Panzerballet – Kings of Jazz Metal ?

I got introduced to Panzerballet about a week ago, and was immediately blown away by their talent at combining prog, metal and jazz. This Munich-based quintet doesn’t hold back, twisting the genres together ’till it all sounds so absurd and surreal, yet still rocks at the same time. This has do with the jazz elements never taking the back seat. The sax, for example, is almost always in the mix, as if it was a second guitar yet of course so different at its nature, filling the tracks with colorful expressions that dance madly around the complex rhythms. In short, Panzerballet are smart but fun, occasionally heavy – and super-creative. A real treat for the jazz metal enthusiast!

The band’s material can be divided into covers and originals, both which are crazy good. I was hooked by their cover of The Pink Panther main theme song; They’ve taken that already catchy melody, broke it into pieces, and rearranged things in such mad fashion – recognizable but fresh, similar yet so freakin’ out there. I was humming this instrumental all day yesterday(more like failed to, haha!):

This one is off Starke Stucke, released in 2008. The album is focused on covers, but also has some fiery originals that burn of quality, such as the frantic “M.w.M.i.O.f.R(yes that’s a song title). Beside being downright brilliant, this jam actually incorporates the polyrhythmic elements of Meshuggah. The band has cited the math metal group as an influence, and this twist of time signatures is even more apparent on a track that isn’t on this album, titled “Bird Wild Web”. Check out this jazz metal gem below:

I must admit that although appreciative of this style of music, I do sometimes find it to be far from an easy listen, especially with the longer tracks. Better take it slow when getting into prog and jazz, eh?  If you enjoyed Panzerballet, I highly suggest you follow them on Facebook and tell them yourself!

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