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Assassin's Blade - Agents of Mystification

Assassin's Blade
Agents of Mystification
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 May 2016, 7:14 AM

ASSASSIN’S BLADE is a Heavy Speed Metal band, with members from both Canada and Sweden. Formed in 2014, this is the band’s debut album, containing eleven songs. The title track, “Agents of Mystification,” is the opening song. It’s a mid-tempo song with Classic and Power Metal leanings. The main riff is a bit on the thin side for me. The vocals are heavy with vibrato and there is a constant tug and pull from minor to major chords that have an odd connection. “Herostratos” falls more into Classic Metal or NWOBHM, with the vocal peaks reminding me of old JUDAS PRIEST or KING DIAMOND. I don’t get much of a Speed Metal vibe until “The Demented Force, which is somewhat quicker and shorter in length. Speed and Thrash Metal are often interchangeable terms but in this case you would not mistake this for Thrash Metal. The vocal range is on full display here and probably remains the best part of the album.
 
“Dreadnought” slows things down considerably with the bass guitar parts being more prominent and a thudding, pounding rhythm and overall dark sound that does not veer into the light. “Autumn Serenade” is the first song that employs dual guitar harmonies in the riff, though they are short lived. This combined with some galloping triplets reminds me of the NWOBHM for sure. “Transgression” rolls with some speed for sure, but only in comparison to some of the earlier song and probably not enough for me to call it Speed Metal per se. “Crucible of War” is another slower song that cues on minor chords and an impending battle. The vocal highs are carried out like a rally cry, as if the song was an anthem for one side of a gathering army. “Frosthammer” is a good companion or continuation of the earlier track, perhaps focusing on the weapon that might turn the tide.
 
“League of the Divine Wind” is the epic composition on the album, clocking in at over nine minutes. There isn’t a lot of lead-in before the vocals hit. Instead, there is a riff change near the four minute mark that picks up sound and pacing. It stays this way until all sounds but bass and vocals drop off around the seven minute mark. “Prophet’s Urn” is the closing track. The riff here has some more beef, along with a fitting guitar solo, and it’s a nice last song on the album. Overall I understand the nod to old-school Classic type metal, but it fell short in originality and memorability for me.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Agents of Mystification
2. Herostratos
3. The Demented Force
4. Dreadnought
5. Autumn Serenade
6. Transgression
7. Nowhere Riders
8. Crucible of War
9. Frosthammer
10. League of the Divine Wind
11. Prophet’s Urn
Lineup:
Peter Svensson – Bass
David Stranderund – Guitars
Jacques Belanger – Vocals
Marcus Rosenkvist – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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Edited 05 December 2020
 

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