JAG PANZER - AMPLE DESTRUCTION (Iron Works Records) 

 

Jag Panzer has always been a band from the underground, anonymous for the big crowd but adored by their fans. The band name was based on the legendary German tanks during World War II...the JadDPanzer. To pronounce it more easy, the 'D' disappeared and so one of the most remarkable band names of Metal's history was formed. Can you imagine these guys are part of our movement since 1983?! Damn, it was in that particular year Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Saxon and Judas Priest were defeating, on a glorious way, the world. It remains strange Jag Panzer never broke through although they were created when Metal was making its big march to success. 

What we can say is that Jag Panzer received good reviews in their first life, from 1983 until 1984. It was the period that Queensryche and Fates Warning just delivered their first Progressive notes and Helstar brought us Metal with high pitched vocals and plenty of power. After the release of the self named EP Jag Panzer was ready to strike very hard but something got terribly wrong. Although ''Ample Destruction'' was influencing for a several bands and it was a 'hell' of an album Jag Panzer wasn’t successful. Maybe the band had a leading role in the American traditional Metal scene but for Europe it was another story. 

It was almost impossible to find the LP in Europe due to lack of a good distribution and inefficient advertisement. The result for Jag Panzer was they didn't receive enough attention over here and they stayed unknown for the masses who were in the ban of the mainstream bands and the first Thrash Metal releases. In the underground scene this record became immense popular and the LP was for years extremely expensive on Metal markets. Almost twenty-five years later most true Metal fans recognize it as a gem, a jewel, a piece of gold... but Jag Panzer was unable to change their status, especially when they vanished for several years, soon after this release.

 

Jag Panzer gives us straight forwarded pure Heavy Metal with good arrangements. Mark Briody was the gifted axe man and his brother Joe Tafolla proved he was a virtuosic shredder. Joe Tafolla released an instrumental album, soon after this release, one you should hear! Also in this release a 'classical' instrumental part is added, it became a brand for their entire career.  Influenced by Judas Priest and the NWOBHM movement Jag Panzer added a typical American attitude in their music. This means particularly that they played faster riffs, used more breaks and especially high pitched vocals with amazing screams. Even the snare drums were often pretty fast for that age.

 

 Singer Harry 'The Tyrant' (an honor to Judas Priest)  Conklin deserves the most attention in Jag Panzer because of his extraordinary voice. His strong lungs, breathing air in the highest and lowest tunes make him unique in his kind. His typical vocal sound, sometimes it sounds falsetto, gives him a place amongst the greatest Metal singers. This man never disappointed me in his career and I have the feeling he’s becoming better every year. Beside all the good work he did with Jag Panzer his releases with Titan Force were outstanding as well. The only album I never got into was Satan's Host, for me a record which is overhyped in the True Metal scene.

 

Songs like 'License To Kill', 'Symphony Of Terror', 'Harder Than Steel' are standard for the era they were produced in, although everybody has to admit they had some special flair. The production might be dated, it was 1984 but still this is a superb release. The band ended soon after this release to come back 10 years later, when Metal was pushed back to play a more discrete role in the music scene. It didn't keep Jag Panzer from releasing several outstanding CD's, albums we talk about in other reviews.

 

My Points: 95 / 100