Metal from the 80ies in the 21st century

When The German Panzer project was announced a lot of metal fans probably wondered what this collaboration between classic metal veterans Stefan Schwarzmann and Hermann Frank (both Accept) and trash metal legend Schmier (Destruction) would bring to the party. At first it seems like an unlikely partnership. The fact that Nuclear Blast signed the band pointed towards some strong material. So the trio didn’t waste any time and recorded their debut album in just a couple of months.

The album starts with the first vocal line ‘Send Them All To Hell’ and the opener ‘Death Knell’, a mid- to high-tempo rocker that should work live quite well. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album. It is not a surprise that all songs are somewhere in between Accept and Destruction, quite heavy, quite fast but not as aggressive as Destruction, with lots of melodies, hook lines and skull-crushing riffs.

Especially Frank Hermann seems to enjoy the work within the band. It is always hard to estimate his contribution to Accept as he appears to walk in the shadow of the larger-than-life Wolf Hoffmann. On ‘Send Them All To Hell’ he sparkles with a never ending stream of metal riffs and solos that show he would be a welcomed lead guitarist in almost any metal band. Schmier toned down his vocals a notch or two from his work at his primary band Destruction, sounding more melodic but still aggressive which suits the lyrics that are mainly around all the things that go wrong in this world, individualism and war. Stefan Schwarzmann presents himself as the dependable drum machine he has proven to be over and over with his contribution for Accept.

All songs stay within the same speed range, are heavy yet melodic and the vocals are not too varied. This is where it seems obvious that the band had only a couple of months to write and record the songs. It lacks variety and loses its impact the further you go into the record. Don’t get me wrong. The material is solid and portraits the fun the three had in writing and recording it. It also should make for a hell of a set live. However, a couple of more months working on the songs would have helped to make them more outstanding. Especially the lyrics appear to be a bit clumsy at times.

All in all The German Panzer has released a solid debut album. The most interesting part is that we finally get to hear more of Hermann Frank’s capabilities on guitar. The ten songs on ‘Send Them All To Hell’ are fun and should work at any decent metal party. It will be interesting to see the band perform them live. Unfortunately we have to wait until the European summer festivals in 2015.

7.5 of 10