In the second half of the ’80s, Agent Steel was one of the candidates for becoming a really big metal act. The debut ‘Sceptics Apocalypse’ was critically acclaimed and also the sophomore album ‘Unstoppable Force’ was very welcomed in the ’80s metal scene. Furthermore, the band was part of the legendary Metal Hammer Road Show, together with no less than Anthrax and Overkill.
Unfortunately Agent Steel wasn’t an ‘unstoppable force’ and things cooled down rapidly. Various line-up changes didn’t support continuity and therefor Agent Steel couldn’t reach the same heights as their Metal Hammer Road Show companions.
However, next to the two longplayers in the ’80s, Agent Steel released an EP too. ‘Mad Locust Rising’ was published in 1986 via Music For Nation and features three songs plus an intro. The release could bridge the waiting time for the second album and starts with ‘The Swarm is Upon Us’ and the 16 seconds intro leads to the title track. ‘Mad Locust Rising’ is one of the best speed metal tracks the band released. Furious guitars, a merciless pace and John Cyriis are the main pillars of Agent Steel’s sound and this anthem includes it all.
The B-side begins with ‘The Ripper’. The quintet covered the Judas Priest classic, which results in a cool version of this timeless metal hymn. Agent Steel sticks very much to the original, still their version gets an own touch and is a well-done interpretation.
Last but not least it’s ‘Let it be Done / The Day at Guyana’, being the last track in this 12″. Listening to this EP shows the great potential Agent Steel had as a band and although the guys released three more longplayers later on and in different constellations, it’s the first two longplayers and this 12″ release that defined speed metal.
- The Swarm is Upon Us
- Mad Locust Rising
- The Ripper (Judas Priest cover)
- Let it be Done / The Day at Guyana
Label: Music For Nations
Genre: Speed Metal
Release Date: January 1986