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Jag Panzer - The Hallowed review

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Band: Jag Panzer
Album: The Hallowed
Release date: June 2023

01. Bound As One
02. Prey!
03. Ties That Bind
04. Stronger Than You Know
05. Onward We Toil
06. Edge Of A Knife
07. Dark Descent
08. Weather The Storm
09. Renewed Flame
10. Last Rites

Power metal generally has a bit more of a fantasy dragon-slaying setting, so how's a dystopian future as a setting?

Well, it is still power metal, so calls to battle and the overarching feeling of epicness can translate just as well regardless of setting, so outside the cover art (which apparently served as the springboard for the band choosing to write a concept album) there isn't that much that is very obvious to indicate the concept album nature of the album without digging into the lyrics. The songs are structured in classic fashion, with each song except the closer being between three and six minutes in runtime. There are no guests, there's no narration interludes (ok, maybe there was a short one), no deviations from Jag Panzer's tried and tested sound. The Hallowed, besides having the lyrics inspired by the cover art, is basically another Jag Panzer album. Heavy metal bands don't always have the best track record of filling concept albums with interludes, so I'm rather glad that Jag Panzer went with what works.

And here comes the point where I have to admit that I'm not as familiar with Jag Panzer as I should be. Power metal never was my forte, even if among the swathes of power metal bands, Jag Panzer's brand commonly referred to as "US power metal" brings me more enjoyment than the flowery European kind. They are less ridiculous than Manowar and don't currently leave a bad taste in one's mouth the way Iced Earth now do, but they are definitely a band whose place in the metal world is too defined by their debut album. 1984's Ample Destruction is widely and rightfully regarded as a classic both in terms of traditional heavy metal, as well as the emerging power metal sound, but the trials and tribulations that led to the band only properly following it up more than a decade later meant that the band still suffers from not properly having cemented their place to become household names the way some of their peers have even if they preceded a lot of them. The run from 1997 to 2017, consistent and full of Jag Panzer's powerful sound as it is, blends together for anyone who isn't really into Jag Panzer.

Thus, The Hallowed falling into Jag Panzer doing what Jag Panzer doing best doesn't threaten to change anything about my assertion of their career. I do enjoy it, and most of my enjoyment does come from how great Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin's vocals are, and with a lot of it being very chorus focused, there's some real power behind the anthemic nature of a lot or it even four decades after the debut (in case ya wanna listen to our interview with the man, it's here). That's not to say that he's the only thing impressive about the band's sound, with new guitarist Ken Rodarte also giving a pretty praise-worthy first impression with the band, and there's a nice touch of technicality and flashy solos all throughout The Hallowed, and even some longer-form and albeit more plodding songwriting for the closer, but I'll be lying if I said that the one element that felt memorable weren't the way the vocals delivered the choruses.

I know that's a lot of words for Jag Panzer does Jag Panzer, and it coming with a comic, doesn't change much about that. But Jag Panzer are consistent, and Jag Panzer deliver.

Written on 05.07.2023 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 99 users
05.07.2023 - 17:02
Rating: 7
Funny you should bring up interludes as a potential bane of concept albums, as this is something I think Jag Panzer does exceedingly well on Thane To The Throne and that remains one of my favorite albums, but I'll agree that it doesn't generally suit their style. I'd expect this one to be stronger without that element. And I'd also have to agree that a lot of their albums blend together - although I've been listening to them longer than most metal bands, I still often get mixed up about the run between The Fourth Judgment and The Scourge Of Light (Thane To The Throne aside).

I liked "Stronger Than You Know" and wasn't impressed by "Edge Of A Knife" when they were released, and on the whole I have lower expectations than I did for The Deviant Chord (which I would call one of their better albums and easily one of their most consistent). But Harry's voice is still in excellent shape and after the interview you did I'm intrigued by the concept for this one (rather Orden Ogan-like, just on appearances), so I am looking forward to checking this out.
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
15.07.2023 - 13:29
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Good reviev, finally some good tr00 metal
Good band in all albums
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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