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Jag Panzer - "Scourge Of The Light" (CD)

Jag Panzer - "Scourge Of The Light" CD cover image

"Scourge Of The Light" track listing:

1. Condemned To Fight
2. The Setting Of The Sun
3. Bringing On The End
4. Call To Arms
5. Cycles
6. Overlord
7. Let It Out
8. Union
9. Burn
10. The Book Of Kells

Reviewed by on March 1, 2011

"Jag Panzer's 'The Scourge Of The Light' is a potent reminder that the true power in power metal doesn't lie entirely with vocal gymnastics and fleet-fingered solos. It also lies in memorable riffs and grooves, which you'll find plenty of here."

Marking a self-proclaimed return to the band's classic style, Jag Panzer's "The Scourge Of The Light" features all the usual power metal flourishes, including melodic, near operatic vocals and light-speed arpeggiated guitar solos. What separates Jag Panzer from the pack is the band's dedication to creating memorable riffs that at times flirt with more aggressive thrash sounds.

The album opens with "Condemned To Fight," which, with its aggressive guitars from Christian Lasegue and Mark Briody and speedy drumming from Rikard Stjernquist, has a thrashy, aggressive feel. That vibe is also felt on "Cycles" and "Let It Out," which has a strange Dio-meets-Megadeth feel to it.

Most of the other songs have a more traditional epic, power metal feel, with "The Setting Of The Sun" standing out due to its powerful vocal performance from Harry Conklin. "Call To Arms" is another standout, boasting a powerful chorus and excellent riff.

Unfortunately, the band ends with its weakest track, the over-the-top "The Book Of Kells," features everything from acoustic guitars to Gregorian-chant-style vocals, but never really feels like it goes anywhere.

In the album's press kit, bassist John Tetley says he feels "The Scourge Of The Light" is the band's best-sounding album. That's debatable, but the fact is that it's obvious that plenty of care went into the production of this album, with a heavy but warm sound that especially benefits Stejernquist's drumming.

Jag Panzer's "The Scourge Of The Light" is a potent reminder that the true power in power metal doesn't lie entirely with vocal gymnastics and fleet-fingered solos. It also lies in memorable riffs and grooves, which you'll find plenty of here.

Highs: "Condemned To Fight," "The Setting Of The Sun" and "Call To Arms"

Lows: The overly long and bloated "The Book Of Kells."

Bottom line: An excellent power metal disc that marries speedy solos and melodic vocals with greater aggression than most.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)