Released: 2003, Century Media Records
The mighty Jag Panzer return with a double disc set of classic heavy metal. DECADE OF THE NAIL-SPIKED BAT contains re-recordings of tracks from the TYRANTS EP, AMPLE DESTRUCTION, CHAIN OF COMMAND (bootleg), and DISSIDENT ALLIANCE along with some material that has been unavailable except for those very few lucky and fanatical collectors.
DECADE OF THE NAIL-SPIKED BAT is great for those who are looking for Jag Panzer’s original recordings that haven’t been re-issued due to problematic legal issues. Anyone who is into Jag Panzer beyond having a casual interest in the band’s most recent albums should check out this 2-CD set of harder to find and re-recorded classic material as it provides an excellent intro to the band’s older material. This release totally comes off as a late 80’s true metal release from the classic artwork (by their original cover artist Keith Austin), musical style, and even the album production and guitar sounds. The re-recording did not make this material sound like b-side material from MECHANIZED WARFARE at all (in case you prefer the older Jag Panzer material and were afraid that “messing with the past” would ruin these timeless classics). Another thing that brings this album to life are the liner notes by Mark Briody for every song on here explaining where it came from. Due to the period from which most of this material is from, many of the songs on this album reveal a stronger NWOBHM influence as compared to their recent albums that while still staying true to the band’s original sound has significantly grown. 11 of the tracks on here are taken from Jag Panzer’s first official release the Tyrants EP (1983) and from their debut full-length AMPLE DESTRUCTION (1984). This will somewhat satisfy those who have a hard time finding AMPLE DESTRUCTION on CD in particular.
Some of my favorite tracks on here include “Metal Melt’s The Ice” which has a funny yet catchy chorus repeating ”You know it's over, when the Metal Melts the Ice”. Also “Eyes of the Night” has a strong and different sounding chorus that is hard to get out of your head after hearing it just once. This one is made even more special since I’ve never heard it before. It was originally released in 1985 on cassette for a Hit Parader magazine compilation called “The Wild Bunch”. It’s also cool to hear some songs with Harry on vocals that were originally recorded by “fill-in” vocalist Daniel Conca such as the re-written and re-recorded song “Forsaken” which also appears on Metal-Rules.com Volume I (shameless plug: http://www.metal-rules.com/CD/MetalRules-VolumeI.htm
) The version on VOLUME I is a tiny bit different though! There are actually no songs on here I don’t like, so rather than ramble on about all 20 songs, let’s just say this is a great mix of classic material that every Jag Panzer fan should pick up!
DECADE OF THE NAIL-SPIKED BAT possibly contains the best re-recorded material that I can recollect. Although Iced Earth did a similar thing in 1997 with the release of DAYS OF PURGATORY for which the line-up of the time re-recorded a number of the band’s older songs, this one is more interesting not only because we get to hear the band’s current interpretations of this material, but also due to the difficulty of finding some of this material on CD today.