By Rob Kachluba
Being one of the founding members of the US Power Metal scene going way back to the classic early 80s Ample Destruction LP, Jag Panzer are back with their heaviest and tough as nails new one The Scourge of Light. Hard to believe its been nearly seven years since 2004’s Casting the Stones but again the Jags deliver. Built around the powerhouse vocals of Harry ‘the Tyrant’ Conklin, these ten tunes reek of old school trad metal and with former guitarist Chris Broderick leaving for Megadeth rest assured new Panzer shredder Christian Lesague fills in the void admirably. His fluid solos and tech wizardry will leave you begging for more. “Condemned to Fight” opens up the record with classic Jag Panzer: aggressive riffing and the huge sweeping chorus only reaffirms that the Tyrant is a metal god on vocals. He should be considered right up their with the Rippers, Barlows etc of the world. “Setting the Sun” follows with a mid-paced grower that again has a wicked chorus and some great soloing. The production this time around was handled by Jim Morris at Morrisound studios and he did one helluva job. The sound is very big, perfectly suited for the larger-than-life, over-the-top style of Jag Panzer. The guitars sound powerful in front along with the Tyrant but the excellent drumming of Rikard Stjernquist is also present and clear. Along with Iced Earth, Jag Panzer remains the cream of the crop for American Power Metal. Welcome back boys, nice to have you.