The Scourge of Light
The Scourge of Light
Jag Panzer should be a familiar name to any self-respecting metal head, as they have been around since 1981, releasing 9 albums since 1984’s debut, "Ample Destruction". "The Scourge of Light" is the band's most recent release, and it is a fine example of a band who has been releasing albums for the last 27 years.
The album starts off with a bit of a lackluster display, “Condemned to Fight” immediately displays a strong sense of melodic guitar work, along with wondrous double kick fury. Unfortunately, the vocal lines written for this particular song are extremely weak, and ruin it on a basic level. The instrumentation tries, but is not able to fully make up for the vocals. However, these woes are soon forgotten as the rest of the album displays masterful vocal lines that really express the vocal ferocity and power at the hands of The Tyrant (a.k.a. Harry Conklin). He does a bit of a Rob Halford impression during the song “Burn” as he hits “Painkiller” high-pitched scream mode.
Next to the vocal magic at the hands of The Tyrant, the instrumentation really pushes the music forward. Drums are mostly typical, but sound great and are well played. The guitar tone is formidable, and any band that's been playing this long ought to have that. Apart from sounding great, the guitars are superbly performed, featuring melodic twin guitar leads and exceptional solos that one would expect from a band of this caliber.
"The Scourge of Light" is not the most original of albums, drawing much influence from many traditional metal bands like Iron Maiden or the aforementioned Judas Priest, as well as many heavy/power metal bands (themselves?). However, what they lack in originality, they make up for with great writing. Other than the opener, there are no tracks with immediate problems. As the album progresses, the songs gradually get better, hitting a slight peak at “Overlord” and the album’s last two tracks, “Burn” and “The Book of Kells.”
Overall, The Scourge of Light may not be the band’s greatest work, but it definitely is a welcome addition to their already lengthy catalogue, as well as an easy jumping off point for any future Jag Panzer fans.
Claus’ Rating 3.75/5