Panzer - Send Them All to Hell - (8.5/10)
Published on January 18, 2015
Ready. Aim. Fire.
When it comes to the idea of supergroups, there are very few I truly get excited to hear. There just tends to be a poor track record for getting them to work in cohesive manners. 2014, on the other hand, delivered two great supergroups. One was Killer Be Killed. The other is the focus of this review: Panzer. Also known as The German Panzer, this three man supergroup is comprised of Schmier of Destruction and the combination of Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann of Accept fame. It’s a combination that potentially had punch and their debut record Send Them All to Hell is one that fully encompasses everything I would have wanted from this supergroup.
It helps that Panzer truly combines the two sounds of the bands represented. If you combined the last Destruction record with the last Accept record – that’s exactly what Send Them All to Hell has in store for the listener. Yet, the combination of the thrashy energy and traditional heavy metal writing sensibilities of the album work in perfect conjunction with one another. Tracks like “Death Knell” or “Freakshow” very much rest within a Destruction-lite sound while groovy riff and fist-pump oriented songs like “Hail and Kill” and “Panzer” carry that distinct Accept vibe. Fans of either of those bands are going to dig right into what Panzer has to offer here.
Intriguingly though, Send Them All to Hell plays off as a split record. The first half is just as was explained above – the perfect storm hybrid of thrash energy and traditional metal hooks and grooves. The second half on the other hand starts to incorporate more texture to the musical proceedings. Starting with “Mr. Nobrain,” (which carries a rather Headhunter like sound to it) Send Them All to Hell starts to give itself more of a unique sound. “Why?” is a winding and slow paced pseudo-ballad – as much melody as Schmier is able to conjure in his normally rasping vocals – and some of the melodies get bigger at this point, culminating in a rather ballsy (if not occasionally awkward) spin on Gary Moore’s “Murder in the Skies” to close out the record.
Combing the two halves of Send Them All to Hell still crafts one hell of a debut record for the German supergroup. The blend of traditional metal and thrash isn’t that out there in concept, but the combined writing styles and performances from these three madmen explode in a massively catchy, fist pumping, head banging, mosh pitting release that will appease fans of either of the bands represented by the members here.
Edit: As of the posting of this review, both Frank and Schwarzmann have departed from Accept. Leading one to wonder if Panzer will be less of a side project and more of a main stay for future releases and touring.