|specially mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel/ Temple of Disharmony, 100% original sound, no remaster!Even though there are only two new songs among the four tracks on Agent Steel’s early 1986 EP “Mad Locust Rising”, their sophomore release is convincing from the first second to the last. After the short intro “The Swarm is Upon Us”, the following title track provides quick as a lightning speed metal in the vein of the debut album “Skeptics Apocalypse”, rounded off by singer John Cyriis’ characteristic piercing shrieks. Taking the same line is the second new composition “Let It Be Done/The Day at Guyana”, the latter being a one minute instrumental piece (that can also be found as a six and a half minute stand-alone track on Agent Steel’s successive 1987 release “Unstoppable Force”). Said tracks outweigh the slightly sped up yet not very special cover version of the Judas Priest classic “The Ripper” that stays too close to the original and thus does not really fit into the band’s sound.
Although Mike Zaputil was credited as bass player on “Mad Locust Rising”, he did not become a member of Agent Steel until early 1986 after the recordings were already finished. It was still original bassist George Robb who recorded the bass tracks and was fired shortly after, because the rest of the band was unhappy with his performance and looking for a more precise bass sound. The only really new member on “Mad Locust Rising” was guitarist Bernie Versailles who, after a long search, replaced Kurt Colfelt who had left the band in the summer of 1985 because of constant disputes with John Cyriis (Colfelt would then form Holy Terror). The turnover on the guitar was the actual reason for releasing “Mad Locust Rising”, as guitarist Juan Garcia later recalled: “At the time we needed time to work with Bernie. So we decided to go with an EP first and then tour some more before we record another album.” With “Mad Locust Rising” Agent Steel further increased their recognition in the metal scene and got the opportunity to tour with Anthrax and Overkill, for which they even interrupted the recordings of their upcoming album “Unstoppable Force”.