Panzerballet - Planet Z

Kev Rowland

Guitarist/bassist Jan Zehrfeld is back with the latest release under the Panzrballett name, and yet again he is taking the band in a different direction. Drummer Sebastian Lanser had a major impact on the last album, 2017’s ‘X-mas Death Jazz’, but this time around he hasn’t used Sabastian at all, but instead has brought in a whole host of drummers to work on different tracks so we get the likes of Virgil Donati and Marco Minnemann casting their spells alongside another 4 drummers. We also have five different saxophone players, and a few other musicians but there is never any doubt that this is built primarily around the guitar.

In some ways this is a shredder’s paradise, but the way he links in with the core saxophone sound moves this far more into jazz territory, combing to create something which is fusion in some ways, but not how it would normally be considered but instead something which is far more metallic and in your face. The music often switches between metal and free form jazz, as well as combining together to create something that is weird, esoteric, and absolutely enthralling. In many ways this is not an easy album to listen to, as it is definitely challenging, yet the right listener will also find this incredibly compelling. Given the amount of different musicians playing on this all credit must go to Zehrfeld for creating something that definitely sounds like a band. The standout for me is "No One Is Flying The Plane" by composer Jeff Novotny, which has an additional horn section and comes across as big band jazz combining with metal, with some gorgeous piano breaks and incredible bass and drums. It should never exist, but definitely make musical sense. For those who want their music to be out there, right out there.

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