When word got out in 1993 that metal cult legends Jag Panzer were once again active after a six-year idle period, die hard fans and critics alike anxiously awaited for something new from one of the US's most underrated and longest standing true metal acts. However, it would take four long years before classic fans would accept the band's new material as their own, coming in the form of the 1997 Century Media debut, The Fourth Judgement. Since then the band have found thousands of new fans, especially on Europeans shores, to add to the massive support that they have garnered for themselves over the past 15 years. Continuing the momentum gained from last year's highly-acclaimed masterpiece (and the current power/progressive metal explosion) Jag Panzer have returned once again with a new epic in metal virtuosity, The Age Of Mastery. Combining stunning, technical musicianship with catchy and intelligent songwriting. Jag Panzer's new opus is destined to become another classic as soon as it hits the streets. Jag Panzer's long history dates back to 1981 when guitarist Mark Briody, bassist John Tetley, drummer Rick Hilyard and vocalist Harry Conklin formed under the moniker Tyrants, later to be changed to Jag Panzer (taken from the German World War II tank Jagdpanzer) in 1983. An untitled EP was recorded for Azra Records (fans now refer to this rare gem as the Tyrants EP) and the band soon after added guitar wizard Joey Tafolla to complete an amazing five-piece line-up. Their milestone 1984 debut LP Ample Destruction garnered huge underground attention and spread the band's name throughout the budding metal world. Although Ample's... impact and influence are still felt today, the band crumbled apart a year after the album's release without ever having the chance to capitalize on its success. After Hilyard left in 1985, Tafolla departed to begin his solo career and Conklin (now officially known as The Tyrant) later moved on to front Titan Force. By 1987 (after recording a demo with some session musicians) Briody, Tetley and new drummer Rikard Stjernquist began a period of near hibernation, only to be awakened in 1993 with a line-up featuring old friend Chris Kostka on guitar and vocalist Daniel Conca (ex-Gothic Slam). After demo-ing for almost a year the band released Dissident Alliance in 1994, and was fortunate enough to tour Germany with Overkill as well as playing selected headlining shows in the States. Although the record re-acquainted everyone with the band name, early Jag Panzer fans were not satisfied with the current style and line-up. 1996 brought The Tyrant back to re-capture the necessary vocal prominence the band was known for, and Jag Panzer continued to write new material. After signing a world-wide deal with Century Media Records, Joey Tafolla agreed to record with the band, and the infamous Ample Destruction line-up was once again back together. Produced by Jim Morris at Morrisound Studios, the aforementioned The Fourth Judgement enabled the band to enjoy the satisfaction and success that they had deserved long ago (not to mention a European tour with Gamma Ray and Hammerfall), and old fans immediately began ranting over the band's return and the new material. The Age Of Mastery will further the band's successes and accomplishments, and new guitarist Chris Broderick has had no trouble filling the void left by the again-departed Tafolla (his solo work has kept him very busy). The Age Of Mastery is a step up in structure and writing, with each individual song having its own identity and ability to stand on its own. Jag Panzer continues to set a pace for other power metal acts to strive to, but sheer conviction and love of their craft and careers have indefinitely put this band on a platform above and beyond the rest.