The Deviant Chord
Born in Colorado in the early eighties, Jag Panzer was the product of the NWOBHM and are considered one of the original Power Metal bands in the United States. They have been through many changes throughout the decades but, despite that, they have remained one of the most consistent sounding bands in the entire realm of Metal music. Their grand return, The Deviant Chord, is a monster of a record and it comes on the smoldering heels of what fans had assumed was the end of the band. Much like Iced Earth, U.D.O., and Iron Maiden, Jag Panzer just doesn’t seem to age.
The Deviant Chord picks up right where 2011’s The Scourge of Light left off. It kicks off with “Born of the Flame,” a dual guitar anthem that is steeped in the bands NWOBHM influences. Admittedly, the song takes a verse to get going but by the time you hit the end of the first chorus it’s a steamroller of lead guitars and harmonic background vocals. The band keep it up with songs like “Fire of Our Spirit” and “Far Beyond All Fear,” both of which are anthemic Power Metal fanfare, just the way Jag Panzer fans like it!
The band wisely keep the album from getting stale with a couple of tracks that break from the norm. The heavy, stuttering metal music and soaring, almost operatic, vocals of the title track are a good example of this. Unlike the band’s more uptempo numbers, this one is an epic journey that swells musically in the middle. It’s laden with haunting vocals, Dickinson style howling choruses, and well….deviant sounding chords! “Long Awaited Kiss” is another such moment, landing somewhere between power ballad and medieval sounding fanfare. The lead guitar work on this song is absolutely fantastic, perfectly balancing skill and emotion.
Overall, this is another great album from Jag Panzer. This band has never really risen to the upper echelon of Metal bands and it’s a crying shame. For those in the know, The Deviant Chord is the real deal and you are definitely gonna dig it. If you enjoy NWOBHM and Power Metal bands and you haven’t checked out Jag Panzer then this is a good place to start, they are still at the top of their game.
Reviewed by mark1340