US Melodic Power Metal pioneers Jag Panzer have inked a deal with SPV Steamhammer, to release the band’s highly accomplished new ten track studio album, ‘The Scourge Of The Light’, on SPV / Steamhammer, on February 28th 2011. ‘The Scourge of The Light’ marks a major return to Jag Panzer’s classic, melodic power metal style, rather than the harsher, harder sound found on their most recent studio album, ‘Casting The Stones’, released in 2004.
After guitarist Chris Broderick, who was a band member from 1997 – 2007, left to join Megadeth, Jag Panzer were reunited with guitarist Chris Lasegue, who had originally been in the band from 1986 – 1988. “There can be no question that Chris Broderick is an amazing guitarist, and we were really happy for him that he got this chance with Megadeth. But we feel that thanks to Christian Lasegue, Jag Panzer’s classic, clearly more melodic power metal style has returned and that the fans will definitely be happy about this.” (John Tetley).
‘The Scourge Of The Light’, which was mastered by Jim Morris at his legendary Morrissound Studios in Florida before being mastered at New York’s renowned Sterling Sound is, states Tetley, “the best-sounding album in the history of Jag Panzer”.
Jag Panzer were formed in Colorado by vocalist Harry Conklin, guitarist Mark Briody, bassist John Tetley and drummer Rick Hilyard, who got together in 1981, initially named ‘Tyrant’, in tribute to Judas Priest, one of their New Wave Of British Heavy Metal heroes. They soon had to change their moniker when they found out that a Californian band had already laid claim to the name of Tyrant, so, inspired by a poster featuring a World War II German tank, named a Jagdpanzer (tank destroyer) became Jag Panzer in 1983. Early in 1984 they recruited second guitarist Joey Tafolla and recorded their milestone debut album, ‘Ample Destruction’, released on small US indie label Azra Records later that year. Although ‘Ample Destruction’ has since been acknowledged as an incredibly influential release – original copies currently fetch high prices in online auctions – it was poorly promoted at the time. Both Joey Tafolla and Rick Hilyard quit barely a year later and were replaced by Chris Lasegue and Rikard Stjernquist in 1986. A second album, which came to be known as ‘Change Of Command’, was recorded but never got an official release and the band called it a day in 1988.
In 1994 Jag Panzer reformed when Briody, Tetley and Stjernquist recruited singer Daniel J Conka and guitarist Chris Hosta to record the somewhat thrash-influenced ‘Dissident Alliance’, their first official album for 10 years, released on German indie label Rising Sun. Then vocalist Harry Conklin, who had joined Quiet Riot briefly at the end of the 80’s before fronting Titan Force in the early nineties, returned to the fold, along with guitarist Joey Tafolla, marking a return to Power Metal devotion, and a new deal with Century Media Records ensued in 1997. ‘The Fourth Judgement’ album, released at the end of that year, finally won the band the critical acclaim and commercial success that had so far eluded them. Late in 1997 Joey Tafolla left the band for good, and was replaced by Chris Broderick on 1998’s ‘The Age Of Mastery’ album, another critical and commercial success. 2000’s ‘Thane To The Throne’, an epic concept album about Shakespeare’s Macbeth, further elevated Jag Panzer’s profile in the metal world, as did 2001’s ‘Mechanized Warfare’, before the temporary power metal blip that was ‘Casting The Stones’.
Harry Conklin – vocals,
Mark Briody – guitars,
Chris Lasegue – guitars,
John Tetley – bass,
Rikard Stjernquist – drums