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Jag Panzer – Casting the Stones

Label: Century Media
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

With nine releases under their belts, ‘Casting the Stones” keeps the creative momentum going for the prog/power compositions Jag Panzer have been doing for many years now.  From the early 80’s they have written their own brand of Power Metal, containing a different sound than the European stylings of Helloween the genre is known for.   Maiden leads and galloping rhythms are also used at times. 


 “The Mission (1941) is one of the stand outs featuring backing vocals from Bob Parduba who sang on the until recently released “Chain of Command” album.  “Vigilant” also is very strong with some interesting keyboards backing the strong guitar riffs.  Guitar soloing for the entire album are very impressive, seeing many sweeps and technical aspects progressive ears will love. 

I don’t think Jag Panzer are known as much for writing memorable songs because of their chorus’, each song they write does stand on its own as a strong piece of work with well thought out melodies and equally powerful vocals by Harry Conklin.  “Achilles” is maybe one of the more memorable as far as chorus, also the shortest in length on the album.   I also like the straight ahead nature to “Cold” with its eerie guitar melody that reflects its flow and helps the tune to move along. 

“Battered and Bruised” hits hard rolling along with a steady pace, has very cool leads, also moody with a short breakdown in the middle.  By the way, I do hear some influence from Nevermore for the choice in riff change during “Starlight’s Fury”, wonder how that got in there Chris?

“Casting the Stones” will satisfy long time fans of Jag Panzer and will also appeal to those ears wanting to get into the ProgPower genre.  Listening to this band will give a different perspective to what most think Power Metal sounds like.

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