The German Panzer - The German Panzer (Nuclear Blast)

A Panther rather than a King Tiger, but deadly nonetheless...
Release Date: 
28 Nov 2014 (All day)

Whilst the word ‘supergroup’ is bandied around so much these days it has sadly ceased to have much meaning, you could, no word of a lie, apply it with a straight face when describing The German Panzer. All star team ups don’t come much more momentous on paper than TGP; There are only three of them, but when those three are revealed as Destruction’s bassist Schmier and Accept alumni Herman Frank (guitar) and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann, then you can be sure something special is afoot…

That’s the proposition on paper, of course. In reality, things are a little more tricky, though there is plenty to enjoy here if you’re willing to lower your expectations a little and live with the album for a while. The overall effect, as you’d expect, is that of a less thrashy Destruction or a version of Accept that gets rid of most of the melody and supplants it with bloody minded heaviness (the title track in particular won’t fail to have you picturing a particularly agitated Udo Dirkscneider); when this formula clicks, as it does on the excellent Temple of Doom, then happy days are indeed here again. However too often the band just gets stuck in a sort of heads-down, heavy-for heavy’s sake rut where songcraft seems to have been forsaken in favour of unforgiving bludgeon with little thought for light and shade or, heaven forbid, light relief.

The three piece format allows Frank in particular the space to shine, and you can hear the man’s relief as he moves from out of the shadow of Wolf Hoffmann and lets fly whenever he feels the need, backed by some frighteningly good battering from Schwarzmann and Schmier’s ever dependable bass rumble. When it’s good, you’ll be punching the air like a madman, but those moments don’t come along enough to make this a truly indispensable purchase for the casual listener. However it’s hard to see why fans of Destruction or Accept wouldn’t want this in their respective armouries, and within those limited paramaters you’d have to say this particular ground offensive has been a success.