It's hard to believe that Jag Panzer, one of the pioneers of American heavy power metal, are entering their 30th year in the music business. Even harder to believe is that we haven't heard from them in seven years. Scourge of the Light is their first album since 2004's Casting the Stones, a very fine Panzer album. It also marks the recording debut of lead guitarist Christian Lasegue, who played for the band from 1985 to 1988, but returned in 2008.
Jag Panzer has traveled many musical roads in their career. Where Thane to the Throne was a concept album and Mechanized Warfare leaning towards the progressive side, Scourge of the Light marks a return to a more traditional heavy and power metal format that made them famous early on. Christian Lasegue new input may have something to do with this. And certainly this album sounds more like classic melodic heavy metal, with emphasis on heavy.
The opener Condemned to Fight has turbocharged blistering pace, but the rest of the songs make no attempt to break some power metal speed record. (Ultimately, JP was never about a careening rampage of sound, so this makes sense.) The Setting of the Sun, Bringing on the End, Call to Arms, and Union, by example, are measured, heavy, and deliberate in their heaviness. Small notes of progressive metal turn up in Overload and possibly Burn. But also Burn sounds like pure Americanized NWOBHM circa 1984. As a whole, Scourge of the Light finds Jag Panzer offering a fundamental picture of their musical adventures across the three decades of their career. The closing number, The Book of Kells, by example, demonstrates this very fact.
Fans of Jag Panzer and all things American classic heavy metal will find Scourge of the Light a true delight and a signature album for this fine band. Another recommendation: Buy Jag Panzer's back catalog.
Fans of Jag Panzer and all things American classic heavy metal will find Scourge of the Light a true delight and a signature album for this fine band.
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