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AGENT STEEL - Skeptics Apocalypse (12" LP)

United States | Thrash/Power/Speed
Price Range:   $19.85 - $29.99
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An album of such musical brilliance as 'Skeptics Apocalypse' is only written once in a decade (or two). For Agent Steel it surely was a once-in-a-lifetime record.

Agent Steel was formed in Los Angeles in 1984 by John Cryiis (vocals), Juan Garcia (guitar), Kurt Kilfelt (guitar), George Robb (bass) and Chuck Profus (drums). A deal with Combat Records was sealed and Agent Steel lost no time to record their eponymous debut album 'Skeptics Apocalypse'. It was released in 1985 on Combat in the United States of America, being licensed by Roadrunner for continental Europe.

'Skeptics Apocalypse' (the working title of the record was 'Operation Redeye') must easily rate as one of the Top 10 US Speed Metal albums of all time, thanks to the outstanding guitar work of Juan Garcia and Kurt Kilfelt as well as the unique vocal approach of John Cyriis (the self-acclaimed Steven Spielberg of heavy metal). Songs such as "144,000 Gone" or "Agents Of Steel" developed into eternal speed metal classics and were covered by numerous bands over the coming decades. A lot of the lyrics on 'Skeptics Apocalypse' dealt with a possible alien invasion. In interviews Cyriis himself often made the impression that he was not of this world either - nurturing speculations that he is a member of some secret cult (or sect). Those rumours have refused to die and are still talked about today.

After the album had been released, Agent Steel performed live in Europe, bringing US Speed Metal to Germany (for the very first time). Along with Overkill and Anthrax, Agent Steel appeared in Hamburg, Osnabruck, Munich, Bochum and Berlin (at the legendary Quartier Latin club). The gig at the Zeche in Bochum was attended by 900 fans and a full-length live video was shot.

The original Agent Steel released two more records, a mini-album entitled 'Mad Locust Rising' (1986) and the second album 'Unstoppable Force' (also in 1986), but were not able to re-capture the intensity of their legendary debut album 'Skeptics Apocalypse'.

Matthias Mader

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