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Originally appeared in "The Wormwood Chronicles."
Picking up right where "Mechanized Warfare" left off, JP just launches into the seering distortion and cool melodies. Rikard Stjernquist is fast becoming a better drummer with every album the band puts out. I mean if anyone can start up a "Most Improved Metal Musician" award somewhere, this guy should at least get nominated. His playing is becoming more and more colorful, and he's beginning to prove that being in a metal band of this type can have more than just a steady beat, but that some serious technique and invention can be brought to the table as well. Everyone else is still just as good as always. Mark Briody and John Tetley continue to be the driving force behind the Panzer's music, and Harry Conklin continues to work in his unique vocal style into every tune. The man has a great nose for the epic melody, and he seems to be getting a bit gruffer and meaner with every album as well, which is definetely an improvement. Chris Broderick...well, in my honest opinion he is a guitarist without peer. He succeeds on this album at what Rob Johnson and Tony MacAlpine have failed in their attempts to do...he crafts immense shred solos on a 7-string guitar that are incredibly memorable. Really, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more soulful 7-string metal guitarist.
As for the songs, these suckers are great. I honestly didn't think anything could top "Mechanized Warfare," which had such bitchin' numbers as "Take to the Sky," "The Scarlet Letter," and "The Silent," and while I don't necessarily think that JP have succeeded in topping that awesome effort, I think they have come incredibly close. I mean, one need only listen to songs like "Tempest," and "Mission (1943)" to know that this albums ranks up there with the best Jag Panzer material, and I'll go on record as saying that my personal favorite, "Battered and Bruised," leaves you feeling just that... that you've been assaulted by a serious metal force to be reckoned with. Even my least favorite track on the album, the somewhat hoaky "Cold," is so infectious and heavy that every now and then I catch myself singing along to it while driving.
Proof that while Jag Panzer will never be superstars, they WILL stand the test of time and remain the metal legends that they are.