The Hallowed

Jag Panzer

JAG PANZER is an American power metal band from Colorado, who formed in 1981 as […]
Jag Panzer - The Hallowed album cover

JAG PANZER is an American power metal band from Colorado, who formed in 1981 as TYRANT before changing their name.  'The Hallowed' is their 12th studio album, in addition to having released two EP's and five demos over the years. I had no idea JAG PANZER was still around. I could have sworn they broke up after 'Casting The Stones' but it appears they either didn't or they did but reformed. Considering I didn't know the albums existed, I haven't checked out anything they have released between the aforementioned album and this new album 'The Hallowed.' So I'm coming into this experience with somewhat fresh ears, as I have not listened to this band in sometime. But in my early days of forming my musical pallet, JAG PANZER were one of the first metal bands I got into. So when I had a chance to grab this promo, I thought it couldn't hurt to see how they sound a thousand years later.

And I'm glad I did. They sound as if they are still in their early days of being a band hungry to put out incredible releases.  For me, this captures the energy and excitement of their early days. Perhaps it is nostalgia? Perhaps.  However, this album also flat out rips. Of course, it is still JAG PANZER so sometimes it can be corny but that comes with the territory I suppose. What they lack in lyrical prowess, they more than make up with their musicianship and soaring vocals. The album begins with 'Bound As One,' and its flurry of drumming that rains down just before the fast, thrash infused power metal riffs hit.  The chorus is very powerful....Harry sounds great.  This dude is in his 60's and he still brings it hard and his voice has held up very, very well.  JAG PANZER has always been great at making melody work for them, especially when paired with the vocals, and this song is no exception.  The melodies throughout the song are infectious and as powerful as Harry's voice. Good job, Mark.  The solos, played by Ken, are burners and just as potent.  John's bass and Rikard's drums are a powerhouse rhythm section that adds a lot of the heavy factor to the band's overall sound. 'Ties That Bind,' opens with wonderful dueling melodies, boosted by the bass that is melodic in its own right but also potent as part of the rhythm.  This song features another massive chorus and I love the drumming that compliments it so well.  This song is chock full of short but sweet lead guitar lines that add a lot of extra flavor.

'Onward We Toil,' is a darker, harder hitting song.  The main riff is heavy but intricate enough to satisfy any fan of metal.  The chorus isn't as huge as some of the other songs but it is catchy and fits nicely into the song. As the album progresses, I realize there isn't any one particular song that stands out.  Not because they aren't interesting but because this album is just so damn SOLID.  You can pick any song on this album and have a good time and be guaranteed real American power metal.  Due to the title, I was worried 'Weather The Storm,' might be some kind of power ballad but I was wrong (thankfully) and it's another rocker with a simple but crunchy main riff with melodies built around the chorus.  The guitar solo is surprisingly emotional and I found it to be one of the best on the album. The final track, "Last Rites,' is a nearly ten minute mini epic.  The opening minutes consist of narration (I think this is a concept album but I'm not really sure of the storyline) and clean guitar.  This smoothly transitions to a thick bass beat and a solo before the drums take over alongside the vocals. The song is set initially at a slower, methodical pace and it works pretty well for the band actually.  After the excellent guitar solo, the song speeds up a bit but gets even heavier.  I was disappointed that after eight minutes it fades out to nothing but more narration and ambient noises but it is a minor complaint as the eight minutes of actual song is completely enjoyable.

With 'The Hallowed,' JAG PANZER still sits on the throne of American power metal and it is an incredible feat for a band to put out such high quality material after being around for so long.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"The Hallowed" Track-listing:

1. Bound As One
2. Prey
3. Ties That Bind
4. Stronger Than You Know
5. Onward We Toil
6. Edge Of A Knife
7. Dark Descent
8. Weather The Storm
9. Renewed Flame
10. Last Rites

Jag Panzer Lineup:

John Tetley - Bass
Mark Briody - Guitars (rhythm), Keyboards, Vocals (choir)
Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin - Vocals
Rikard Stjernquist - Drums, Vocals (backing, choir)
Ken Rodarte - Guitars (lead)

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