15 January 2013

Pointless video post - ‘Unstoppable Force’, ‘144,000 Gone’ and ‘Hail to the Chief’ by Agent Steel; and ‘Calculation Towers’ by Stygma IV

And now, in the ‘really awesome music older than I am’ category:

It’s Agent Steel, one of the greatest speed-thrash bands ever to grace the Earth, specialising in science-fiction, conspiracy-theory and deep-political type songs in the 1980’s. Their last album, 2007’s Alienigma, was more of a deviation into the dark and discordant style of power metal pioneered by the likes of Nevermore, and the subject matter of the songs changed slightly to match:

And then there is Stygma IV, a progressive power metal band from Salzburg which (conversely to Agent Steel) spent its career flirting with thrash from the other side of the continuum, as evinced by the tectonic ‘Calculation Towers’ here (the opening track to their 2002 album The Human Twilight Zone):

Stygma IV sadly broke up when their drummer’s back problems got too bad for him to play anymore, but the founding members Günter Maier and Alexander Hilzensauer are currently playing in a band called Crimson Cult which for the most part does this same sort of power metal: thick, heavy, doomy riffs riding over thrashy and traditional heavy metal rhythms. Really enjoyable stuff.

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