Released By : SPV/Riot Entertainment
Genre : Traditional Heavy Metal, Power Metal
Links : http://www.jagpanzer.com/
01. Condemned To Fight
02. The Setting Of The Sun
03. Bringing The End
04. Call To Arms
07. Let It Out
10. The Book Of Kells
JAG PANZER have returned with their first full-length album since the well-received 2004 long player CASTING THE STONES and while truthfully it’s pretty much more of the same, THE SCOURGE OF THE LIGHT is an album sure to please fans of the band and make a few waves in the traditional metal and power metal circles throughout the year. Where a few of the band’s mid-career albums were more directed toward the power metal side of things, THE SCOURGE OF THE LIGHT is surely a traditional heavy metal album with some power metal influence and not the other way around, think artists like DIO, BLIND GUARDIAN, METAL CHURCH and AGENT STEEL.
A major part of why the traditional metal elements stick out strong here is the fact that the band’s original vocalist Harry Conklin is at the reigns. He did disappear from the band for a while in the early nineties, and to me that is when they sounded more power metal than they do now, Conklin obviously has a lot of love for DIO and it shows in the way the songs play out. The twin guitar attack of Mark Briody and Chris Laseque works wonders here too and they bounce off each other in perfect unison constantly blowing your mind with tough-as-nails riffery and solos that would send even some of the greats out for more lessons. It’s also the first time Lasque has played with the band since the early days and you have to wonder why he was absent for all of these years and just how much extra he could have added to the band’s success if he had stayed on a little longer.
The classic metal opener FORCED TO FIGHT has everything you need to deduce whether or not you will like the rest of the album, with a great opening riff, some slower choruses and a hammering double kick shred solo that would make Yngwie blush. The rest of the album also holds a few more real stand-outs in tunes like THE SETTING OF THE SUN that has a real DIO vibe to it, CALL TO ARMS which once again shows just how well the dual guitar attack works when implemented properly, it’s also lyrically an awesome metal fist-pumping anthem. The album ends with another excellent tune with the eight minute long epic THE BOOK OF KELLS which includes orchestration, choir vocals and a great groove.
While I wouldn’t say this is JAG PANZER’S best album it is definitely one of my favorites and a real stand-out so far this year in the traditional metal and power metal genres. A general gaze across the world wide web shows that opinion is pretty divided about THE SCOURGE OF THE LIGHT thus far, but this reviewer was very pleased with the album and now I just hope we don’t have to wait another seven years between albums from one of the stand-out acts of the traditional metal genre.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10