Friday, June 1, 2012

Skelator - Agents Of Power

With a few twists and a warmer, more inviting production quality, Skelator's ''Agents Of Power'' could be a considerable alternative to the ample wave of Swedish traditional heavy metal bands, injecting a healthy dose thrashy speed metal and the epic atmosphere of power metal. Musically, Skelator resemble the mish mash of many bands, linked together in some way. Manowar, Manilla Road, Iron Maiden, and even some 70's Judas Priest worship, blatant in the spiking vivacity of certain riffs. Skelator also adopt a certain theme, apparently fantastic themes (whom I'm not familiar with) that enhance the whole ''Enchanting'' effect of power metal. There are moments where you'll notice the cheesiness of USPM with a slightly more serious touch, but all in all these are the influences and elements that ''Agents Of Power'' deal with, and thus, simplistic elements and aspects are brought together, dotted with original spices and then presented to the listener, plain but memorable.

Melodious leads usually guide the riffs along, as they are inviting and even slightly hefty and chubby, rendering the distortion less effective, but grooving gallops and thrashy chugs also burst in frequently, so the listener is left in between, harmonious melodies and plainer, rougher textures of thrash-driven riffs, which have a cool, almost cavernous resonance to them. Skelator are certainly not trying to be incredibly vigorous or spiking all the time here, but the first couple of tracks are usually dominated by more dynamic sequences with the vocalist attaining a high-pitched voice and the guitars often channeling between harmony laden, semi technical riffs and harsher chords. The vocals shift into different styles in different moments, for example, they make take on a more alluring tone during mellow passages or soft interludes, or a rather evil grin like on certain intros, or during instrumental breaks, where they vilely chuckle. There's actually plenty of contrast on the album if you listen carefully, but they're all chained to the same root.

The first two tracks, the title song and ''Gates Of Thorbadin'' are almost fully attached to boundless energy, but with ''Dream Dictator'' which ranges at over six minutes, a speed limit restrains substantial liveliness and boredom may strike here and there, though overall it's a decent track, and not mention that the verse section sounds like an almost exact copy of Jag Panzer's ''Cardiac Arrest'', only richer in melodies. ''Agents Of Power'' is polished and squeaky clean, forming a natural basis for the upcoming array of riffs from the start. I really had little to complain about, even though sometimes breaks lingered for too long and the whole album in total may not be extremely original, but with an impressive gathering of speed, power and heavy metal, Skelator both embrace the old school feel and execute ripe, delicate music almost perfectly so there you have it, something to both give you goosebumps and to accompany you to a good night's sleep. It's mature, fertile and its an impressive combination of speed, melody and good musicianship, so fans ought to watch out, this dynamite may bloom into a global epic speed/heavy explosion.

Agents Of Power
Rhythm Of The Chain
Gates Of Thorbadin

Rating: 83,5%

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