JAG PANZER - THANE TO THE THRONE (Century Media)

 

Jag Panzer will release a new album very soon and so I decided to write another ‘classic one’ about the band. To be honest this band has never really disappointed me and you can easily call them one of the most underrated Heavy Metal bands on earth. I shouldn’t know why this band never really got what they received. Were they too ‘traditional’ amongst all those mighty bands in the eighties and too ‘true’ in the nineties? At least Jag Panzer contains one of the best Metal singers of the Metal scène, in my opinion even better than Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford. For many years they also contained one of the best guitarists in the Metal scène; Chris Broderick. He is so good Nevermore asked for his help and nowadays he’s a full member of Megadeth. In my review about the “Endgame” CD I mentioned loud and clear he’s responsible for the fact that Megadeth released their best album in many years… It’s not exactly a good sign that the worldwide Metal scène respects him because of what he does nowadays, not for what he did in the past. 

“Thane To The Throne” is to be honest my favorite Jag Panzer album. The dark atmosphere on this one is so overwhelming it sucks me easily into the story of Duncan, King of Scotland, Shakespeares’ MacBeth. Yes, this is a concept CD and Jag Panzer must be proud writing this legendary album!  

The mysterious beginning of this album gets all of the attention of the listener, cold shivers are making part of me and the very first time I’ve listened to this one I knew something special was coming up. Yes, this is first class Metal and immediately the listener is overwhelmed by Harry Concklin’s voice! This is one of the purest, strongest and most beautiful voices in our entire scène. The vocal lines are perfect, the chorus and refrains of this song godlike. What about the guitars? They’re just amazing and not only Chris Broderick is responsible for them. Jag Panzer contains another charismatic guitar player, Mark Briody. Both guitar players fit perfect with each other and their song writing is outstanding. The arrangements in the background support the darkness this album breathes, awesome! 

“King At A Price” is another fantastic track, Heavy Metal for 100%, US Power Metal at its top! I’m so absolutely sure that every Metal fan who would hear this track would adore it! Damn; this is unbelievable! Just listen to these solos! Fast fingered, cutting, ripping all the way! Once more the refrains will take you by the throat, no chance to survive. And if it won’t kill you, “Bloody Crime” will! Another extraordinary song, containing everything a perfect Metal song needs!  

The secret of an “out of this world” concept CD is the possibility the band gives to use his or her imagination. Jag Panzer receives this goal without any doubts by the use of the mood in this album, the songs, the lyrics… To be honest only a ‘chosen few’ have ever received this goal and Jag Panzer belongs to them! A first outstanding acoustic guitar arrangement is “The Premonitions”, more cold shivers! “Treachery’s stain” is another awesome track and Harry ‘The tyrant” Concklin proves why he’s one of the best Metal singers on earth! His voice is varied, clean, seducing... More astonishing riffs and solos can be heard over here. “Spectres of the past” is the following up surprise. If you’re not into the right mood for some exceptional Metal you will never be, another impressive track with skilful and shredding guitars! 

So the album delivers one after another highlight, foreseen with some outstanding choirs (“Three Voices Of Fate”) ,other distinguished musical intermezzo’s (classical instruments on “The Prophecies – Fugue In D Minor”) and subtle but perfect musical elements (for example the keyboards in “Hell to pay”). Jag Panzer is ‘traditional’, is ‘US’, is ‘Power’, is ‘shredding’ and is ‘Progressive’! The band strove only for purity and excellence, crafting songs that embody everything for which good metal stands for. Be sure Jag Panzer worked hard to ensure these elements are recognizable! Jag Panzer kicks major ass’! Until now I didn’t mention John Tetley (bass) and Rikard Stjernquist (drums) but be sure they deserve all of your respect too! These five members are equally qualified in what they do! Add the fantastic song writing, enormous performance and notable production and no more words are needed to tell how fantastic Jag Panzer is! 

It is hard to name a favorite track on this record but I am totally under the spell because of “The Downward Fall”. Man, this is some unbelievable piece of art! Chris Broderick unleashes all of his talent here and you should search for this video on the Internet. It is impressive to see what this man is capable of!  

I was fortunate to see Jag Panzer several times on stage and I will travel to the next edition of the Headbangers Open Air especially because of them (next to Virgin Steele and Aska)! It is almost impossible to see this band on tour, therefore they aren’t at all popular enough. God damn, what a disgrace! Aside of Helstar Jag Panzer is the best US Power Metal band on earth and it makes me furious to see how the big Metal fanzines and radio stations keep on ignoring them! A masterpiece, that is what “Thane to the throne’ is and it deserves to be mentioned between the most important Metal albums ever released. 

My Points: 100 / 100