When I think of Colorado's Jag Panzer, I think of consistency. Listeners can always count on them delivering a top-notch true metal album time and time again. Their recipe consists of sheer metallic power and passion, blended with just the right amount of musical sophistication. They are also write compelling lyrics, and on this new album Casting The Stones this is very much in evidence. "Mission 1943" deals with a battle in WWII, while the song "Vigilant" deals with watcher type beings, who watch over and protect the innocent.
Musically this album has plenty of power, plenty of melody, and some fantastic neoclassical guitar work from lead guitarist Chris Broderick. Vocalist Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin turns in another fantastic performance throughout this album. I am also noticing more progressive elements on this album, which augment the tried and true formula for the bands music. The rhythm section is quite active in places all over the album. This is noticeable immediately in the galloping opener to the album "Feast Or Famine".
The song "Vigilant" also see shades of an even more progressive direction, with its complex rhythm pattern and light symphonic tone. This song has a rather dark atmosphere. Another stand out track is "Mission 1943" not only for the lyrical content I mentioned previously, but has a nice charging rhythm and triumphant overtone that really brings those lyrics to life! The prog/power factor really comes to the forefront in "Starlight's Fury", with it's engaging rhythm and piano passages tucked in along side some really tasteful melodic metal. "Tempest" is a rather aggressive piece, but even then within this there is a nice acoustic guitar passage, and a really melodic and fluid guitar solo. The final track "Precipice" is an epic piece, which features the versatile nature of Harry's voice. The Middle Eastern sounding guitar along with the moody sounding music, creates a dreamy atmosphere and brings this album an enchanting close.
This album continues a very impressive streak of metallic excellence, which has included albums like Thane To The Throne, The Age Of Mastery, and Mechanized Warfare. Fans of this bands music, and ones who want try them for the first time surely won't be disappointed with Casting The Stones, for it is another album by Jag Panzer that clearly shows what the term "progressive power" is really all about!
1. Feast Or Famine
2. The Mission (1943)
6. Legion Immortal
7. Battered And Bruised
9. Starlight's Fury
10. The Harkening