Jag Panzer is a power metal band from the United States.
Colorado natives Jag Panzer first came together in late 1981, being inspired by the onslaught of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that had taken the Heavy Metal world by storm in the early 80s. The original line-up consisted of Harry Conklin on vocals (later nicknamed the "Tyrant", as a nod to Metal Legends Judas Priest), Mark Briody (who was the sole guitarist of the group in its first incarnation), John Tetley who played the bass, and Rick Hilyard as the drummer. The band was known as Tyrant in its first incarnation. They soon had to change their name from Tyrant, however, because another band by the name of Tyrant existed in California.
They saw a poster featuring a German WWII tank, named Jagdpanzer (literally "hunting tank" in German, but actually referring to what in English would be called a tank destroyer) which they decided to name their band after. They were however, unable to pronounce the name correctly and as a result, dropped the letter "D" from the name and simply called it Jag Panzer . The band, who were all in their late teens at the time, played at local venues in the Denver club circuit, and recorded a legendary EP in 1983, later known as "Tyrants". In early 1984, the band recruited guitar hero extraordinaire Joey Tafolla, a native of California, and promptly recorded their first LP, titled "Ample Destruction". The album was released in August of that same year by a small indie label called Azra Records. The poor promotion of the album, combined with the limited marketing skills of Azra made the album an underground hit in the States, whereas in Europe and Japan the LP was available as import only.
The album eventually became one of the most sensational underground metal albums of all time, and currently fetching high prices on online auctions. After the release of the album, the band relocated to Southern California, in order to play a few gigs and try to make it to the major league. That never really happened, as Joey eventually quit the band in 1986, releasing a solo album, Out of the Sun, in 1987, while Harry Conklin played with New York's Riot for a brief period of time in the late 80's before forming his own band, called "Titan Force". Without the two key members of the Ample Destruction line-up, Jag Panzer, or more accurately Mark Briody and John Tetley, as Rick Hilyard had also been replaced by Reynold 'Butch' Carlson, who left in 1986 along with Tafolla, revamped the band by recruiting vocalist Bob Parduba and guitarist Christian Lasegue.
Swedish born drummer Rikard Stjernquist was added to the line-up and the band proceeded to record the follow-up to their critically acclaimed first LP. The album was recorded in late 1987 but never got an official release. The story has it that the band was offered a record deal by a major label, but turned it down. The never released album, which came to be known as "Chain of Command" was in fact bootlegged more than once, becoming a smash on the underground metal community. The shelved master tapes of the album made it clear that the band had run its course. They called it a day in 1988, and it would be quite a while before anyone would hear anything from the Colorado headbangers.
By 1994, the band had reunited, this time with vocalist Daniel J. Conca, and of course Tetley and Briody on bass and guitars respectively. Guitarist Chris Hostka and drummer Rikard Stjernquist were also present for their first official album in almost 10 years, called "Dissident Alliance". While the album featured some hit tracks, some found the production values to be crude, while others found the overall sound of the album "Pantera Friendly". Released by German indie label Rising Sun, the album never got a warm reception by the metal community. By this time, Harry Conklin's Titan Force had run their course, and Harry decided to get back together with his old buddies for another try. He brought with him shredder Joey Tafolla, and the band got an offer for a record contract with the Century Media label.
The first album they released on Century Media was "Fourth Judgement" which came out in late 1997. The album featured a song from the officially unreleased "Chain of Command" LP, titled "Shadow Thief". The album was a commercial and critical success. Guitarist Chris Broderick was thrown in the mix, after Tafolla's departure in 1997, this time for good. The next album was title "Age of Mastery" and was released in the fall of 1998. It featured many songs from the Chain of Command LP and was another smash. Having reaffirmed their devotion to heavy metal, Jag Panzer sought to tackle more ambitious territory for their next album. Thane to the Throne was a concept album about William Shakespeare's Macbeth.
"Mechanized Warfare" was released in 2001, then the band released a double CD in 2003 that featured many previously unreleased tracks as well a lot of songs from their first LP. The album, titled "Decade of the Nail-Spiked Bat" came out in 2003 and featured re-recorded and /or remixed old material. In 2004 the band released a new album titled "Casting the Stones". The unreleased "Chain Of Command" album was remixed and was finally released in 2004 as a limited European CD edition. In 2008 Guitarist Chris Broderick left the band to join Megadeth and was replaced with Christian Lasegue.
On December 23rd, 2008, guitarist Mark Briody made a post on the band's official forum, telling that the title of the next album will be "The Scourge of the Light". When this album will be released is however not certain yet.
Guitarist Mark Briody posts regularly at the Metal-Rules() forum and the Dean Guitars() forum under the name "Jag Panzer".
Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin ? lead vocals (1981?1985, 1994?present)
Christian (Christisan) Lasegue ? lead guitar (1985?1988, 2008?present)
Mark Briody ? rhythm guitar, keyboards (1981??present)
John Tetley ? bass guitar, backing vocals (1981?present)
Rikard Stjernquist ? drums (1986?present)
Chris Broderick ? lead guitar, keyboards (1997?2008)
Joey Tafolla ? lead guitar (1984?1986, 1994?1997)
Rick Hilyard ? drums (1981?1985)
Bob Parduba ? lead vocals (1985?1988)
Reynold 'Butch' Carlson ? drums (1985?1986)
Daniel J. Conca ? lead vocals (1994)
Chris Kostka (Hostka) ? lead guitar (1994)