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Masters Of Metal
From Worlds Beyond
Released: 2015, Metalville
I find it mildly annoying when politics, commerce and legalities get in the way of the continuity and success of a band. Unfortunately, it seems all three factors have conspired against Agent Steel.
Masters of Metal is basically Agent Steel. Every current band member of Masters Of Metal was at one time in Agent Steel. Three quarters of the current Masters Of Metal were on the last Agent Steel album. The band even took their name from an Agent Steel lyric. Why not call a spade a spade? However, life doesn’t always work that way…so we go from Agent Steel to Order Of The Illuminati back to Agent Steel and now onto Masters Of Metal.
Following up on a low-key EP in 2013, Masters of Metal released their debut FROM WORLDS BEYOND in the fall of 2015 and thankfully no matter what you call it a leopard doesn’t change it spots. The logo looks kind of like the Agent Steel font. The album art and lyrics are in line with Agent Steel stuff, all aliens and Sci-fi etc. These are all very positive points! The 11-track debut runs 47 minutes and is an excellent slice of classic American Metal. On vocals longtime member and founder Bernie Versailles handles the vocals, very well I might add, as he is not normally primarily known for being a singer. He handles the role very well. He has a decent range, some grit and gruffness but he can hit a few high notes too! The last track on the album has James Rivera as guest vocalist, which is cool because this is the line-up I saw perform on 70,000 Tons of Metal.
The pace is largely fast walking that fine line between speed and power and thrash, not too many bands can stand with one foot in both camps so effortlessly, perhaps Vicious Rumors bring one of the few others. Are Masters Of Metal thrash? Are they Power Metal? It is almost on a song-by-song basis. A track like 'Evolution Of Being' is pure thrash. 'Tomb Of Ra' is pure American Metal. They mix it all well. The songs are all well–written and more than ably performed by the veterans and most of them are in the 4-5 minute range, good choruses and good solos not too many complex or fancy arrangements. The solos rip, how could they not, and the rest of the band keep things surging long very well.
I didn’t see as much hype or press about this album, it could be an untimely coincidence that FROM WORLDS BEYOND came out the same week as the Metal Allegiance project on Nuclear Blast with all those guest stars. They share a similar title, a similar album cover (if you squint) but FROM WORLDS BEYOND was on a small label so did it get buried (unintentionally) or just missed? Who knows, but more fans of true Metal should know about this great album. I won't say 'underrated' as much as under-exposed. I hope more people have time to enjoy the work of these veterans who always carry on the fight.
2. World Left in Cinders
3. Third Eye
4. Tomb of Ra
6. The Mindless
7. M.K. Ultra
8. Into the Vortex
9. Doors Beyond Our Galaxy
10. Evolution of Being
11. Vengeance & Might
Bernie Versailles Guitar, Vocals
Juan Garcia Guitar
Robert Cardenas Bass
Rigo Amezcua Drums
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