Pänzer – ‘The Fatal Command’ (Nuclear Blast) Print
CD Reviews
Written by Jonni D   
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 04:00

Panzer - Fatal Command artwork“Contemporary heavy metal sounds like kindergarten,” complains Pänzer frontman Schmier.  In response to this, the German melodic thrash-tinged heavy metallers are taking an uncompromising stance on their new record, ‘The Fatal Command.’  The follow up to 2014’s debut ‘Send Them All To Hell’, eschews any trace of sentimentality (no ballads here, friend), with this rollicking collection of blistering riffs and NWOBHM inspired melodicism.

 

Given the genre pedigree of those that make up the band, the quality of songwriting on this sophomore effort is somewhat unsurprising.  With the departure of Herbert Frank (formerly of Accept and now Victory fame), the axe-wielding duties are left this time to Pontus Nogren (Hammerfall) and V.O. Pulver (G.U.R.D and Poltergeist), while the rhythm section is held down by Accept drummer Stefan Schwarzmann and Destruction’s Schmier on bass and vocals.

 

The resultant music is very much a sum of these disparate elements. The galloping bombast of ‘Satan’s Hollow’ and ‘Bleeding Allies’ bears the rhythmic exuberance of Nobren’s power metal day job.  The former track and ‘Afflicted’ especially bears riffing of a velocity and razor-precision that brings to mind the early European thrash movement, a scene of which frontman Schmier was an integral part during its formative years. 

 

The dual harmonies of the politically charged title track screams of Judas Priest worship, while the mid-album track ‘Skullbreaker’ is a savage, quintessential barnstormer of a song, with a snarling vocal delivery from Schmier. 

 

The most effective moments on ‘The Fatal Command’ are when the band adopt a more traditionally heavy metal approach; the stomping groove of ‘The Decline (…And The Downfall)’ pulses with the cocksure strut of ‘70s and ‘80s German heavy metal à la Scorpions and Accept, with ‘We Can Not Be Silenced’ and ‘I’ll Bring You The Night’ bearing a sleazy hard rock vibe that would do Dee Snider proud. 

 

While their debut was an accomplished initial statement from an experienced group of road warriors, Pänzer have delivered a worthy follow-up with ‘The Fatal Command’; an unrelenting, yet wonderfully melodic example of heavy metal at its finest.

 

‘The Fatal Command’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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