Jag Panzer
The Scourge of the Light
(SPV)

Jag Panzer certainly need no introduction to heavy metal fans. Stalwarts of American Heavy Metal for going on 30 years now, Jag Panzer has never failed to deliver epic heavy metal to its awaiting fans; flying under the mainstream radar (due largely, no doubt, to the 10 year gap between its first and second albums), yet always retaining a true, dedicated sound. The founding, core trio of Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (vocals), Mark Briody (guitars) and John Tetley (bass) have always worked hard to establish Jag Panzer’s place in the Heavy Metal pantheon.

The band’s latest effort, The Scourge of the Light, is a testament to that hard work. After several spins, I have concluded that the new album ranks among the band’s best work, like 1986’s Ample Destruction and 2001’s Mechanized Warfare.

From start to finish, the songs never fail to deliver the Jag Panzer trademarks with seemingly evergreen vigor. The riffs can go from gallopping and heavy (“Overlord”) to grooving and masterful (“Cycles”). Losing Chris Broderick to Megadeth certainly did not slow things down in the lead guitar department as it paved the way for the return of Christian Lasegue, who does a brilliant job carrying melodic flair while shredding with the best of them.

Melody, as is stands, is the order of the day with Jag Panzer. In addition to Conklin’s soaring vocal phrasing, which is always impressive, the band adds single violin passages and layers to add to the earthy nature of the music without trying to masquerade as a “symphonic” band. “Let It Out” and “Condemned To Fight” find the band in full on headbanging mode, while the 8-minute closing epic “The Book Of Kells” is an intense, brooding journey. The subtlety of the violin goes a long way in creating the mood for this one. Other tracks like “Call To Arms” and “The Setting Of The Sun” carry the classic Jag Panzer trademark with glory and honor. “Bringing On The End” has a giagantic groove riff intro before delving into an almost creepy, subdued verse.

Fans of the band and classic heavy metal in general have a lot to enjoy on The Scourge of the Light. The vocals are great, the riffs are strong, and the solos are quite impressive. The overall mood and vibe of the album is one of dark, epic mystery and imagination. It feels great and will no doubt bring about repeated spins.

Jag Panzer proves itself as one of the more consistent bands in metal, delivering the goods time after time. I love it!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
February 7th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Storm King

    New Jag Panzer? Sign me up!


  2. Commented by: faust666

    I was really looking forward to this till I saw the video teaser.. sounded quite tame compared to the awesome “Casting..” oh well, still gonna check it out.. good review.


  3. Commented by: Shawn Pelata

    faust666 – yeah, give it a shot. I think it’s really good…it’s worth listening to if you’ve ever been a fan of the band, IMO. Glad you liked the review.


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