Agent Steel is a Speed Metal band, formed in 1984 by lead vocalist John Cyriis. Cyriis came up with the name by channeling the idea of investigators (“Agents”, so to say) who dissect supernormal occurrences within the fabric of time and space, and came to the conclusion that projecting the campaign of the Agents through the arts would probably be best done through Heavy Metal music — and thus the legendary name known as AGENT STEEL was created. (As of present day, however, John Cyriis came to the conclusion that he was wrong that it was best campaigned through Heavy Metal music). The first legal registration of the name (“AGENT STEEL”) was registered by Cyriis on July 23, 1984.
Agent Steel was formed by Cyriis shortly after his firing from Megadeth in 1984, for Dave Mustaine was against the idea of playing the “Aliens Card.” In all actuality, however, Agent Steel does not exclusively touch upon subjective matter relating to the possibility of life existing on other galaxies — but instead the philosophical format of the band was presented in a form of a polemic.
First appearing under the name ‘Sanctuary,’ Agent Steel’s first incarnation recorded a demo in the studio, titled “144,000 Gone” in the summer of ’84. 144,000 Gone was written by Cyriis when he was a guitarist in Sceptre, an underground metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983 with his best friends, Tony and Phil Sardo. The lineup — whom Cyriis personally invited — comprised of drummer Chuck Profus, guitarists Bill Simmons and Mark Marshal, and bassist George Robb. They accepted the offer gratefully, but in the end only two out of the four who were invited stayed in the lineup until the group disbanded — for reasons unknown.
After Simmons and Marshal left the band, Cyriis then recruited Juan Garcia and Kurt Colfelt.
From December 1984 to February 1985, Agent Steel recorded their debut album, titled “Skeptics Apocalypse”, released in June ’85 by Combat Records. Till this day, Skeptics Apocalypse is a world-renowned Speed Metal classic; it’s most popular song, Agents of Steel, has over half a million listens on YouTube as of 2020.
Due to a falling out with Cyriis, Colfelt left the band; Bernie Versailles replaced him shortly after.
On October of ’85, Agent Steel began recording the EP Mad Locust Rising, which was finished and released in January 1986. Bassist George Robb left the band shortly after the EP’s release, to which he was replaced with Michael Zaputil of Letchen Grey.
In March 1986, Agent Steel entered the studio once again to record their second album Unstoppable Force. The recordings came to a halt when the band had commitments to perform at the Aardschok Dag Festival in Eindhoven in April 1986. In May 1986, they toured Europe with Anthrax and Overkill. After the European tour, Agent Steel returned to the studio to finish the recordings in June 1986. The album's release was then delayed due to complications with the cover artwork. It was then estimated that Unstoppable Force were to be released in early 1987.
In November 1986, Capitol Records expressed interest in signing the band, who had recently signed Megadeth. The band's management demanded more money, in which the label agreed to, with a stipulation that the band would have to wait until the new year to release the album, and with the acquisition of new department budgets.
John Cyriis and Chuck Profus moved to Florida for various reasons, while the rest of the members remained in California.
In January 1987, Capitol Records withdrew from the offer due to suspicions within the band's line-up changes. Unstoppable Force was released in March 1987 by Combat Records instead. Cyriis and Profus were then joined by guitarists James Murphy and Jay Weslord, and bassist Richard Bateman. The fresh, all new and improved lineup performed shows in Europe with UK-based band Nuclear Assault in June 1987, one of them being at the Hammersmith Apollo, in which their final performance can be seen on the 1989 home video Mad Locust Rising: Live at the Hammersmith Odeon 1987.
Then, in 1988, Agent Steel disbanded....
The reason as to Agent Steel’s sudden disbandment and disappearance in 1988 was a mystery. It was not until November 2019 when Cyriis, in an interview, revealed the true reason as to why Agent Steel was disbanded in 1988:
“....Agent Steel was buried alive by Combat Records, who put the band on suspension for no legitimate, justifiable reason. Why they did so, remains a mystery to this very day. There are many conspiracy theories’ that dabble with the answer as to why Combat Records buried the Agent Steel band in 1987; however, there are many theories as to why this happened - including a few of my own - but all the same, no substantial proof as of this writing have been brought out supported by facts, to support the more popular theories which are in truth actual cover ups to the real factual based truth!”
However, Agent Steel was reformed in 2010, and the band (this time with the inclusion of Cyriis on vocals) played 2 shows, before again disbanding, only to be resurrected yet again in 2019, by Cyriis himself — at Keep It True XXII.
Ever since April, Cyriis announced the recording and release of Agent Steel’s new album, No Other Godz Before Me, scheduled for release in 2020 by Dissonance Productions.
Cyriis also announced a solid new lineup, who will be performing on the album, as well as live shows:
• John Cyriis - Vocals
• Mick Ronsany - Guitar
• Nikolay Atanasov - Guitar
• Shuichi Oni - Bass
• Finn K. - Drums