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PANZER Fatal Command

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 @ 12:47 AM


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PANZER
Fatal Command

2017 Nuclear Blast




PANZER is a band of German metal veterans that released their awesome debut album Send Them All To Hell almost exactly three years ago. On that album, the band consisted of vocalist/bassist Shmier (DESTRUCTION) and two former ACCEPT members, guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarmann. Last year, Herman Frank decided to leave to continue his (equally excellent) solo career, which led to Swiss guitarist V.O. Pulver (GURD, POLTERGEIST) joining the band, (V.O. had previously performed with the band on stage) along with additional lead guitar also provided by Pontus Norgren (HAMMERFALL). This keeps the double axe attack in the band. As Schmier puts it, PANZER was formed for just one purpose: “To celebrate and to praise true heavy metal”.

Fatal Command is the band’s sophomore release, and it’s another slab of fantastic German metal! To these ears, it is even better than the debut. According to Schmier, the band’s direction on Fatal Command was to “deliver a massive offering of aggression and melody, a bow before NWOBHM and German legends ACCEPT”. There’s no doubt they did all that, as these songs are a testament to the power of heavy metal and the legend that is ACCEPT. You may wonder, how does PANZER differ from DESTRUCTION? They are a little more accessible, a little more commercial, and a little more melodic, but just as powerful and somewhat political. Just take a look at the hilarious album cover, which Schmier describes as “sarcastic” in style, and might lead you to believe there are a lot of political statements made here, and there are some. But it’s not all political. There are observations of the world and songs based on people and relationships as well.

The album begins with the punishing “Satan’s Hollow”, clearly a tribute to ACCEPT in style. The chorus is huge and fun, and Norgren’s solo is perfect. The title track, “Fatal Command”, is a raucous up-tempo power metal-meets-thrash style song. “We Can Not Be Silenced” was one of the first singles from the album and is based on former CIA employee Edward Snowden. The lyric video can be viewed right HERE. The ass kicking “I’ll Bring You The Night” is one of my favorites on the album, with just enough thrash and attitude thrown in the mix to satisfy. “Scorn And Hate” is a melodic masterpiece about a schizophrenic friend, while “Afflicted” keeps the domination of modern day technology at its heart.

PANZER slows things down on the crushing “Skullbreaker”, but they don’t skimp on the onslaught. “Bleeding Allies” offers a punch in the face with plenty of soloing and double bass action. “The Decline (And Downfall)” contains a fantastic marching riff throughout. “Mistaken” and “Promised Land” close the album with blistering ferocity. There is a bonus track cover of SAXON’s “Wheels Of Steel” that is available on the digipak and 2-LP formats, bringing the album of 12 tracks to nearly an hour in length.

The production of Fatal Command is top notch. Bottom line: this album is nearly flawless, and every song is worth a listen at maximum volume. I’ve listened to this album constantly for quite a while. If you’re an ACCEPT, thrash and/or a classic metal fan, you need to hear this album. Fatal Command is available now from Nuclear Blast. Enjoy!

4.8 Out Of 5.0


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