Agent Steel - No Other Godz Before Me review


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Band: Agent Steel
Album: No Other Godz Before Me
Release date: March 2021

01. Passage To Afron-V
02. Crypts Of Galactic Damnation
03. No Other Godz Before Me
04. Trespassers
05. The Devil's Greatest Trick
06. Sonata Cosmica
07. Veterans Of Disaster
08. Carousel Of Vagrant Souls
09. The Incident
10. Outer Space Connection
11. Entrance To Afron-V

"May The Schwartz Be With You."

Agent Steel have always been on the *ahem* outer reaches of thrash and speed metal, a band who built a reputation on the backs of formidable releases such as the oft overlooked gems Skeptics Apocalypse and Unstoppable Force, which focus heavily on themes of extraterrestrial life. The on-and-off-again status of the band has seen Agent Steel struggle to gain traction since their 80's heydays, but, having reformed once more, this time with frontman John Cyriis as the sole remaining member from prior line-ups, the band hope to hit terra firma once more.

To get it out of the way first and foremost, as it is the most immediate and biggest thing you will notice when you hit play, we should discuss Cyriis' vocals on the album. Good God(z), what the hell happened to them? His powerful and unique vocals are replaced with a nasally, poorly distorted voice that sings with some of the most left-field cadences, such that it only serves to make him sound so, well, alien. I went into this album with an open mind and wondering what the new-look band would sound like, but I was so blindsided by the vocals that it took several listens before I could really digest what was going on. Wait until you reach the second track "Crypts Of Galactic Damnation" and you will recognise what I am on about.

With that elephant in the room addressed, we can shift attention to the rest of the album. No Other Godz Before Me is a good album that is hampered severely by its vocals; while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, it takes it for a fun spin, which is more than can be said for quite a few bands who reunite with only one former member. The highlights of this album are the tracks "Veterans Of Disaster" and "Outer Space Connection", where Cyriis' vocals actually fit; the more traditional enunciations and lack of distortion are something I wish had been put to use elsewhere, but instead it is just a welcome respite for two tracks. Couple this with the fun and tight thrash the rest of the band offer and you have glimpses of what Agent Steel are still capable of, with them not relying solely on name recognition.

The new-look Agent Steel form a solid musical backbone that are sadly let down by some generic song writing; tracks like "Sonata Cosmica" feature some interesting solos and will get your blood pumping with the high-octane 'foot to the floor' sound. However, this song does little to separate them from their competition; sadly, if they were as creative as some of Cyriis' vocals parts are then No Other Godz Before Me would be another beast entirely.

The sound of the album is a mixed bag, vocals aside; while the guitars are solid when soloing, they sound a bit thin when playing the rhythm parts, losing much of their power for stretches that see the tracks lull as a result. The drums and bass get a raw deal also, with "Carousel Of Vagrant Souls" featuring tinny and reverb-drenched drums alongside a bass that is only occasionally audible when it can cut through the space between the rest of the band.

If you can put the vocals to one side then you have a mildly enjoyable album in No Other Godz Before Me; while Agent Steel aren't pushing the boundaries they at least make a case for returning once more that doesn't solely rest on their past glories. When you consider the album as a whole? You have a collection of songs that come with a hell of a predication if you are to listen to them, and not all of them are worth it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 6


Written on 26.03.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 6 users
09.04.2021 - 04:45

This album is over the top i wonder how Cyriis is gonna pull off these over produced vocals live

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