without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Back in the eighties, Agent Steel was seen by a lot of people as "the next big thing", which they might have just become if it wasn't for some strange decisions made by their strange singer John Cyriis. However, "Iron Maiden on speed", a term which I believe UK's Metal Forces introduced for these guys, made two stellar Metal albums and a good EP in the eighties, but after the second one ('Unstoppable Force', 1986), John Cyriis moved to Florida with the band (according to himself because he wanted to live closer to the Bermuda Triangle), where the band died away silently.
The year is 1998, drummer and founding member Chuck Profus and long time guitarist Juan Garcia are playing in a band together and suddenly come up with the idea to start up Agent Steel again. Guitar god Bernie Versailles was contacted and wanted to do it, as was bassist Mike Zaputil, but John Cyriis was unfindable at the time. A replacement was found in Bruce Hall, who played in Sybil with Bernie Versailles. In that lineup, the band played Wacken Open Air in 1999. Mike Zaputil left the band shortly after that, but a replacement was soon found in Karlos Medina, who played in Evildead and Terror with Juan Garcia.
Now, the year is 1999 and 'Omega Conspiracy', the first album of the reunited Agent Steel is released and my god...what an album it became! From the first notes of the awesome opener 'Destroy The Hush' until the last notes of 'It's Not What You Think' fade away, the album seems to be one of the most complete Metal albums ever to be released. Most old school fans probably miss the wailing vocals of John Cyriis (Bruce Hall does the vocals a little lower), but I personally think Bruce's vocals fit this new style of Agent Steel, where songs are more important than actual speed, perfectly!
Why is this album so complete then? Well, in songs like 'Destroy The Hush', 'Illuminati Is Machine' and 'Know Your Master', the band comes out surprisingly thrashy, while there are also typical Speed/Power Metal songs ('Infinity', 'New Godz') and epic songs ('Awaken The Swarm', 'It's Not What You Think'), while the ballad 'Bleed Forever' is in every aspect as good as 'Traveller' from 'Unstoppable Force'.
Basically, the entire album is one big highlight, but there is one song I'd like to point out especially and that is the breath taking Heavy Metal song 'Into The Nowhere'...this is how whoever created Heavy Metal meant it! The intense riffing, the powerful vocals, the beautiful solos...not to forget the incredibly deep lyrics. The structure of the song is beautiful and even though I am probably going to face a lot of resistance stating this: I think 'Into The Nowhere' is the best Heavy Metal song ever written.
There is only one right advice about this album: go out and buy it damnit! Everything is right about this album; the guitar duo Juan Garcia and Bernie Versailles is most likely the most amazing you will ever hear in Heavy Metal, the songs are intense and powerful, as are the vocals...'Omega Conspiracy' was the first proof that Agent Steel knows how to represent Heavy Metal in the 21st century. Oh and hey, while you're at it...get the follow-up 'Order Of The Illuminati' as well!