This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. Generally, I know exactly how I feel about what I'm reviewing and can express it to my audience with little to no trouble. However, I'm just not sure how I feel about this album. It sounds like classic era Jag Panzer but with less energy and enthusiasm.
On the one hand, it's got good song structure and well-written solos, and the lyrical content isn't as cheesy as some other power metal albums. On the other, the whole album sounds phoned in. It lacks the intensity of earlier albums like Ample Destruction or The Fourth Judgement.
The production is absolutely squeaky clean. You can hear all the intricacies that they put in their music. Every note and drum hit rings clear. Harry Conklin's voice, while older, still sounds incredible. But once again, his vocals are lackluster and empty of their usual energy.
The album starts out strong but starts to taper off by track five. That is, until the closing track, "The Book of Kells." This is probably the best song on the album, certainly the best written. It's an eight minute epic that starts slow and then crescendos into what is probably the best guitar solo on the album, performed with more enthusiasm than all the other solos combined.
Jag Panzer is a classic metal band and their 1984 album Ample Destruction is arguably one of the best power metal albums ever made, so we all know that they have it in them to make a great album. But this just isn't it.
Buy this album and others by Jag Panzer at our MP3 store.