Jag Panzer - The Deviant Chord,
Jag Panzer really are the band who refuse to die! Between 2011 and 2013 the band literally didn’t exist. According to Mark Briody “Two band members quit and there was little interest in hiring new people and starting over. Introducing new musicians would have been tough, so we decided to disband.” But, due to fans clamouring for more, Jag Panzer have reformed, with four of the guys who were there in 2011. Bassist John Tetley, guitarist/keyboard player Mark Briody and singer Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin were there back in 1981 when the band were first formed as Tyrant, while drummer Rikard Stjernquist first started with the band back in 1987 and returning lead guitarist Joey Tafolla originally joined in time to play on the debut album in 1984.
Like many metal fans, over the years I have been aware of Jag Panzer, and have one or two of their albums, but have never really paid close attention to them. Some may only know them as being the band Chris Broderick was in for some ten years before joining Megadeth, and that is somewhat unfair. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when listening to this for the first time, but I know I didn’t expect a power metal album that oozes class from every pore and grabs the listener warmly by the throat and doesn’t let down until the last note. With hints of both Savatage (but with less keyboards) and Iron Maiden, this is old school metal that makes me smile. The guys originally formed the band all those years ago as they had been influenced by the NWOBHM movement, but like many others they have now moved far beyond their humble beginnings. The folky “Foggy Dew” halfway through the album did throw me a little, not because it was bad but because it was so unexpected, but apart from that anomaly this is power metal wall to wall.
It may not be an album to shake the foundations of the metal hierarchy, but it has certainly made me change my opinion on Jag Panzer, as this is far superior to anything I ever expected to hear from them, and is certainly worthy of investigation.