ALBUM TO BE RELEASED MARCH 8, 2010 IN NORTH AMERICA ON SPV/STEAMHAMMER
For the original band members Harry Conklin (vocals), Mark Briody (guitar) and John Tetley (bass), JAG PANZER has always been something they held close to their hearts. “We’ve known each other from our earliest childhood and have never lost sight of the idea that this band is based on,” Tetley explains. “I don’t exactly want to use the term ‘spiritual’, but the three of us are connected with this band by a very special relationship. You could say that our lives are inseparably linked with the history of JAG PANZER.”
This heartfelt passion has always been apparent in their songs, however: the American band has never sounded as impressive, mature and accomplished as on their latest album “The Scourge Of The Light” (out on 28 February 2011 in Europe, 25 February 2011 in Germany, and on 8 March 2011 in the US).
The reasons? Well, there are probably a number of them. Without a doubt, the band’s two main songwriters, guitarists Mark Briody and Christian Lasegue, have never been in better form. Every one of their extremely dynamic riffs sounds haunting, every melody cuts their listeners to the core. It may sound like a contradiction, but since guitarist Chris Broderick, who was a band member between 1997 and 2007, left to join Megadeth, JAG PANZER have returned to their old roots. “There can be no question that Chris Broderick is an amazing guitarist, and we were really happy for him that he got this chance with Megadeth. But we feel that thanks to Christian Lasegue, JAG PANZER‘s classic, clearly more melodic power metal style has returned and that the fans will definitely be happy about this.” Tetley may well be right since JAG PANZER‘s most recent studio recording Casting The Stones (2004) was criticised, especially in Europe, for its noticeably harsher direction. “We knew that Christian was the best man for the job, after all he was a band member for three years in the mid-1980s.”
But there are other reasons, too, why “The Scourge Of The Light” sounds so impressive. Despite their limited production budget, JAG PANZER spared no expense or effort to give their ten fantastic new songs a driving their trademark sound. For this reason, they asked Jim Morris to mix the recordings at his legendary Morrisound Studios in Florida and sent the result to New York’s renowned Sterling Sound for mastering. The result is a real ear catcher, without any ifs and buts: “I feel The Scourge Of The Light is the best-sounding album in the history of JAG PANZER,” Tetley rightly expresses his pride in the product of his group’s labors.
Harry Conklin – vocals
Mark Briody – guitars
Chris Lasegue – guitars
John Tetley – bass
Rikard Stjernquist – drums
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Surprise! Metal Church has a new album out, it’s scary to think that a legendary band like Metal Church would release a new album and there be no press on it. I have all eight of the other Metal Church albums and found out about “This Present Wasteland” looking through the new release section of a very non-metal website. As soon as I found out when it was being released I went straight to my favorite record store, known to many as Amazon and ordered it.
Metal Church has always been a strange band for the fact that they are hard to classify. Are they thrash or power, I think the answer is a little of both, especially with Ronny Munroe as the vocalist, if you haven’t heard him sing think of him as a cross between Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Biff Byford (Saxon). This is Munroe’s third album with the band and I still can’t get used to his voice, maybe I am just a die hard David Wayne (R.I.P.) fan.
The musicianship on “Wasteland” is excellent Kurdt Vanderhoof shreds as he always has and guitarist Rick Van Zandt, bassist Steve Unger, and drummer Jeff Plate round out the ’08 version and are all very tight. Jeff Plate is a monster behind the drum kit. Without a doubt the songs are there, but once again it goes back to the vocals and the fact that I just can’t get into Munroe’s vocal style.
“Breathe Again” starts everything off and probably is the best track on the album but it reminds me more of Iron Maiden than Metal Church. “Crawling To Extinction” is where Jeff Plate gets to shine but in all actuality he shines throughout the whole CD. “Deeds of a Dead Soul” kind of reminds of Metallica in the way it is almost nine minutes long but also the solo is very reminiscent of Kirk Hammett.
If you haven’t heard Metal Church before or only the three albums Ronny Munroe has sang on “This Present Wasteland” may appeal to you but if you are a fan of David Wayne or Mike Howe it may leave you wishing for a little more.
- In The Company Of Sorrow
- Perfect Crime
- Deeds Of A Dead Soul
- Meet Your Maker
- Crawling to Extinction
- War Never Won
- Mass Hysteria
- Breathe Again
Metal Church is:
Ronny Munroe – Vocals
Kurdt Vanderhoof – Guitars
Rick Van Zandt – Guitars
Steve Unger – Bass
Jeff Plate – Drums