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Agent Steel - Order of the Illuminati

Label: Artillery Music
Format: CD
Released: 2003
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

L.A.’s Agent Steel's beginnings go back to 1985 with their first release. On this current work they maintain their formula for high energy speed metal. In the timeless tradition of most speed metallers, the disc is filled with crushing riffs, guitar harmonies and battering arrangements.

The band have a nice balance between melody and relentless pounding, for example the track "Insurrection". It starts off acoustically and quiet, like the calm before the storm, with singer Bruce Hall laying down smooth lyrics to accompany the mood. As the song progresses, it gradually gets more forceful till it hits a speed metal assault filled with smoking leads. Opening track "Avenger" sets the mood with great movement and flow, also has a stylish guitar solo.

Like other great thrash/speed bands, Agent Steel create well formulated metal where the listener is attacked with plenty of continuous pounding rhythm sections, then complimented by melodious breaks that include hard, but distinguishable vocals.
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