Agent Steel is a California thrash band that debuted in 1985. While their material was great quality, they never really obtained the popularity achieved by bands of similar talent. The band broke up after their third album, Unstoppable Force. Twelve years later, in 1999, the band reformed with most of the original members to record The Omega Conspiracy. Now in 2003, they've released their fifth album, Order of the Illuminati. New drummer Rigo Amezcua and bassist Karl Medina provide a strong rhythm section. Juan Garcia and Bernie Versailles' guitars offer complexity that would make nu-metal bands whimper, although they're a bit more basic than The Omega Conspiracy. Bruce Hall's vocals are strong yet very dynamic, a welcome breath of fresh air in today's synthesized cookie-monster style mediocrity. Together they stay true to the old-school while integrating a modern punch that shows that these metal veterans know what they're doing. While I personally like The Omega Conspiracy better, Agent Steel's latest effort is strong all around with no skip-worthy tracks.
The new album also carries the message that the band has been trying to get through to you for years - you're being controlled and it's only going to get worse. Aliens, Illuminati, they're all out to get you. Don't laugh - metal bands have been saying this since the 80's and what may have seemed outrageous then is happening today. So open up your mind - and open up your ears to Order of the Illuminati.