Ever since they heard the rumour that Jacques Bélanger was working on a new project, the first since his EXCITER days (“The Dark Command”, “Blood of Tyrants”, “New Testament”), the Metal legions have been expecting a new classic.
We soon found out that Bélanger had joined forces with a trio of Swedish musicians, bassist/song writer/lyricist Peter Svensson (Void Moon, TRAP), guitarist/song writer David Stranderud (ex-PORTRAIT, INSTIGATOR, TRAP) and drummer Marcus Rosenkvist (Void Moon) to write some exciting new material. During the recording, Janne Stark (known from Overdrive and author of the Encyclopedia of Swedish Heavy Metal books) contributed with guitar solos on most of the songs. The result is simply amazing. Make no mistake: Bélanger’s voice is as powerful as it ever was, with its typical US-Metal-like high pitched screams! Now first, let it be known that Assassin’s Blade material totally stands up to its Exciter influence, a trait that is most obvious in songs like “The Demented Force”, “Transgression” and “Agents of Mystification”. In “Autumn Serenade” or “Crucible of War”, Bélanger voice might even remind you of Bru ce Dickinson, while the song “Prophet’s Urn” will certainly appeal to younger fans of bands like TRIAL or PORTRAIT. Then, it is back to the thunderous mid-tempo “Dreadnought” and to the metallic “Nowhere Riders”, in which we hear a perfect mix of EXCITER and AGENT STEEL that will obviously appeal to masses of metal fans.
As if it were not enough, those who want epic material will be pleased with “Herostratos”, where guitarist David Stranderud shows the World how much of a guitar wizard he really is. This album culminates in the heroic “League of the Divine Wind”, a saga in which the whole band shows its genius.
All things considered, Agents of Mystification is a killer album, and finally, it is made available to you, the metal fans.