Pänzer - Fatal Command

Pänzer Fatal Command cover
Fatal Command
Nuclear Blast
I found Panzer’s debut, “Send Them All to Hell” hopelessly banal, as in fact I have found most of the Tornillo fronted Accept material and Destruction’s material from the past decade. Panzer seemed to be a way for two of the guys that were dismissed from Accept, to get on a high profile band with another “Nuclear Blast” alumnus, a bit like those “superstar” bands that Frontiers concocts that sound cool on paper, but rarely sound good “on record”.
With Herman Frank gone, probably to concentrate on his own band, the band has replaced him with two guitarists, VO Pulver from Gurd/Poltergeist and Pontus Norgren from Hammerfall, The Poodles and a lot more. This has turned their sophomore a lot less thrashy and a lot heavier, which is a little weird, all things considered.
The cover art is pretty epic, with current and former world leaders and dictators on display trying to drive a tank, but not doing a great job… which is mirrored by the band. Despite all their penchants and while easily being much better than the debut from a composition standpoint, the songwriting is really blunt, with few songs really standing out, including the title track, “We Cannot Be Silenced” that sounds like it was stolen by Kreator, the opener “Satan’s Hollow” that included a name checking to Hammerfall, among other things (?!), but at least has some sharp riffs and pretty cool vox. I suppose “Skullbreaker”, a few songs later, is a nice exercise in “Accept” like metal and “Mistaken” ain’t the worse either, but when the band tries to cover Saxon’s “Wheels of Steel”, it becomes evident how “forced” this whole thing feels, ultimately making it rather boring, just on par with its contributors most recent outings, barely even. Apart from a few fiery moments, this feels completely un-necessary.