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I'm a classic heavy metal fan, and my attitude to new bands or projects playing classically is highly positive. As I see it, modern sound provides better audiability without spoiling the essence of the music. Classical bands have switched with years to the modern sound - and see, Iron Maiden's "Dance of Death" sounds awesome and fresh, without aping the 80's discs. But - what have we here, from Panzer X?
I must admit I do like this EP very much. I grew tired of all those death and black metal bands trying to blast my brain by non-stopping tremolos and blast beats. For now, the music we can hear here is some kind of discovery - a retreat from the extreme, towards listenability. That's cool for me, as I like music with good riffs and melodies. The first two songs are just like old Judas Priest with new sound. No ripping off, but it reminds me of Judas, a great advantage of the material. The vocals are done perfectly, most bands have problems with good singers - but Panzer X vocals are just as they should be.
The third one, "Feel My X", is pure rock and roll. Some aren't gonna like it. But I like Motorhead, so why shouldn't I like this, a good, fun song? "Why" is a short instrumental piece, quite interesting though. It still has melodies! I must repeat myself - today having melodies and slower, massive riffs is a great advantage to any band.
The last track is a cover of my favourite song from the Rolling Stones - "Paint It Black". I've heard some band spoil it bad. But not here. As the singer did his job well on the previous tracks, he does so here, and guitar work simply burns.
So... Why is it so underrated? This CD is heavy metal energy, a comeback to the roots from where all metal comes from. It brings back the energy of original rock and roll! I give it just 70 for being too short, I want more from Panzer X, I want it delivered soon!
It doesn't happen too often that a sideproject of a bandmember who's used of playing in an extreme metal genre (whether it's black, death or doom), succeeds in playing heavy or power metal. What was Vader's Wiwczarek thinking when he came up with the idea of Panzer X?!
A more modern sounding and stereotypical heavy metal EP then this is almost unthinkable. It's not that it's bad, but it's a sound that's just too much of the same. Almost no one's interested in projects like this. This is what Edguy would sound like if they were a bit less melodic, and that's not really a compliment. First of all you have the first two songs which are fairly enjoyable, but no more. Then there's "Feel My X" which isn't even a good song, it sounds too damn poppy. Then you've got an instrumental song, and then a Rolling Stones cover (on the back of the cover it says there's a Judas Priest cover on it to, but apparently that's not true). If the purpose of a first EP is convincing people to buy the full album when it comes out, then their mission has failed...
I hope Wiwczarek realised this, so he can keep on playing in Vader, without spending useless time on this sideproject.