Casting The Stones

Jag Panzer

In the extensive history of US/Canadian Metal, there are many bands that after their 2nd […]
By Grigoris Chronis
September 12, 2004
Jag Panzer - Casting The Stones album cover

In the extensive history of US/Canadian Metal, there are many bands that after their 2nd release started to boast the repute and the approval of the broad Heavy Metal scene (labels, press, fans, promoters etc), whether they deserved it or not - it's off my quote at this time. There are other bands that after their 2nd or 3rd release still felt that they were out of the game, due to numerous reasons suspiciously ran by the same factors (labels, press, fans, promoters etc), while they obviously deserved something better - what, is also off the quote. Can I add a new category?... Thanks!
This category consists of bands that apparently deserved a cherished slice of the pie, due to their harmonious skills (to begin with) or their genuine deeds or their earnest hard work during hard times, they won it but the average fan (he's the last-but-not-least addressee-evaluator) still felt unfulfilled because those specific bands meant so greatly more to him or to his epoch. Some of them - let's pay homage: Fifth Angel, Hittman, Sanctuary, Warlord etc - called it quits, for reasons not affined to be mentioned here. Some other carried on, e.g. Riot, Manilla Road, Omen, Exciter, rewarding their personal inner goals by delivering "proper Metal music. There, I would put on top: Jag Panzer.
I won't articulate about the band's bio; if you're unfamiliar with this group then you are reading this review by accident. I'll just have to recommend to someone not familiar with the band's early days (a lot of teenagers discovered Jag Panzer in mid-90's) to grab the band's ultimate masterpiece Ample Destruction (1984), if it exists on CD format (I'm sure every vinyl maniac has this gem "on...). So, in year 2004, Jag Panzer present their 5th Century Media-era studio album (Decade Of The Nail-Spiked Bat (2003) excluded - an amazing collection with lots of outtakes and re-recordings) and no fan of the band should consider himself putting his money in danger when buying this album! The explanation is that every component of the band's music and lyrical themes is "at hand. The whole "cast seem to be in grade "shape (Chris Broderick's guitar effort is again first-rate) while Harry "Tyrant Conklin performs in his typical - yet extraordinary - vocal "approach persuading the most incredulous listener that he should be amongst top esteemed Metal vocalists for 20 years now. The band's compositions are of grand rank, in alike writing mode - I can make out - as their two previous studio releases, Mechanized Warfare (2001) and Thane to the Throne (2000), with loads of melody, savage rhythms and dominant guitar chords. The charming keyboards support nothing can omit from the band's supremacy; just adds the air needed for the journey on Jag Panzer's carpet. The production is again exceptional, allowing the band to utter meticulously. The opening track, Feast Or Famine, the guitar solo-built Achilles plus the closing "moody Precipice should we choose from a set of equivalent songs, all unfolding the group's both technical aptitude and metallic aura.
The fact is: After you've listened to the album closely, and if you are of the same mind, please provide me with a satisfactory answer: Why Jag Panzer isn't - after a qualitative 20-year career - in the same commercial rank as Blind Guardian, Stratovarius or Edguy? In other words, how much more Power should they have in their Metal? Never mind, heroes are in our hearts and Jag Panzer confirm all the above every time I (we) speak about their contribution!

8 / 10


"Casting The Stones" Track-listing:

Feast Or Famine
The Mission (1943)
Legion Immortal
Battered & Bruised
Starlight's Fury
The Harkening

Jag Panzer Lineup:

Harry Conklin - Vocals
Mark Briody - Guitar
Chris Broderick - Guitar
John Tetley - Bass
Rikard Stjernquist - Drums

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