Agents of Power
SKELATOR

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SKELATOR - Agents of Power cover
4.00 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Tracklist

1. Agents of Power (4:52)
2. Gates of Thorbardin 05:30
3. Dream Dictator (6:15)
4. Rhythm of the Chain (4:15)
5. Overture (Instrumental) (4:18)
6. Elric: The Dragon Prince (5:15)
7. Pulsing Cavern (0:34)
8. Stormbringer and Mournblade (2:49)
9. The Young Kingdoms (1:29)
10. The Dark Tower (3:27)
11. Cymoril (3:47)
12. Rubble and Ash (4:01)
13. Fate, the Dreadful Curse (1:59)
14. Elric: The Kinslayer (1:52)
15. Bane of the Black Sword (6:16)
16. Outro (2:21)

Total Time 58:52

Line-up/Musicians

- Zach Palmer / Bass
- Jason Conde-Houston / Vocals
- Patrick Seick / Drums
- Robbie Houston / Guitars
- Rob Steinway / Guitars

About this release

Metal on Metal Records, April 27th, 2012

Songs 5-16 is a concept story titled "Elric: The Dragon Prince (A Tale of Tragic Destiny in 12 Parts)", based on Michael Moorcock's tales.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition

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SKELATOR AGENTS OF POWER reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Agents of Power" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US heavy metal act Skelator. The album was released through Metal on Metal Records in April 2012. Skelator were formed in 1998 and released a couple of demos and EPs before releasing their debut full-length studio album "Give Me Metal or Give Me Death " in 2008.

The band initially started out playing a more speed metal oriented style, but on "Agents of Power" the music is through and through traditional heavy metal. There are several references in the music to two of the greats of the genre in Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but Skelator aren´t as such clones. They just use elements of the two band´s sound and combine them with their own take on traditional heavy metal. Not completely unlike a lot of other artists in the genre. So you´ll be treated to melodic harmony guitars and heavy riffing, galloping rhythms, fantasy lyrics, and a lead vocalist that can both deliver higher pitched epic singing and slightly more raw ditto. There´s also an occcasional nod towards folk rock/metal in the band´s sound.

"Agents of Power" features 16 tracks where the first 4 tracks on the album are individual tracks and the remaining tracks form a concept story titled "Elric: The Dragon Prince (A Tale of Tragic Destiny in 12 Parts)", based on science fiction and fantasy writer Michael Moorcock's tales about the antihero character of Elric and his fateful symbiosis with the Stormbringer sword. The concept works pretty well with some spoken narrative between the more "regular" heavy metal tracks. It´s all very epic and probably a bit cheesy to some listeners, but Skelator are relatively convincing at what they do.

The album features a decent sounding production (the bass drums aren´t that well sounding though), and both the musicianship and the songwriting are of relatively high standards, so overall "Agents of Power" is a quality traditional heavy metal release by Skelator. They lack that last originality to elevate them to an even higher level, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.
adg211288
Agents of Power is the third full-length album by US heavy/speed metal act Skelator. The album was released in 2012. Agents of Power notably features a twelve part suite of songs entitled Elric: The Dragon Prince (A Tale of Tragic Destiny in 12 Parts), based on the work of British fantasy/science fiction author Michael Moorcock.

There’s definitely something of a cheesy factor about Skelator that is pretty evident right from the off, even before you’ve heard them with a name like that I guess. However, when you’re making heavy metal of the epic kind that Skelator does you can not only get away with it, but it’s also what makes the music just that extra bit special. Agents of Power feels so unashamed of its cheese factor that it revels in it. Agents of Power, I would go as far to say, is one of the most epic traditional heavy metal albums of the year, not to mention, one of the best.

Of course, traditional heavy metal is not the only aspect of Skelator’s sound. We also have a good portion of speed metal on offer, which spices up the music with, as obvious as it is to say it, speedier and more intense sections compared to the more melodic traditional metal. The band proves equally capable at both styles. The high pitched vocals of Jason Conde-Houston may not, I guess, be for everyone but for me they only add to the overall charm of the epic nature of the band’s take on fantasy inspired heavy metal.

And about that fantasy inspiration, the Elric: The Dragon Prince (A Tale of Tragic Destiny in 12 Parts) suite may just be one of the most adventurous things I’ve heard out of a metal album (that at least wasn’t a progressive or avant-garde metal album) all year. Merging that traditional and speed metal riff attack with non-metal sections, spoken words and instrumental passages, which includes great guitar leads and melodies, into the twelve sections, the suite is easily the album’s crowning achievement. Although presented as twelve tracks it’s essentially one long epic song that lasts for about thirty-eight minutes. With this, it’s actually easy for forget that the album has four shorter and more direct songs to offer at the start of the album, but they are really just as good and epic as the suite and shouldn’t be overlooked by any means.

I hadn’t heard Skelator’s music prior to this release and now having experienced Agents of Power the only conclusion I can draw is that was to my great loss, and I recommend that anyone in the same boat as I was quickly rectify the situation, as Skelator is a band that are clearly masters of their craft and an exceptional grade rating is deserved for Agents of Power.

92/100

(originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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