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Jag Panzer: Chain Of Command (Century Media, 2004) reviewed by: Vinaya

Track Listing
1. Prelude/ Chain Of Command
2. Shadow Thief
3. She Waits
4. Ride Through The Storm
5. In A Gadda Da Vida
6. Never Surrender
7. Burning Heart
8. Sworn To Silence
9. Dream Theme
10. Gavotte In D
11. When The Walls Come Down
It’s been a long time coming for this one; really long. Seventeen years, to be exact. Yes, it was way back in 1987 that Colorado’s Jag Panzer entered Avalanche Studios in Denver to lay down the Chain Of Command album, which only now has escaped the pressing plant. And now, after years of scouring various underground sources for bootleg copies, metal fans can finally lay their gritty paws on the official release of this long-awaited follow-up to the 1984 cult classic Ample Destruction.

The really uncanny thing about Chain Of Command is that it hardly sounds a day older than its official release date this year. Heck, those unfamiliar with the band could be forgiven for thinking this is a new recording (although that would beg the question: where are Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin and Chris Broderick?). Delayed by lineup changes and, allegedly, uncertainty over musical direction, Chain Of Command finds the former (and future) seats of Conklin and Joey Tafolla being warmed by vocalist Bob Parduba and lead guitarist Christian Lasegue. Both do a commendable job here, with Laseque pulling off leads that proudly carry on the Tafolla tradition, but with a little more discipline. Bob Parduba, on the other hand, may surprise some fans with his clean, flawless, semi-operatic vocals, which show a restraint that contrasts sharply with Conklin’s overpowering, often maniacal vocal style.

The slight but noticeable restraint with regards to playing and production means that Chain Of Command doesn’t quite burn itself into one’s memory with the ferocious determination of Ample Destruction. However, song quality is medium to high throughout, with the tricky riff rocker “Sworn To Silence,” the epic “Ride Through The Storm” and the title track in particular emerging as standout cuts. Also included is a nifty, metalized cover of Iron Butterfly’s hippie-era classic “In A Gada Da Vida.” Savvy Panzer fans will also be well aware that several tracks from this album have since made it, re-recorded, onto other albums, most notably 1997’s The Age Of Mastery, which lifted three tunes from Chain Of Command. Topping it off are the spiffy new artwork, liner notes from guitarist Mark Briody, and a previously unreleased bonus track in “When The Walls Fall Down,” all of which serve to make this a highly worthwhile, if long overdue, traditional metal offering.

Rating: 7.5

--Vinaya 09.15.04
About this Writer:
Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: JAG PANZER
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Ample DestructionJag Panzer
1984
Eric Compton5/1/2004
Casting The StonesJag Panzer
2004
Vinaya Saksena9/27/2004
Chain Of CommandJag Panzer
2004
Vinaya Saksena9/15/2004
Scourge Of The LightJag Panzer
2011
Eric Compton2/2/2011


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: JAG PANZER
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Deviant ChordJag Panzer
2017
Eric Compton10/5/2017


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: JAG PANZER
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Jag PanzerJag PanzerChris Galea3/15/2006
Mark BriodyJag PanzerEric Compton9/27/2004


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