Jag Panzer - The Deviant Chord

(CD/LP, SPV/Steamhammer, 2017)

It was extremely frustrating reading that JAG PANZER called it a day, especially considering how awesome “The Scourge Of The Light” turned out to be. However, high quality US Power Metal (that this band has been producing since the mid-'80s) has nothing to do with all the things going on behind the scenes nowadays when making a living out of recording music has become a privilege of the few. Fortunately, especially for all of us who’ve been following JAG PANZER, the band’s plans to quit did not go through and, in fact, went back to the studio to produce a brand new offering, titled “The Deviant Chord”. The only thing that was left to make this ‘a huge comeback’ was for this album to be awesome... Well, do you have any doubts about that?

‘Cause if you do, then you must belong to that part of the Metal scene that has let JAG PANZER slide through the cracks and missed some killer albums in the process. Anyway, there is always a chance to repent and the album opener “Born Of The Flame” is the perfect occasion as it carries all the characteristics of the traditional US-born and raise Power Metal; melodic and epics riffs, galloping rhythm and over-the-top vocals by the one and only Harry Conklin. Yeah, everything sounds in place here ticking all the boxes in the JAG PANZER quality control checklist. This is true fists-the-air music with catchy vocal melodies that gets you blood pumping hard from the get-go. “Far Beyond All Fear” is next, and I think it is even better; the double guitar harmonies, the epic atmosphere and double-bass drumming will quench your headbanging thirst before inviting you to chant along the fantastic riff just before the guitar solo - I’ll tell you what: US Power Metal does not get better than this and have no second thoughts... But hold on one a minute because it does get better as JAG PANZER have also the ability to send shivers down your spine with slower tempos letting Tyrant’s voice and Mark’s clean guitar arpeggios to paint pictures using the darkest colors as it happens in the album’s title track.  The parts where Harry pushes his singing pitch to those difficult-to-reach heights are amazing while the subtle orchestrations will increase the song’s heaviness despite its mid-tempo. The gifted singer goes out of his comfort zone with the cover on “Foggy Dew” which has been JAG PANZER-ized with the double guitars and the double-bass drumming, so yes, you will be fist-pumping and headbanging during this one despite the fact that the original is an Irish ballad. “Long Awaited Kiss” is another epic one starting off with moody almost ballad-like guitar and violin sounds which bleed into the distortion of the guitar-leads and fills are bringing along. The slower tempo gives the listener to opportunity to enjoy the balanced mix and the clean sound where one can enjoy the bass lines and the amazing solo which carries an almost Hard Rock flair to it.

“The Deviant Chord” turned out to be a powerful statement that JAG PANZER is not ready to be filled under the retired Metal bands section. On the contrary, the five-piece lineup sounds inspired and ready to give these songs the concert treatment they deserve. I just hope that this will also happen on US soil too. Until then, make you sure you won’t let this LP slip under your radar.





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 Behaviour
09. Fire Of Our Spirit
10. Dare


John Tetley - Bass
Mark Briody - Guitar, Keyboards
Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin - Vocals
Joey Tafolla - Guitar
Rikard Stjernquist - Drums