Before I begin, let it be known that I count JAG PANZER amongst my favorite bands, which should give you an idea as to just how bad this is. Now on to the review.
“Dissident Alliance”, the album that JAG PANZER fans and, to my understanding, the band themselves, would like to just forget about. The album that begs the question, “how could such a great band release such a stinker of an album?”
There really is not one saving grace for this album. The songwriting is sub-par, Daniel J. Conca’s vocals are horrendous (oh how I miss The Tyrant here) and the production is damn-near demo-quality. In the few spots where the songwriting rises above mediocrity, the production and/or Conca’s vocals drag it right back down. On top of all of this, “Dissident Alliance” doesn’t even sound like Jag Panzer. This is much more along the lines of the Aggro Metal that was popular in the mid-nineties (think PANTERA, MACHINE HEAD, etc.). I would go into individual songs, but there’s no need as each is well below the normal JAG PANZER quality-standard.
And speaking of demo-quality, take a gander at that cover art! Now I know that JAG PANZER have never been known for outstanding album artwork (“The Fourth Judgment” has a pretty terrible cover, as well), but this looks like something a high schooler created in graphics art class. I can’t believe that guitarist Mark Briody created this atrocity and then chose to use it as the final artwork. I have to assume that the budget did not leave room for professional cover art, or Briody realized what a turd “Dissident Alliance” was and wanted a fitting cover.
A completely throwaway-able blemish on JAG PANZER’s otherwise pristine track record, “Dissident Alliance” is for absolute diehards only. And even those aren’t likely to find anything redeeming here. (Side note: If you really must hear songs from “Dissident Alliance”, check out the reworked versions of “Forsaken Child”, “Edge Of Blindness”, “Spirit Suicide” and “The Church” from the “Decade Of The Nail-Spiked Bat” release. Those versions are 100% better). (Online January 13, 2006)