Not to be mistaken with the Chilean band of the same name, German thrash metal outfithas been a band on a mission for the last few years. When they struck with their first release in 2014, Send Them To Hell, they seemed to rise from nowhere. Fronted by Destruction’s Schmier, the band seemed to arrive with a mission – to make thrash metal great again… and that they did. Now comes the real test for Pänzer: how does album number two shape up after the greatness of that first album?
Their follow up album, Fatal Command, sees Panzer do thrash metal the only way German band’s know how to: brash and in your face… the way it should be. The album explodes with force from Victory’s guitarist, V.O. Pulver; who is brilliant throughout the album (but more on that later, and then lifts to a whole new level when Schmier’s vocals kick in on “Satan’s Hollow.” In fact, his vocals set the tone throughout the album as he goes from wailing vocals to anguished cries on “Scorn And Hate”, while his gruffer vocals tone things down and bring depth to tracks like “Skullbreaker” and “Bleeding Allies.”
“Bleeding Allies” also sees Pulver’s guitar really stand out and to be honest tracks like “Afflicted” really contain some of the best guitar playing that you are going to hear this year. His playing helps lift tracks like “The Decline (And The Downfall)” and “Promised Land” to epic heights that really do show why some consider Panzer as one of the best thrash metal outfits going around at the moment. Even when they deliver tracks like “Mistaken”, “I’ll Bring You The Night”, and the title track, which feel like the band is just cruising the tracks feel like something special.
Pänzer has dropped what could be one of the thrash metal albums of the year with Fatal Command. This is an amazing album that just keeps going from one epic height to another all throughout the album. If you love thrash metal, this is one of you must have albums of 2017 via Nuclear Blast.