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Panzer - Fatal Command

Fatal Command
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 08 October 2017, 6:53 PM

A little help from my friends. The German tank platoon maintains its course towards another war zone, heading forward in their thick plated armored behemoth without anything to stand in their way. Not the first time that the PANZER project is mentioned, as it was out of the yard with its debut memorandum to the world back in 2014 with “Send Them All To Hell”. A bunch of veterans, conjured for the sake of old school Heavy Metal, stuff that their personal careers, each to his own band, grew up on. With the departure of ex-ACCEPT’s Herman Frank for the purpose of focusing on his own solo act, PANZER, commanded by DESTRUCTION’s Schmier and ex-ACCEPT / ex-RUNNING WILD, Stefan Schwarzmann, gained two new full time members, close friends and colleagues, Pontus Norgren, lead guitarist at HAMMERFALL, and producer / musician, V.O. Pulver of the recently awakened Thrashers, POLTERGEIST. All that was left was to begin another campaign, and it did actually, with the inception of the sophomore "Fatal Command", fired once more by Nuclear Blast Records.

Traditional Metal without nonsense or trends, straight up from the heart, a clear cause effect of a longtime admiration and devotion, the true force of Teutonic Metal allied by a British influence. Basically, this is PANZER’s identity within "Fatal Command". I remember that when I first heard about the band, and listening to their debut, I thought to myself that it was Schmier’s new version of his old sideshow HEADHUNTER, a wolf in another wolf’s clothing sort of speak. Nonetheless, and it is a clear-cut throughout "Fatal Command", the musical direction is of less in the Speed Metal, with a few Thrash elements, but more of an ACCEPT meets JUDAS PRIEST pact, song versus riff oriented material, melodic natured Heavy Metal with an energetic vibe and twin guitar action, set to destroy with potential anthems and heavyweight, easy living riffages, lasing thundering solos.

The songwriting on display is of the 80s heritage but with twists of modernity to give a bit more punch. The song arrangements are somewhat diverse, enabling showcases of great musicianship and lyrical expertise treading politics. “Afflicted” asserted itself as the album’s heaviest number, a mixed beat crusher, down and dirty mid temp of the ACCEPT orientation with a pure emphasis of amazing solo efforts. No doubt that Schmier did one of his best vocal works to date on this one. “Promised Land” is a reserve that could have easily landed as a HEADHUNTER track, a Speed Metal devastation with an electrifying 80s Metal hype, portraying lead guitar madness along with cataclysmic twin guitar harmonies of the British kind. “Satan's Hollow” opens with a charge of JUDAS PRIEST riff infection along with the undying arts of catchy NWOBHM melodies. “The Decline (…And the Downfall)” soaked with heaviness, dealing with what is probably happening in the USA and the change of stage of affairs, continuing the 80s Metal legacy with great honors. Decline of the western civilization anyone? Also recommended: “I'll Bring You the Night”, “Bleeding Allies” and “We Can Not Be Silenced”.

I think that the change in personnel in the PANZER ranks had some effect on the direction that this band has been leading. Less of the ACCEPT barrage and more into melodious lines. Nonetheless, "Fatal Command" conserved the same level as the debut, keeping the band’s high end performance and quality songwriting intact without looking up or down.

Purchase Link: Nuclear Blast Records

4 Star Rating

1. Satan's Hollow
2. Fatal Command
3. We Can Not Be Silenced
4. I'll Bring You the Night
5. Scorn and Hate
6. Afflicted
7. Skullbreaker
8. Bleeding Allies
9. The Decline (…And the Downfall)
10. Mistaken
11. Promised Land
Schmier – Vocals / Bass
Pontus Norgren - Guitars
V.O. Pulver - Guitars
Stefan Schwarzmann – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 09 February 2023

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