Jag Panzer – ‘The Deviant Chord’ – (Steamhammer/SPV) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Marc Leach   
Thursday, 14 September 2017 04:00

jagpanzerdeviantcdAh, the ‘80s. What a time to be alive for a metalhead, with the rise of glam metal and bands like Metallica and Slayer reaching their primes around this decade: it was around this time when Colorado based metal band Jag Panzer first unleashed their NWOBHM influenced sound unto the metal world. Now in their third decade and the thought of calling it a day looming over their shoulders, these metal titans have said “fuck it” and are back with their first studio album since 2011, ‘The Deviant Chord.’

 

While I would consider album opener ‘Born Of The Flame’ a generic power metal track, it’s tracks like ‘Far Beyond All Fear’ and ‘Blacklist’ that gets this reviewer excited about this album. From the harmonizing guitar riffs from Joey Tafolla and Mark Briody during ‘Far…’ to the powerful vocals from long standing vocalist, the Tyrant himself, Harry Conklin.

 

Clinging onto their old school metal style, the band decided for this album to take some time to experiment with how they write songs, which is made evident through the sensational title track and their rendition of ‘Foggy Dew.’ Don’t let the title track fool you with the melodic and peaceful introduction, because once the two minute mark hits all hell breaks loose with this balls to the wall piece. The band themselves may be no Sinead O’Connor (to be fair, who wants to be?) the titans channel the spirit of the Emerald Isle during ‘Foggy…’ – and, while it’s a decent cover where the harmonizing guitars make a return, the metal treatment of this piece just sounds odd, especially to the ears with this Northern Irish fella.

 

 

For a band who have had the likes of Chris Broderick (Nevermore, Megadeth) play for them, it is safe to say Jag Panzer love their guitar wankery, and this can be said for high octane tracks like ‘Divine Intervention’ and ‘Salacious Behaviour’, where Tafolla unleashes his inner shred demon. As stated before, the band wanted to experiment with different styles and different time signatures for this album, and this can be said for the beautiful ballad that is ‘Long Awaited Kiss’, which is written in a waltz timing. Conklin takes a softer approach vocally for this piece as it continues to build in volume, leading to a face melting solo from Tafolla. The large, anthemic ‘Fire Of Our Spirit’ and ‘Dare’ bring this metal fest of an album to a close, as both tracks once again feature that balls to the wall sound, all while keeping the chorus’ nice and catchy, which would sound perfect if sung at a concert.

 

I have to admit good reader, this is my first experience with these metal titans, and while the album itself is decent I wouldn’t exactly call it my favourite album of all time. I do appreciate the length of time this band have been on the go, and I respect the fact that they experimented with their sound, but there is only a handful of tracks that I would consider memorable, as the rest was just rather bland.

 

‘The Deviant Chord’ is released on 29 September. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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