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Review: Jag Panzer - The Fourth Judgement
Jag Panzer
The Fourth Judgement

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2007
Originally released in: 1997
Duration: 53:10
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 28, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
The Fourth Judgement

Rated 4/5 (80%) (23 Votes)

This album often gets a bad rap in the metal scene, although why that is leaves me at somewhat of a loss. The American warlords may not have made a small masterpiece with this one, but it is at least more worthy than a couple of their later releases, and one hell of an enjoyable record of no-compromise Heavy Metal that will have you headbanging along with the first couple of spins

Recorded back in 1997 – and re-released ten years later with a trio of rusty demos – The Fourth Judgement is by no means an earlier Thane to the Throne, nor does it want to be. It's epic, sure, but nowhere near as Power Metal orientated as the aforementioned classic, focusing more on cool, catchy, trad metal riffs and big sing along choruses with a very strong Maiden vibe – just check out the slick, harmony-led "Tyranny". The album was born out of noncommittal jam sessions back in the day, and somehow that ‘live' feel has been captured with the production, their first collaboration with Iced Earth favorite Jim Morris, making this Jag Panzer's most fun sounding album to date. True, some of the tracks, namely "Ready to Strike" and "Call of the Wild", are far from the band's best work, but others such as "Black", "Future Shock" and the re-recording of Chain of Command highlight "Shadow Thief" make this worth the admission price alone.

Initially, The Fourth Judgement might seem like a particularly dull effort from one of the genre's greatest players – it certainly did to me. But after a number of spins it really opens its doors, and with vocalist Harry Conklin giving one of his best performances and guitarist Mark Briody offering some really tasty licks and melodies, the reissue of this lost gem is definitely something fans of the band shouldn't miss based on preconceived notions.

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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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