Sunday, February 27, 2011

JAG PANZER: "The Scourge Of The Light"

Rating: 7/10

Label: SPV/Steamhammer 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"The Scourge Of The Light" is a return to the basic "classic", more melodic power metal style of Jag Panzer. They were rightly criticised for their most recent studio recording (Casting The Stones in 2004) as it displayed a rather blunt and boring version of the band. Not too aggressive in my opinion but they forgot somehow to include melodies and memorbale hooks as in their 'heydays' (pretty much the same story as what happened to Judas Priest in their 'Ripper' era). Well, I guess they band must have listened to their fanbase as it's once again a very enjoyable album in the style of Priest, Dio, Manowar. I know it's hardly fair to refer to the band's material as merely a one third mix of all the above mentioned acts (especially since they've been recording albums since 1984). However, it's just to simplify things as you can't really expect everyone who reads this to be familiar with the band's past and music?

The core of the band is still very much the same as back in the days of "Ample Destruction". Nope, there's no Joey Tafolla on lead guitars, but you still have 'The Tyrant' on vocals (Harry Conklin), guitarist Mark Biodry and bassist John Tetley as the fearful three aka the good, the bad, and the ugly? Since guitarist Chris Boderick, who was a band member between 1997 and 2007, left to join Megadeth, Jag Panzer have returned to their old forte. Back in the ranks, former band member Christian Lasegue, who was previously with the band for three years in the mid eighties.

The fact that the band have gone back-to-basic becomes immediately understandable as opening track, "Condemned To Fight", bears more than little resemblance to their eighties riffing and style. Wicked twin guitar attack and a big salute to the metal community as this is "typical" U.S. Power Metal with a nice hook and powerhouse vocals. Lasegue is apperantly not too keen on the blunt riffing of modern metal as it's defintely 'old skool' throughout the CD. "The Setting Of The Sun" continues on the same path and there's a nice twist to "Bringing The End" as it clearly speaks of Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio influences. "Call To Arms" is a brother of metal to the Manowar sound and 'The Tyrant' sings as loud and powerful as ever. Ehem, merely ten tracks and it's all over before you've figured out what to say about the album? It's a very solid effort without any real ups nor downs. Just plain old metal which goes hand in hand with manditory headbanging and the sign of the devil \m/


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