Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction
Azra/Iron Works
Heavy/Power/Speed Metal
9 songs (39:09)
Release year: 1984
Jag Panzer
Reviewed by Thomas

I remember back in the day when I was on my Maiden-only ramble, I pretty much wrote off every single heavy metal band that were presented to me on any occasion. Stupid as I was, checking out bands, reading bunches of reviews, I always came to the conclusion that nothing were even remotely close to my beloved Iron Maiden. They were the ones who got me into this kind of music after all. This was the case with Jag Panzer as well, I picked out some random, acknowledged album, gave it half a spin, and forgot about them. Well, that was until my high-level fanboyism started to wear off, and I took another glance on metal of the old school and all its hidden, classic treasures.

While I haven't become particularly fond of their later offerings, Jag Panzer became, with Ample Destruction one of the earliest and most important bands within the US heavy metal scene. None of the members is to be found in especially big-name acts, but made a pretty decent effort creating a name for themselves nonetheless. Their excellent début may have been unheard of back when it was first released, drowning in the pool of everything else. Now however it has emerged as one of those who proudly stood the test of time, and remains close to our hearts to this day. Jag Panzer are able to translate their raw, youthful energy into riffgasmic tunes, and even though this clocks in for nearly an hour if you have the re-release, and roughly forty minutes if you have the original one (I will stick with that one), nothing ever becomes dull as killer heavy metal rips your heart out.

To clarify, this won't dazzle you with originality you have never heard before. This is however unique in its own simple way, with its slight American sound, and distinct change from their first EP Tyrants. The sound is more polished and has a steely, in-your-face edge to it. Conklin sounds much better as well, and his vocal work is simply breath-taking and jaw-dropping in more than a few places. His piercing falsettos will slap you senseless, as he manages to not sound like a castrated sissy that just got kicked in his non-existent nuts, and delivers an attitude that makes Ample Destruction unmistakable for anything else. Also standing out, is the incredible guitar-duelling of Mark Briody and Joey Tafolla who churns out killer riff after killer riff with no second thought and no signs of mercy. The speed is violently shredding your face to pieces while the noticeable catchy vibe that does nothing but boast its impressive presence. The musicianship overall is handled beautifully without any sloppy passages or half-assed efforts. The drums are muscular and galloping, as is the bass-rumbling which makes for a rock solid base for shattering music. Speeding through the fantastic opener Licensed to Kill, you'll get knocked off your feet by the time you reach the Priest-like Warfare and the personal favourite, Maiden-inspired Symphony of Terror. I tend to write a sentence or two about each song, but I won't bother with that here. Every song is fucking killer, whether it be the faster ones, the mid-paced churning nuclear attacks or epics like the amazing finishing blow that is The Crucifix with its mystical intro and suddenly exploding astronomy.

It's a damn shame that Jag Panzer burned out as quickly as they did. They never really returned to form after this one, and it took ten long years until their next full-length were released in the form of the incredibly dull Dissident Alliance. To people not too familiar with them, I would describe them, or at least this particular release, as a deadly combo of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden's best parts as well as a pinch of their own US salt to aggrieve your open flesh wounds. In other words, if you're a fan of modern-day power metal, old school heavy metal, thrash, speed and everything in between, you should make an effort to dig this up. It's not too easy to get a hold off, but it's damn well worth every penny you're asked to pay. Jag Panzer rules even if this is their only truly classic album. Go get it. Now.

Killing Songs :
The whole album is fucking essential
Thomas quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Jag Panzer that we have reviewed:
Jag Panzer - Scourge of the Light reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Jag Panzer - Chain of Command reviewed by Mike and quoted 75 / 100
Jag Panzer - Casting the Stones reviewed by Mike and quoted 79 / 100
Jag Panzer - Decade of the Nail Spiked Bat reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Jag Panzer - Mechanized Warfare reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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