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Back from the fucking dead!!! - 88%

UltraBoris, August 14th, 2002

This is the best Agent Steel yet. There is a definite sense of coherence on this album that wasn't there on the previous two. Also, new singer Bruce Hall adds an extra dimension to the band. John Cyriis was very good, but pretty much his thing was shrieking. Bruce Hall can shriek and he actually has a singing voice that's different and complementary to the shrieking.

This is for the most part speed metal, though there are a few power-metal and thrash moments here, including some well-placed ballads, like "Bleed Forever". For the most part, the faster songs tend to define the album, like "Destroy the Hush", and "Know Your Master". The riffs are absolutely top-notch here: while the past two derived influence from Defenders of the Faith, this one is all out Painkiller at times! The best song here is the (non-bonus-track) album closer, "It's Not What You Think" which nicely sums up the atmosphere of the entire album, and completes what they were going for with the previous few tracks. That's what is great about this album - the dynamic content. The old Agent Steel somehow didn't get this one right: "Still Searching" was their attempt at a ballad, and it just wasn't up to par with "Agents of Steel" or "The Rager", etc etc... this time, they get everything right on this album. It's tough to accomplish, so some bands should never try it, but if you succeed, more power to you.

Oh yes, the US version comes with a very nicely done cover of "Beyond the Realms of Death". The guitar tone and Bruce Hall's vocals make this one fit in with the rest quite nicely. A highly recommended album, the best Steel!