Prepare for a sonic journey as JAG PANZER delivers 10 dynamic songs in just over 50 minutes, filled with ferocious guitar playing, commanding vocals, and a captivating conceptual storyline
JAG PANZER, the legendary American stalwarts of heavy metal, make a triumphant return with their 11th studio album, titled “The Hallowed.” This unrelenting and unapologetic masterpiece, set for release on June 23, is a testament to the band’s undying pursuit of world-class heavy metal. Following their critically-acclaimed 2017 album, “The Deviant Chord,” this latest release showcases JAG PANZER’s most powerful and focused work in the last two decades.
“The Hallowed” is not just a musical endeavor but also a concept album, accompanied by a comic book of the same title that the band released in late 2022. Founding guitarist Mark Briody explains that the album’s approach was different from their previous releases, as they scored the music to fit the storyline. This created a unique songwriting style for JAG PANZER, with drummer Rikard Stjernquist taking on the role of music director. The band completed a full demo version of the album before entering the studio to bring the vision to life.
Musically, “The Hallowed” encompasses the best elements of JAG PANZER’s signature sound across 10 songs spanning just over 50 minutes. The opening track, “Bound As One,” sets the tone with near-thrash metal rhythms and ferocious guitar work reminiscent of the band’s early releases. Tracks like “Prey” and “Ties That Bind” showcase the band’s ability to deliver intoxicating songs with varied tempos and drum beats. The powerhouse duo of Stjernquist and original bassist John Tetley provides a tight yet nimble backbone for the album, honed through their rich history together. “Stronger Than You Know” stands out as an impressive song, featuring blistering fretwork, double-bass drumming, and the dazzling lead guitar work of full-time member Ken Rodarte. Rodarte, who joined the band after the departure of Joey Tafolla, has exceeded expectations both on stage and in the rehearsal room.
No JAG PANZER album would be complete without the commanding vocals of Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin, who delivers a career-high performance on “The Hallowed.” Conklin showcases his vocal range beyond the high-pitched screams and shrieks he is renowned for, incorporating melodic textures and unexpected acrobatics. The album’s first single, “Onward We Toil,” features a strong chorus atop a powerful and captivating rhythm. “Dark Descent” is an up-tempo rager in the second half of the album, while tracks like “Weather The Storm,” “Renewed Flames,” and the finale, “Last Rites,” serve as impressive culminations that will undoubtedly become instant classics for both JAG PANZER and their devoted fanbase.
Fans of JAG PANZER will be instantly drawn to “The Hallowed,” as it captures the charismatic essence of previous albums like “The Fourth Judgement,” “The Age Of Mastery,” and “Mechanized Warfare.” The album’s production is a standout, thanks to the expertise of revered drummer Ken Mary, who engineered the bass and drum tracks. Guitars and vocals were recorded at SteamPunk Audio Labs and Hound House Studios, while the mixing was expertly handled by Jim Morris at Morrisound Studios, striking the perfect balance between heaviness and melody. Maor Appelbaum added his mastering touch to complete the sonic impact.
The stunning album cover artwork by Dusan Markovic perfectly complements the songs on “The Hallowed,” continuing the band’s tradition of delivering exceptional metal and captivating visuals. Accompanying the album, a remarkable comic book, illustrated by E. Rubio and Yan Sek, tells a captivating story written by band members Briody, Stjernquist, and Conklin. The narrative follows a team of five individuals crossing a frozen wasteland in search of a new home, encountering hardships and terrifying creatures along the way. Their struggle for survival and quest to build a new community is brought to life through breathtaking artwork.
JAG PANZER’s innovative approach to combining music, visuals, and storytelling in “The Hallowed” sets them apart as leaders in the metal scene, inspiring other bands to explore similar creative avenues. Once again, JAG PANZER proves their unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and delivering exceptional metal experiences.
01. Bound As One
03. Ties That Bind
04. Stronger Than You Know
05. Onward We Toil
06. Edge Of A Knife
07. Dark Descent
08. Weather The Storm
09. Renewed Flame
10. Last Rites