Probably best known as the band that Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick was a former member of, Jag Panzer did not let the guitarist's 2008 defection get them down, as evidenced by the release of 2011's The Scourge of the Light. In fact, if anything, it may have inspired the band to get the ball rolling once more, as their previous recording was issued nearly seven years before. Also, as heard by the fleet-fingered fretwork throughout, it turns out Broderick's replacement in the group, Christian Lasegue, can shred with the best of them. With a heavy '80s metal vibe throughout (singer Harry Conklin has obviously studied Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate, while the guitar tandem of Lasegue and Mark Briody have their Iron Maiden-isms down pat), The Scourge of the Light shouldn't let longtime Jag Panzer fans down. Case in point, such stand-out tracks as the rapid-fire album-opening "Condemned to Fight," as well as "Call to Arms" and "Overlord," while the track "Cycles" contains elements of vintage thrash metal, to boot. And borrowing a page out of the book of their aforementioned influences, the album closes with an eight-minute, slow-building epic in "The Book of Kells." Is Jag Panzer reinventing the heavy metal wheel? Not exactly. But as heard throughout The Scourge of the Light, they have certainly carved out their niche and are sticking to it.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato