Review: Jag Panzer

Jag Panzer
“Mechanized Warfare”
(Century Media)

This is metal in the traditional vein. Jag Panzer’s songs drive along like a rickety dilapidated horse-drawn carriage over long abandoned mountain roads. The double bass clicker clacks along, guitar solos soar out of the mix, screaming their very, very metal licks up to the heavens. Mechanized Warfare is very much your father’s heavy metal. It reeks of influences taken from Iron Maiden, Saxon and hosts of other NWOBHM bands, but also remains true to its own levels of creativity.

This is a return for Jag Panzer to the classic metal sounds of their full-length debut, “Ample Destruction,” way back in 1984. There seems to be a lot of these bands around now that refuse to ever go down. They’re like energizer bunnies with guitars. And even though they refuse to quit, there’s a quiet dignity to many of Jag Panzer’s songs that make them easier to stomach than many of their traditionalist metal head contemporaries. Some of the tunes can even be called pretty, which isn’t quite what I was expecting.

When I first saw this album, the name and the album’s artwork first made me anticipate a much heavier death blast kind of band. I mean, they are named after a nazi tank, and the album art shows some sort of giant robot jock stomping across the battle field in the dawn’s early light as one of those nazi Jag Panzer tanks follows along for back up. Don’t be fooled as I was. What you get on the disc itself is well written, guitar soloing oriented, melodic metal.