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Skelator - Agents Of Power Award winner

Agents Of Power
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 13 August 2012, 8:23 PM

It is not that I have been roaming in a sort of a crusade after the true 80s US Metal band, but when one comes to my tight grasp, who am I to say that I would be thrilled about it. I found out about the SKELATOR back in the 2008. I had the opportunity to review the same year’s compilation of demos named “Time Of The Sword Rulers” that pretty much gave me the idea of what this band can do and what went on with their material since their early demos of 2000. “Time Of The Sword Rulers” showed me a confident team of 80s Metal fans that immersed themselves with epic legends to the side of motivational pro-Metal chants. The bright echoes of MANOWAR, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and HELSTAR smeared the air with their grace and of course never left my ears for a long time. Four years passed and like a clock SKELATOR released their third album “Agents Of Power” to consume the modern scene that has been straying through the Metal world. Their sound and approach maybe outdated, but that is the beauty of it and the source for all the riches that this album bestows. Though I haven’t listened to the debut “Death To All Nations”, I was glad to notice that the whole lineup stayed intact but also knew what I am about to face on “Agents Of Power”
The “Agents Of Power” album can be divided into two uneven halves mastered by Epic Speed and Heavy Metal inspired by the old school gods. The first four songs are standalone songs in the spirit of the 80s, some a bit loosen, some a bit more epic than the others. The next twelve numbers are a concept epic story on its own, probably inspired by the Elven kingdom tales as I noticed the titles of the Kinslayer and the Dragon Prince (Yes, once I was a sort of the “Dragonlance” fan myself, especially the first three books and the Elven tale stories of the twins). I presumed that SKELATOR made a sort of a mish mash with the stories to create a unified concept that would introduce the listener to their favored worlds of might and magic, a thought well done.

“Agents Of Power” gestured the kick start punching blow of the album with a Speed Metal oriented onslaught with great melodies and slamming riffs that only could have been conjured in the 80s. In addition, I must say that I missed Houston’s high pitched nasty shrieks and crude raspy finishes. On the other hand, “Gates of Thorbardin” topped its previous competitor while being heavier with a rather anthemic chorus, though I would have recorded additional channels to enhance its might, and a wonderful main semi-galloping riff at its side. After the second chorus there is a wonderful lead guitar solo section along with a cool rhythm guitar riff that reminded me something out of ICED EARTH’s “The Dark Saga”. Still it was enchanting. “Rhythm of the Chain” is the band’s encore out of the legend world and into what I figured as a little 80s Hard N’ Heavy burning that brought back sticky memories of MALICE and OBSESSION. This is an amazingly catchy song, one of the best on the album, especially because it is a twist out of what SKELATOR usually do on their songs. The Epic section of the album perched on several of great examples of great lyrics and amazing music. “Cymoril” was the most inspiring, though a ballad in its nature, the performance was top notch, and the ending lead guitar segment aided the whole drama of the chant to become unforgettable. “Rubbie And Ash”, the strong arm of Speed Metal in the legendary world, is SKELATOR’s storming with menace with a MANOWARish nature of “Hail And Kill” but with a much assorted music. “Elric: The Kinslayer” continues the speeding race and dragon rides across the vast lands. This short song might be speedy and crude but it holds the main peak of this entire story that is about Elric, and you guessed The Kinslayer, the dragon lord of destruction.

SKELATOR seemed to have been consistent with their way of making 80s inspired Metal. Their sound, atmosphere surrounding the songs and direction of music can only be compared to some of the greater gods of Metal music. It is amazing to know that they keep on clinging to the truest form of Metal. “Agents Of Power” is highly recommend, dash forward to purchase it from Metal On Metal Records.

4 Star Rating

1. Agents of Power
2. Gates of Thorbardin
3. Dream Dictator
4. Rhythm of the Chain
5. Overture
6. Elric: The Dragon Prince
7. Pulsing Cavern
8. Stormbringer and Mournblade
9. The Young Kingdoms
10. TheDark Tower
11. Cymoril
12. Rubble and Ash
13. Fate, the Dreadful Curse
14. Elric: The Kinslayer
15. Bane of the Black Sword
16. Outro
Jason Conde-Houston- Vocals
Robbie "the" Houston- Guitars
Rob Steinway- Guitars
Zach "Arnold" Palmer- Bass
Patrick Seick- Drums
Record Label: Metal On Metal Records


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Edited 13 August 2020

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