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I find that Mechanized Warfare is an outstanding great in the Jag Panzer album line-up. It seems to be the sound they were striving for all this time, that they finally achieved. And it turned into quite an amazing album. Harry Conklin's vocals are so unique, there's none like him. And Chris Broderick and Eric Briody are a very good guitar duo. And when I listening to this album and their newest album Casting The Stones, I was debating which one hit me harder. Then I kind of realized that Casting The Stones kind of seems like the second part of this album, so I might as well praise the one that started it all. This album, I believe, will define the key Jag Panzer sound for a long time to come.
The CD starts off with a hard hitting track in the form of Take To The Sky. The lyrics are very awesome, which surprised me for a power metal band singing about flying a jet. Great guitar solo, but unfortunately falls prey to alot of their solos starting to sound the same; melody followed by shred. Still, a very good song, especially the part about 2 minutes into the song where there's an extreme riff change and then all of a sudden they stop. Then they come back into the song, it's high quality.
The next few tracks are quality, and follow the same format as the first one, with alot of great intro riffs especially and decent solos. But then you get to The Scarlet Letter, written about the book (kind of like they did the concept album about Macbeth called Thane to the Throne). But anyway, this is a decent little song that impressively follows the story well.
A few more songs that follow their own special pattern, and then you get to something new and different... And this is what makes this album great, arguably one of the best songs ever: Power Surge. The riff is just so fast and thrashy, and then these great power metal vocals over it. And there is this insane bridge riff that just makes you want to stand up and head bang. And after it goes around a few times, a really different flavored solo rolls over it. It's got the melody and the shred, but there's more to it than that. Not to mention the choir of "ooohs" over it. It just is very tastefully done, and the solo is rather lengthy to.
Then you get the final track All Things Renewed, which is an unexpected breath of fresh air. In fact, the accoustic intro is just a big change-up from the pinch harmonic driven heavy riffs from before (and believe me, Jag Panzer is heavy). This song could almost be a Scorpion song, it's so well done. It's like it was taken right from the 70s, and it couldn't be better. It maintains the bands feel, while progressing into new territory.
Not to mention if you keep listening on the final track, you can hear some demos of the band singing that are utterly hilarious.
Now, if you want to know what I mean, then listen to Battered and Bruised from their newest album Casting The Stones. Then harken back to this album, and listen to Power Surge. It's like they used this album as a template for that one, which there is nothing wrong with because this album is amazing and sets a good standard for the band. But if you're going to dive into the Jag Panzer discography, I would start here with what I believe truly defines who and what this band is.