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Review: Jag Panzer - Casting The Stones
Jag Panzer
Casting The Stones

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 51:15
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 13, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
Casting The Stones

Rated 4.11/5 (82.14%) (28 Votes)

Jag Panzer, along with Kamelot are pretty much the only major American counter-forces to the vast European power metal scene. (Iced Earth are not quite power metal). "Casting The Stones" is Jag Panzer's ninth full length offering and delivers us with a heavy punch of melody and aggression. This is a solid album with a crushing guitar presence all the way through and vocals that absolutely kill! Without a doubt, the highlight of the album is the awesome vocal work of Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin. This guy has some vocal range! Check out his finishing note on the track "Achilles". Unbelievable!

The album kicks of with "Feast Or Famine" – a melodic track with heavy guitar riffing in the background and power metallish vocals. The rest of the album pretty much follows suit. The initial listen through this disc does not seem as appealing as later ones, because the tunes here are quite eccentric. But you just know a 'grower' album when you hear one. And this is precisely that. "Casting The Stones" bears a few resemblances to Tad Morose's last album "Modus Vivendi"; for one, the driving edge here are the vocals which are highly praiseworthy and the quality of singing is definitely up in the same league as Urban Breed (Tad Morose) himself – and that is saying a lot; second, the somewhat complex song structuring is similar; and third, these are not all instant hook songs and you end up appreciating the music more and more with further listens – just like "Modus Vivendi". AND….most importantly – It just reminds me of "Modus Vivendi"…ok?

Very little filler here, and overall "Casting The Stones" is a highly enjoyable serving from this Colorado quintet. Based on historical themes and characters, "Casting The Stones" has little that will disappoint the fans. It is however, a little different from what one normally hears in the genre. Not quite power metal, not quite heavy metal, not quite prog; but hovering somewhere in between. No ballads on this album, and virtually all of them are heavy mid-tempo tracks. Most of the songs on here are great, such as the album opener, "The Mission" – with its catchy as heck chorus that you will be humming all day long, "Achilles", the awesome "Battered And Bruised" and the fun and groove infested "Cold".

Overall, a great disc that power and traditional metal lovers definitely need to check out. It is a good break from the usual generic power metal crap that I have come across as of late. Buy!

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Interview with guitarist Mark Briody, vocalist Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin, drummer Rikard Stjernquist and guitarist Joey Tafolla on March 19, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with Mark Briody (Guitar) on September 11, 2004 (Interviewed by 4th Horseman)
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