Genre: Heavy/U.S. Power Metal
During the early 80’s, Jag Panzer were one of the bands that influenced dramatically the course of the Heavy Metal scene, with their sound. Jap Panzer were one of the bands that created the Power Metal sound, just like Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth created the Thrash Metal sound, or how the Progressive Metal sound originated from bands like Queensryche and Fates Warning. Ever since their first album Able Destruction, that is one of my top 10 Heavy Metal albums (that has one of the best cover artworks too) they left their mark their mark on the scene. An unmatched band for me, in fact I never heard another band that resembles their sound. Mainly due to their great vocalist Harry Conklin, with his great singing abilities that established him as one of the best in the scene. I doubt that anyone could think of Jag Panzer without him, really. When Bob Parduba was on vocals, even though i liked him a lot, it felt as if I was listening to a different band. When the band split up i was really upset and even though I was happy about the reunion, Harry’s departure made me really sad. Luckily, his return made it up for the 6 years of absence, since Deviant Chord definitely justifies the waiting, it’s an album that will be certainly be cherished by fans worldwide. Even though the album doesn’t drift away from Jag Panzers standards, it somehow manages to sound different, with the new musical ideas it introduces. From the first hearing, I felt as if tons of steel ran through my ears and when I was finally able to comprehend what I was listening to, i started listening to it over and over. After 3 days with the album on repeat, I came to the conclusion that this album is their best album after Ample Destruction. Music-wise, I’d say the album is somewhere between Ample Destruction and Age of Mastery, but with better sound and production than the previous ones. From the first track “Born of the Flame” you can get the feel of the album, John Tetley and Mark Briody keeping the rhythm and the intensity, Rikard Stjernquist racing Joey Taffola’s speed and Harry being the highlight with his incredible voice. Following track “Far Beyond All Fear” is as intense and it gives you the feeling that the albums quality and volume will keep on rising. “Deviant Chord” is more of a progressive song, one of the best of this album actually, with Harry turning the composition into a hymn that will mark our hearts forever. “Black List” galloping and volume gets you pumped up for the epic/power tracks “Foggy Dew” and “Divine Intervention” that are about to follow and that will send you back in the Medieval era, amongst knights, swords and epic battles. “Long Awaited Kiss” is a power metal ballad with a rare melody, only Harry’s vocals and Joey’s amazing solos could create such atmosphere, making it one of the best tracks of the album. “Salacious Behaviour” and “Fire of our Spirit” are the speed/power tracks of “The Deviant Chord”, with wild rhythm and speed on drums and guitars, with the solo of the latter being the best solo of the album. Last track is “Dare”, which is my favorite one, the tempo is stuck in my head and in my lips. It has a more “live-approach” and makes me think about their next live show in Greece and the amazing interaction that will take place between the band and their fans. I will end this review with immense respect and emotions for this brilliant group. And since music is emotions and some groups pass like drizzle while others pass like thunder storms, Jag Panzer are for me like 10 typhoons and 10 storms at the same time. Ladies and Gentlemen, Jag Panzer are back and they’re better than ever before.