Jag Panzer - The Deviant Chord review


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Band: Jag Panzer
Album: The Deviant Chord
Release date: September 2017

01. Born Of The Flame
02. Far Beyond All Fear
03. The Deviant Chord
04. Blacklist
05. Foggy Dew
06. Divine Intervention
07. Long Awaited Kiss
08. Salacious Behavior
09. Fire Of Our Spirit
10. Dare

Jag Panzer is that rare power metal band that lives up to the name of the genre in every aspect, radiating a sense of raw power and brute force that leaves a lot of extreme metal bands rolling in the dust. Thankfully, the band's second hiatus was considerably shorter than the first, and The Deviant Chord shows us a Jag Panzer renewed in spirit and ready to keep its good name intact.

The contrasts between sharp, sandpapery rhythm guitars and gorgeously full lead tones, between Harry Conklin's muscular orations and the calm, flighty backing vocals, between the brutality of thrashed-out heavy riffs and a carefully attuned sense of classical embellishment, all allow Jag Panzer to explore the breadth of its talents. The Deviant Chord gives us a traditionally heroic power metal opener in "Born Of The Flame," a ripping ballad in "Long Awaited Kiss," some Dio-esque heavy power in "Salacious Behavior," a fairly unexpected but spirited cover of the Irish classic "Foggy Dew," and the type of song that only this band could write in "Far Beyond All Fear." It's the eclectic line-up of many a Jag Panzer album, a glimpse into the variety of the band's influences and capabilities.

Sonically, The Deviant Chord loses nothing in comparison to the best Jag Panzer material, and even the songwriting is more consistent than the last few albums. Some Jag Panzer albums can feel disconnected or out-of-sync at times, the result of an occasional misfire in their experimentation with different song structures and genres, but The Deviant Chord shares one mentality and one musical vision the whole way through; this album has a tangible cohesion, and the sheer confidence pouring out of it will likely move even veteran Jag Panzer fans.

Difficult to believe it may be, but Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin has been spewing molten metal for a full 40 years, having first stepped into the musical world with Satan's Host back in 1977. Something as insignificant as being 55 doesn't stop Conklin from being that once-in-a-lifetime lead vocalist, someone who boasts a broad range, clear articulation, an air of perfect assurance, a voice that suits his material, and, as certain subdued moments throughout demonstrate, a real ability to sing like an angel when he wants to take a break from screaming to the heavens. It wouldn't be Jag Panzer without the Tyrant to drive it, and with his full, clear voice in command, the band need not fear falling behind its contemporaries.

It seems doubtful that anyone will ever surpass the renown of Manowar and Iced Earth when it comes to American power metal, but if any band deserves the chance, it's Jag Panzer. They have put in the time, they have come out on top many times before, and even after two breaks, line-up changes, and long gaps between albums, they've still got the energy to take on any band in the power metal scene.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 13.10.2017 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.

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