JUSTIN METAL REVIEW W/C 20/8/07
AGENT STEEL / ALIENIGMA
If you ask any Metal fan to name half a dozen of the original Bay Area Thrasher, you would get all the usual name, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus or Testament, I doubt if anyone would mention Agent Steel, which is a shame as they are a good band but unfortunately were one of the bands that came in at the tail end of the phenomenon..
There seems to be a bit of a Thrash resurgence at the moment and I for one am glad about it, as long as it doesn’t get trendy as this has a habit of killing something off but Alienigma is a very strong, fine album. Musically they sound a bit like early Iron Maiden if they had been a Thrash Metal band, the speed riffs are tight, concise and full of energy that sweeps you away on a tide of Thrash Metal frenzy but its not all one dimensional, there are plenty of dynamics as well. Songs like “Wash The Planet Clean” and “Fashioned From Dust” could quite easily have been written during the original Thrash onslaught in the early 80’s and possesses all the power, energy and conviction that made Thrash Metal so exciting in the first place and a better compliment than that you can’t get.
Agent Steel have one thing that all the new Thrash Metal bands don’t have, a 20 year head start, this should stand them in good stead as they deserve a lot more success than they have had. Listen out for: “Liberty Lying Bleeding”, “Wormfood” and “Lamb To The Slaughter” all of which are Thrash anthems, if you like any of the bands above you will love this album, also check out “Sceptics Apocalypse” and “Mad Locust Rising” from their early days, essential listening.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 56 mins + 10 Storming TRACKS
MINISTRY / THE LAST SUCKER
When I first read about this CD it said it was the last Ministry album before they split up, this is now not the case as they are planning to release a covers album, (which I have to say will be interesting to say the least) so it’s the last but one but I have to say this is without doubt their best since Psalm 69, yes its that good.
From the first track “Lets Go” the band pull out all the stops, this is hard edged Industrial Metal with a real political bite to it, just as we like Ministry to be, on listen to “Death & Destruction” will leave to you totally convinced this is a real in depth look into the paranoia of the American psyche that pulls no punches and it rocks like a bitch as well. There is a cover of “Roadhouse Blues” with guest vocals from Amen front man Casey Chaos and totally rips this classic song to pieces and turns into a high energy Ministry song full of industrial angst, also listen out for “The Dick Song” which is a very caustic song about vice President Dick Cheney, there is also a track that features Burton C Bell from Fear Factory called “Die In A Crash” which is a full on industrialised Punk song and Burton also features on the two part end track, “End Of Days” the second part of which last for 10 minutes and is Ministry at their best and features a farewell speech from an ex president, not sure who it is though but its very apt, not only for the current world political situation but also for the departing Ministry.
Also listen out for; “No Glory”, the paranoid “Watch Yourself”; “The Last Sucker” and “Life Is Good”. I hope they get to tour with this album as all of the songs will be killers live, I have to say that I am looking forward to the covers album with great interest if the “Roadhouse Blues” track is anything to go by it will be amazing, if you ever liked Ministry you will want to own this and if your not too sure about them, this will convince you, if nothing else, essential purchase.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 57 mins + 11 Brilliant TRACKS