager
  7. The Day at Guyana
  8. Nothin' Left
  9. Traveler
Other related information on the site
Review: Alienigma (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Alienigma (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Omega Conspiracy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Order Of The Illuminati (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Skeptics Apocalypse (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Juan Garcia (guitars) on July 7, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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