Archive for Combat Records

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Agent Steel- Unstoppable Force

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2022 by 80smetalman

Thrash metal had definitely made its mark in 1987 as it seemed that thrash bands were coming out from everywhere. Combat Records, the record company which ruled 1986, was still turning out thrash bands in the following year. Some were great, other so-so. One of these was Agent Steel with their second album, “Unstoppable Force.”

“Unstoppable Force” isn’t a bad album, the problem is that because thrash bands were everywhere by this time, it suffers from the ‘it’s all been done before’ syndrome. There is little to make this album stand out among the best. However, this does not mean that this album is in any ways not a good album. While I say that there is little to make it stand out, it’s still better than nothing at all. One standout aspect is the vocals of John Cyriis. His vocal style is similar to that of Joey Belladonna in some regards but when he goes for the high notes, he hits and holds them at the highest level. The other pleasure of this album is the shredding of guitarists Juan Garcia and Bernie Versailles as they play some brilliant solos.

The first three tracks on the album as just in your face thrash metal tracks, good but otherwise unremarkable. It is the fourth track, “Chosen to Stay.” which really stands out. Although my first thought upon hearing it was, “Here’s another song which has an acoustic intro before going hardcore thrash.” However, it is done extremely well along with John’s over the top vocals and some great shredding. It’s not only the best track on the album but livens things up for the next few tracks.

“Still Searchin'” has a great metal intro and is more mid paced metal than thrash or speed metal. It’s a good change of pace and again, the shredding makes the song. “Rager” is appropriately named as it is one powerful frenzy of a song. Following on is the instrumental “The Day at Guyana.” Not a thrash song but there are many good power chords and some rather intriguing guitar work goes on here. Full marks to Juan and Bernie for wanting to stretch out. Also noteworthy is Chuck Profus’s drumming on the track. But the album ends like it begins with two thrashing but unremarkable tracks, though “Traveler” is probably the best song suited for a closer. That’s probably because it has a King Diamond feel to it.

Track Listing:

  1. Unstoppable Force
  2. Never Surrender
  3. Indestructive
  4. Chosen to Stay
  5. Still Searchin’
  6. Rager
  7. The Day at Guyana
  8. Nothin’ Left
  9. Traveller
Agent Steel

John Cyriis- vocals

Bernie Versailles- guitar

Juan Garcia- guitar

Michael Zaputil- bass

Chuck Profus- drums

If I had written this post in 1987, some would say that it would have been a prophecy because Agent Steel broke up the following year. It’s a shame to see any good band dissolve because while I stand by the ‘all done before’ remark about this album, I think that if allowed to mature, then Agent Steel might have gone onto greater glories.

Next post: Dokken- Back for the Attack

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

I am also slightly disappointed that nobody seems to be signing my petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted. To do so click the link : https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson