Pänzer - 'Fatal Command' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 16, 2018    
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If you're a fan of eighties German Heavy Metal bands full of aggression and melody then dive right in.

This is a super-group of sorts, formerly called The German Panzer, although "The German" part was cleverly hidden in the stanchion of the letter P on their logo so most people would read it as simply "Panzer". The reasoning being that a Chilean band of the same name had threatened legal action against the Germans if they had just used the name Panzer alone.

Comprised of Destruction's bassist/vocalist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, ex-Accept/Victory guitarist Herman Frank and ex-Accept drummer Stefan Schwarzmann, they released their début album 'Send Them All To Hell' in 2014 – a lesson in no-nonsense, no frills classic Accept-era nostalgic Heavy Metal. Released to little or no fanfare, Frank was still a touring member of Accept at the time and the album went largely unnoticed. Frank then left the "project" to concentrate on his solo band last year where he could have autonomous control, the exact opposite of his stint in Accept. Therefore, in order to make this second album, Schirmer and Schwarzmann recruited first album producer and touring second guitarist V.O. Pulver from Switzerland and Hammerfall's Pontus Norgren from Sweden. This created a small problem as they were called The German Panzer but now had a Swiss and a Swede in their ranks, hence we now see the umlaut above the "A" which is a compromise that seems to have been accepted.

'Satan's Hollow', with its definite Accept leanings and wonderfully melodic guitar runs, is the blueprint for this album. If you're a fan of old-school Thrash (Schirmer's bass and vocals), fist-pumping, head-banging derivative Metal ('I'll Bring You The Night') or intense riffing with fluid melodic solos ('Scorn And Hate') then this is the album for you.

Pänzer are not re-inventing the wheel and are unapologetically proud of bringing back the Metal of their youth, but the speed riffing and double bass drumming is pretty intense throughout and can get repetitive if this isn't quite your bag. They are much better when they slow things down, such as on the menacing 'Skullbreaker' with Schirmer's demonic singing making it interesting, and the similar 'Afflicted' with Schirmer spitting out the words with threat.

Overall, if you're a fan of eighties German Heavy Metal bands full of aggression and melody, or of Norgren's playing – and his wonderful fluid solos litter this entire album – then dive right in. I must also mention the provocative album cover though... surreal!

Carl Buxton

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