Jag Panzer

Blacksword – Alive Again Review

Blacksword – Alive Again Review

“With a tagline of “heavy metal from Siberia” and an eye-catchingly awful cover, Blacksword caught this primate’s primal attention. This is the sophomore outing by a group that last released something way back in 2010, so I wasn’t expecting a whole heck of a lot from these cold weather warriors. What you get on Alive Again however is a surprisingly spry and enjoyable dose of epic flavored traditional metal borrowing from the American power metal sound of the 80s as well as modern acts like Iced Earth and Diviner.” From Russia with iron glove.

Starlight Ritual – Sealed in Starlight Review

Starlight Ritual – Sealed in Starlight Review

Sponge Boy(d) and I don’t exactly have well aligned worldviews or musical tastes, but for whatever reason we both laid claim to the debut by Canadian classic metal act Starlight Ritual. Instead of fussin’ and feudin’, we decided to do a double review of Sealed in Starlight instead. See? People of different opinions can work together! Hailing from Quebec, this crew rocks a heavy metal sound steeped in the 80s. They cite influences ranging from Mötörhead, Rainbow and Judas Priest.” Sealed in the 80s.

My Refuge – The Anger Is Never Over Review

My Refuge – The Anger Is Never Over Review

“Following a distinctly cheese-less 2021, I decided to cherry pick something smelly. A promo surfaced, bearing both the words “Italian” and “power.” Perfect. However, and disappointingly, a deeper dive into the one sheet showed that this is only four eighteenths of the story; although the founder and main man is indeed Italian, the core band comprises a Spaniard and a German, with a further 15 contributors from across the globe, covering Czech Republic, Turkey, Canada and Venezuela, among others. My Refuge and their second full-length release entitled The Anger Is Never Over takes international to the next level but is it good? Is it cheesy?” No sanctuary from the anger.

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

“Aside from the enigmatic Brocas Helm, Tyrant may be one of the least prolific American metal bands ever. Starting out in 1978, the band dropped their Legions of the Dead debut in 85, followed by their best known, most respected work, 87s Too Late to Pray. After Too Late they went radio silent and I forgot about them in the fullness of time. Apparently they released a comeback album in 96 which I only just found out about because they’re attempting a brand new comeback, the result of which was just hauled out of the promo sump like a waterlogged carcass.” Once and future Tyrant.

Iron Kingdom – On the Hunt Review

Iron Kingdom – On the Hunt Review

“Much like the subject depicted in this album’s artwork, once I took a swing at the advance track for On the Hunt and saw the resultant blood, I had to follow the trail to see where it ended. So, donning my Arctic Wolf Fur Armor (+50% Cold Resistance), I tracked my prey through forest and field until finally coming upon an open gate. I steeled my resolve and ventured forth into the land beyond. I had entered the Iron Kingdom.” Come for the iron, stay for the metal.

Riot City – Burn the Night Review

Riot City – Burn the Night Review

“Before one can burn the night, one must first own the night. That’s exactly what Riot City set out to do on their rip roaring retro 80s metal debut. Properly done, retro metal is synonymous with unbridled enthusiasm, fun, and a middle finger to all authority everywhere. It should overflow like a latrine at a 4-day metal festival with in-your-face riffs, pounding drums, and vocals higher than Colorado post-2014. Nuance, subtly and restraint all must be forsaken and expunged and animal spirits embraced. Riot City know these truisms and live them as they rock hard and ride free like the 80s never ended.” Burning the midnight steel.

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors Review

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors Review

“Some ideas sound great in theory. Fewer look good when put to paper. That crucial step of transforming an idea from paper into reality? Well, let’s just say only the best of the bunch should see the harsh light of day. Taking three of metal’s premier wailers and screamers and having them lustily compete with one another for an album’s worth of over-the-top manic hysteria is not such a worthy concept. Aptly named The Three Tremors, this project features Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth), Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (Jag Panzer, Satan’s Host), and Sean (no cool nickname) Peck (Cage, Denner/Sherman).” Banshee business.

Jag Panzer – The Deviant Chord Review

Jag Panzer – The Deviant Chord Review

Jag Panzer has a special page in the Big Book of American Metal, being one of the early progenitors of what was once known as “American power metal.” Their testosterone and armpit hair laden adaptation of the NWoBHM sound along with the uber metal vocals of Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin set their 1984 Ample Destruction debut apart from the typical Priest and Maiden clones, and along with similar acts like Metal Church and Helstar, they helped develop a mighty sound later pilfered thoroughly by Sanctuary and Iced Earth.” Of Deviance and Tyranny.

Heavens Decay – The Great Void of Mystery Review

Heavens Decay – The Great Void of Mystery Review

“We all know December is the Great Dumpster Fire of Destiny for promos, and one does not simply sort through it without being stunned by the world-class dreck the labels unleash upon us poor, defenseless reviewers like so much coal in our stockings. Even in dead-end December though, you can sometimes trip over an industrial grade gem – the kind that will never shine like a pricey diamond, but may just win your affection anyway with its durable, utilitarian badassery. The Great Void of Mystery by Heavens Decay is one such stone of note.” December dumpster diving is risky business.