JAG PANZER – THE DEVIANT CHORD (SPV/Steamhammer)

Review by Omni: Fans of the legendary Jag Panzer will have another reason to be excited in a few weeks! The Deviant Chord will be out on September 29th and it is another solid effort from this veteran band. Mark Briody and the gang have once again created a huge album of classic heavy metal. This album retains all of the signature elements of their sound, while also bringing new things to the table.

As soon as “Born of the Flame” starts playing, it’s obvious that the band hasn’t lost a step. In fact, this might even be their strongest effort in years. The band sounds heavy and full of life. Harry Conklin is instantly recognizable, pulling off a wide array of vocals, including some of the best low notes of his career while also not skimping on his signature high tenor and generally hostile screams. The return of Joey Tafolla, who has not played on a Jag Panzer album since The Fourth Judgement two decades ago, is a welcome boost to their already amazing talent as a unit, making this one of the band’s most dynamic albums in recent years. The rhythm section of John Tetley and Rikard Stjernquist won’t be outdone either. This is one band where everyone really shines. Everything that you love about Jag Panzer is here in great supply.

The production values are great, but not overly glossy. Everything can easily be heard and Harry’s voice stands out in the great mix. The guitar sound is heavy and vibrant. The drumming hits hard but never threatens to wash the other instruments out of the mix. The extensive use of choral vocals also works to the band’s favor, as it adds another layer to the already thoughtful arrangements. It’s incredibly difficult to cull favorites from this album, but I’d have to choose “Salacious Behavior” and “Long Awaited Kiss” as the prime cuts. The former is a pounding heavy metal banger with the signature Jag Panzer energy and the latter is a heartfelt ballad that is played in waltz time, making it one of the band’s most unique and interesting songs to date. The traditional standard “Foggy Dew” also sees a very heavy arrangement that continues the trend of Jag Panzer choosing unexpected songs when including a cover track on their releases.

If you love Jag Panzer, then you’re going to love this album. If you don’t love Jag Panzer, then you should buy this album anyway because all of your favorite new metal bands wish that they were as cool as these guys. The Deviant Chord is another worthy effort from Jag Panzer and one of the best new albums by a veteran band in the last few years. Forgive me for hammering away at this, but you should just biy this album if you like heavy metal. You won’t be disappointed. Additional info at: https://nl-nl.facebook.com/jagpanzerofficial/ 

My rating: 90/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)

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