Panzer are a German metal ‘supergroup’, initially created with members of Accept and Destruction. Their first album, Panzer, came out in 2014. The Fatal Command is their third effort, after Send Them To Hell’ in 2015.
For those who enjoyed the first album, this is more of the same. First song, “Satan’s Hollow”, comes out of the gate blasting. From the start, this is a straight up heavy metal album.
It’s surprising that Herman Frank has left Panzer, because track two, Fatal Command, starts off feeling exactly like a mid eighties Accept song.
“We Can Not Be Silenced” is another straight up heavy metal song. A lot of these songs are best described simply as ‘heavy metal’, but there’s a lot of colour on this album, too. The songs don’t all sound the same. They do all sound like seasoned veterans doing what they do best and having a blast.
“I’ll Bring You The Night” is a mid tempo riff rocker. It’s a welcome change of pace, but still a great song to bang your head to. The middle eight of this song reminds you that you’re in the hands of seasoned veterans, it gives the song a real lift.
“Scorn And Hate” is probably the most ‘commercial’ track so far, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still guitar driven metal. It’s just a little more open in the verses and with a more catchy melody.
“Afflicted” ramps things up again, with a heavy riff that falls away as the singing starts. This is the thing that makes some of these songs sound a bit like Accept at times, and this one sounds like something you’d half expect to hear Mark Tornillo song. It’s the most modern sounding song so far.
The next song is “Skullbreaker”, and as the name suggests, it’s a slow, heavy, grinding song. It’s very different to anything before it, and it really gives the album a lift because of that. This song would crush in a live setting.
A fiddly guitar riff starts “Bleeding Allies”, and the band kicks in for another stormer. This song just keeps getting harder. Lots of anthemic guitar on this one.
Next up is “The Decline (and the Downfall)”. This is another slow, ponderous rocker. The slow songs are definitely the ones you can imagine headbanging to at a gig. And again, the change of pace really helps this album stay fresh. All the songs are full on heavy metal, but there’s enough light and shade here to make sure you never get bored.
With “Mistaken”, we’re in the home stretch and it’s another strong track.
The album rounds off with “Promised Land”, a storming track that ups the tempo a bit from previous tracks but stays true to the sound of the previous tracks.
There is nothing groundbreaking on this CD. There’s no new flavour of metal or trend on offer. This is a band made up of industry veterans and what they deliver is pure heavy metal. This album would have been groundbreaking in the 70s, but at any point from 1985, it would have sounded right at home in the metal scene of the time. The songs don’t all sound the same, but they do all deliver the same thing, and that thing is timeless, classic heavy metal.
In short, if you’re reading this page, you will love this album. This is an album to give to people to show them what heavy metal is.