Thursday, March 24, 2016

Assassin's Blade-Agents of Mystification

Pure Steel Records

Lead by one-time Exciter front-man Jacques Bélanger*, Assassin's Blade is a new heavy metal/power metal band whose members hail from both Canada and Sweden. With a run-time that exceeds the fifty minute mark, "Agents of Mystification" is Assassin's Blade's solid-enough debut and it finds lead singer Jacques Bélanger joined by bassist/song writer/lyricist Peter Svensson (Cult of the Fox, Goatess, Void Moon, Stonegriff (live), ex-Cross Bow, ex-Devil Lee Rot, ex-Trap**), guitarist/song writer David Stranderud (Instigator, ex-Disaffection, ex-Devil Lee Rot, ex-Portrait, ex-Autopsy Torment, ex-Cross Bow) and drummer Marcus Rosenkvist (Void Moon, ex-Indemnity). Author Janne Stark*** (Constancia, Locomotive Breath, Mountain of Power, Overdrive, Planet Alliance, ex-Overheat, ex-Balls, ex-Paradize, ex-Zello) provides lead solos on much of  "Agents of Mystification", but otherwise those are the key players at work on Assassin's Blade's first outing. On this recommended METAL release we find lead singer Jacques Bélanger (vocally) moving back and forth between Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson while his teammates effortlessly work their way through some devilishly-dark material that is as menacing as it it maniacal! Musically-speaking the majority of "Agents of Mystification" is either A) A slick, lean and mean Exciter that is all about traditional heavy metal and dark metal! or B) A  far-heavier  Judas Priest with blood on it's mind. On rare occasions Assassin's Blade sounds like no one other than themselves, but 9 times out of 10 we find his young and hungry band emulating their idols and influences and doing it in such a way as to make you want to follow the latest success for Pure Steel Records! A damn fine release like "Agents of Mystification" shows the metal community that Assassin's Blade means business and that they are ready to take a full swing at today's ever-growing power metal scene. This is a good start from one band that I hope is here to stay!

* Jacques Bélanger played with Exciter on the albums "The Dark Command", "Blood of Tyrants" and "New Testament".

**It might be just a coincidence, but the now defunct Trap released a single entitled "Assassinations".

*** Janne Stark put out the AWESOME (!) Encyclopedia of Swedish Heavy Metal books.

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