Agent Steel released the Mad Locust Rising EP in 1986 (not 1985, like some websites say). In the States it came out on Combat Records (on blue vinyl!). The U.K. release was via Music For Nations Records on license from Combat. Mad Locust Rising was the follow-up to Agent Steel’s 1985 debut Skeptic Apocalypse.
The EP begins with a 17 second intro called (The Swarm Is Upon Us). This leads to the first proper track Mad Locust Rising. Relentless speed ensues as Agent Steel demonstrate their trademark amalgam of speed, thrash, and power metal. Vocalist John Cyriis immediately makes his presence felt with his unique vocal histrionics. Imagine Rob Halford (circa Sad Wings Of Destiny) at his most theatrical and over-exaggerated. Now multiply that by 100, then inject him with steroids and a shove a fistful of amphetamines down his throat. That will bring you a bit closer to the John Cyriis singing style. It may take a while to get used to. I still haven’t decided if Cyriis is completely ridiculous or a genius, although I’m pretty sure he’s insane. I will say this, he can hit super-human high notes, and he certainly is not lacking in intensity. His high pitch scream at the end of Mad Locust Rising is unbelievable. After the onslaught of Mad Locust Rising, things slow down a bit with a fine cover of Judas Priest’s The Ripper (a tune off 1976’s Sad Wings Of Destiny). It’s a perfect choice for Cyriis. The album closes with another high-speed song, the excellent Let It Be Done/The Day At Guyana. That’s it. Three songs and done. I’m ready for more. My score: B+