PANZER – FATAL COMMAND
Release date: 6 October 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
- Satan’s Hollow
- Fatal Command
- We Cannot Be Silenced
- I’ll Bring You The Night
- Scorn and Hate
- Bleeding Allies
- The Decline … (And The Downfall)
- Promised Land
- Wheels Of Steel
My first reaction? Well, let’s just say that when my head stopped spinning and inner metal head brought the mosh to a stop, I had to hear it all again and immediately. This album is simply stunning and oozing German metal heritage. Its truly a must and here’s why.
After releasing their celebrated debut album Send Them All To Hell back in 2014, Panzer enjoyed bringing their creations to life before suitably satisfied live audiences. But just last year, co-writer and guitarist Herman Frank left the group to peruse other passions, leaving Panzer with to ponder the future of the group. With Schmier hip deep in Destruction duties and plenty to keep the crew engaged, it would have been a big call. But thankfully the group decided to not only continue, but also take the group to a whole new level and help was directly at hand.
Seasoned Swiss guitarist V.O. Pulver had recorded, mixed and mastered Send Them All To Hell and proved the perfect person for Panzer to forge forth on axe duties. From previous work, V.O. was one of very few who would truly understand the Panzer direction right from the beginning.
Not content to leave matters there, Schmier decided to add a second guitar to the mix and recruited none other than the magnificent metal shredder Pontus Norgren of Hammerfall. Now the stage was set…literally.
As I consider the suburb album cover with Donald Trump toking on a massive bong, Kim Jong-un, Putin enjoying ‘party finale’ surrounded by an array of psychopath’s past and present, I can’t help but consider the debut album’s title ad which characters it might be appropriate to. Have a listen to Schmier provide insight into the cover art here XXXXXX
Little wonder the album was recorded in a politically neutral country at the Little Creek Studio in Basel, Switzerland.
Now this album is tremendous in its own right, however also seems almost a homage to true teutonic metal, particularly in superb tracks like I Bring You The Night. If nothing else it certainly serves to keep that particular metal style alive, kicking and screaming, providing this aging metal head a feeling of profound satisfaction. This track is also sure to be a fan favorite with a myriad on lyrics ripe for crowds to hurl them back at the band in delighted glee.
As the tracks progress in sequenced perfection, one develops a distinct sense that this is a product of truly skilled craftsmen enjoying their project. True masters delivering sensational performances and this realization is particularly evident on the superb track Afflicted. Mein Gott. Schmier’s superb venom spitting vocals, Stefan double kicking the shit out of the kit, VO playing phenomenally brilliantly and the soaring solos from Pontus provide the collection with a certain regalia. A constant aural shimmer of gilding throughout courtesy of these sensational performers.
A glimmer of hope appears with Promised Land as we consider that, just maybe, we may find a land free of those intent on destruction of our race, with finger poised on ‘The Button’, at the ready respond with deadly force to slightest of faux pas. I hope I do not kick off a barrage of ICBM’s with my remarks, nor cause offence to our leaders by breaking wind in their direction. I can, however, for the moment at least, explore current affairs commented in a manner that only true metal master can and rage, rage against the dying of the light. All courtesy of Panzer and their brand new album Fatal Command available through Nuclear Blast
The only summary I would offer, if necessary at all, is that this collection celebrates the German heavy metal style to utter perfection. It is an absolute MUST for lover of metal, heavy rock or anyone who seeks simply to experience masters at work. Phenomenally superb.