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PANZERBALLETT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Germany


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Panzerballett biography
Background:
Guitarist Jan Zehrfeld is the founder of this German fusion based band. In 2004 he concluded a couple of years search for skilled musicians to play his compositions. The starting point was a quartet of saxophone, guitar, bass and drums. They then rehearsed for half a year and started performing live. In 2005 they released their first s/t album. This albums features Zehrfeld on guitar, Gregor Bürger on tenor saxophone, Flo Schmidt on bass and Max Bucher on drums. In 2006 another guitarist, Andreas Dombert, was added to the lineup. A new Austrian drummer, Sebastian Lanser, has also joined in recently.

Music:
Jan says that at first his vision was a mix between Planet X and Tribal Tech, but he replaced the keyboardist with saxophones, as he did find any keyboards player. When asked for direct musical influces he mentions Meshuggah, Mats/Morgan, Dillinger Escape Plan, Screaming Headless Torsos, and Allan Holdsworth.
Their music as Jan says, while being fusion based has various facets to it, some of it derived from funk and metal. This diverse sound is in part due to the fact that each band member comes from a somewhat different background and has an affinity for different musical types. Another reason that Jan mentions is the experimentation with guitar sounds to cover up the fact that there are no keyboards and yet he wants spacey elements in his music.
His vision of their future path includes further evolving in this current direction of fusing styles, and bringing in more metal and jazz elements. To quote his words: ".combing latin-jazz with grindcore, hard-bop with death metal, or disco-funk with hardcore".

Jan is the leader of this group and this shows also in how compositions are done. Using his computer to record his ideas, he goes on composing the theme and then writes each of the individual parts and hands it to his band mates. Then all is left is to rehearse it.

The recording for the second album will begin in May 2007 and the songs are already composed.

As for the band name, Jan's message is:
"Anyone misunderstanding or drawing a possibly wrong conclusion from our band name: We are absolute pacifists!".

Source for this bio:
http://www.panzerballett.de
http://www.nucleusprog.com/ingles/r-panzerballett.htm

==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==



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Panzerballett official website

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PANZERBALLETT forum topics / tours, shows & news


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PANZERBALLETT Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy PANZERBALLETT Music


Tank GoodnessTank Goodness
Import
Ais 2012
Audio CD$14.15
$17.58 (used)
PanzerballettPanzerballett
CD Baby 2006
Audio CD$176.49
$90.50 (used)
Starke StukeStarke Stuke
Import
Ais 2009
Audio CD$11.97
$13.32 (used)
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PANZERBALLETT shows & tickets


  • Panzerballett at Jugendkulturhaus Cairo, Würzburg on 11 Oct 2014
  • Panzerballett at Logo, Hamburg on 12 Oct 2014
  • 10 Jahre Panzerballett - Die Jubiläumstour on 14 Oct 2014
  • Panzerballett + Exivious at Underground, Köln on 18 Oct 2014

PANZERBALLETT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PANZERBALLETT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 19 ratings
Panzerballett
2005
4.05 | 45 ratings
Starke Stücke
2008
4.30 | 24 ratings
Hart Genossen Von Abba Bis Zappa
2009
4.06 | 12 ratings
Tank Goodness
2012

PANZERBALLETT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PANZERBALLETT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Backstage Munich
2007

PANZERBALLETT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PANZERBALLETT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PANZERBALLETT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tank Goodness by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.06 | 12 ratings

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Tank Goodness
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band PANZERBALLETT was first assembled in 2004. From 2006 and onwards the various incarnations of the band have released a steady stream of albums. "Tank Goodness" is their fourth full length production, and was released through the German label Gentle Art of Music in September 2012.

Panzerballett is a band that smoothly and with some elegance manages to combine jazz, fusion and metal of a technical and somewhat extreme variety. Mostly instrumental, which is to my mind a good thing, and with plenty of maneuvering space for the instrumentalists to showcase their skills. A very well made specimen of its kind, and a fairly demanding one too, to be enjoyed by those with a taste for music that defies genre conventions and covers multiple and contrasting stylistic expressions.

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 Starke Stücke by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 45 ratings

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Starke Stücke
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars My buddy Martin (Alucard) had warned me of this band a while go, but I must say that I didn't have a chance to investigate PB before, and early this year, I held off until this month of September, because I knew I would see them on the 4th RIO festival in Carmaux. Having seen the concert, I bought their second album immediately after the show. This strange mixture of jazz and metal music is the brainchild of guitarist Jan Zehrfeld, and the results are surprising enough, even though in concert, it came as completely similar to what I expected, although I had never heard a note (at least knowingly) from the band. The two guitar and sax attack is rather predictable once you've actually understood where the band is heading into, especially when the bass gets funky ala Living Colours.

This first album is definitely a first attempt, and is made almost entirely of covers adapted to the then-tentative sound of PB, if you'll except two or three tracks. Among the covers are such diverse songs, as far apart as possible, ranging from the Pink Panther theme and Birdland (the WR hit track) all the way to Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Purple and Scorpions hits. You'll have a hard time recognizing the Pink Panther theme from the original, and indeed sometimes you'll get a piece of the theme to link the Zappa-meets metal lunacy of the adaptation. While the covers are relatively unrecognizable outside the main themes, it still is rather interesting to hear their musical lunacy. They tend to soften (read jazzify) the metal tracks like Winds Of Change, and harden (read metalize) the jazz tracks such as Birdland.

As for the original compositions, they rank from RIO/Avant realm (somewhere between Zappa, 90's Crimson and some 00's Californian prog/Cuneiform groups) to more metallic moments ala Sepultura, RATM and RCHP with some light cookie-monster barfs here and there. Generally it simply sounds way too complex, as if they chose to complicate things for the sake of being difficult to permeate. At times, the music can be fun, but, ultimately, the sheer repetitions of ultra-complex movements are saturating even the experienced ears. Overall, I tend to prefer the group's original composition to the treatment of the covers they chose to metamorphose. Maybe PB's merits lies in the fact that they could lead quite a few metalheads into getting acquainted with jazz idiosyncrasies (but most likely it will be a one- way street), and that attempt alone is very laudable, despite being a tad too obvious for my liking.

While PB's music is certainly one of kind and doesn't really resemble anything you've heard elsewhere, I can't say that I'm overwhelmed by the "formula", because that's pretty well what it sounds like? A chemical formula of a recipe, one that isn't immediately digestible by this aural stomach of mine, one that seems created from apparently un- mixable ingredients, and these don't actually mesh or melt into each other very well, if at all. In concert (at least the one I saw), the group constantly changes from the metal realm to the jazz idiom, but fairly rare are the actual harmonically successful meetings between the two opposite ends of their musical spectrum. And this first attempt does only confirm what I saw in concert. While musically impressive and definitely worth the investigation, I remain unconvinced and, to be honest, a bit under-whelmed.

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 Starke Stücke by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 45 ratings

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Starke Stücke
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tapfret
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Deconstructionist re-evolved Jazzmetal classic-rock/jazz covers

Sub-genre:Jazz/Rock Fusion (Definite fit, but the metal guitars are aggressive enough to live in Tech/Extreme)
For Fans of: Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa
Vocal Style: Varying male & female on only a few songs (German)
Guitar Style: Huge range of styles electric and acoustic.
Keyboard Style: one synth solo
Percussion Style: Heavy butt kickin' metal right down to tasty jazz & funk
Bass Style: Picked electric with huge style range
Other Instruments: Alto & Bari Saxophone
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you don't like cover tunes, particularly if you want your cover tunes to be arranged exactly like the originals... particularly if you want to recognize them at all.

Summary: The outstanding Jazz/Metal Fusion band Panzerballett presents a very skilled and humorous classic rock and jazz cover tunes from the 70's interspersed with a handful of originals to break things up. The covers are rearranged as heavy jazz tunes with profoundly interesting results. Certainly more than a few purists would scream bloody murder at the result of the key change laden version of Smoke on the Water. The song is at least recognizable, unlike their version of AC/DC's Thunderstruck, which if you don't hear the first 5 seconds would sound like an original. Birdland is presented with verve and energy true to the original, with strong modern twist. The clean electric guitar solo version of Paranoid is another filled with key changes not heard in the original. This version is very, very mellow.


The originals on the album are expectantly eclectic and tongue and cheek. Zickenterror, which is a re-arrangement from the debut album stands out as a quirky, punky, funky manic joyride. Overall the album has a very strong metal element, though not as heavy as the subsequent Hart Genossen



Final Score: Easy 5 stars. I am a sucker for skill, innovation and humor, all of which are contained here.

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 Hart Genossen Von Abba Bis Zappa by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.30 | 24 ratings

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Hart Genossen Von Abba Bis Zappa
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tapfret
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Saxometal = Sexymetal

Sub-genre:Jazz/Rock Fusion (Definite fit, but the metal guitars are aggressive enough to live in Tech/Extreme)
For Fans of: 1980, Animals as Leaders, Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa
Vocal Style: Varying male & female on only a few songs (German)
Guitar Style: Huge range of styles electric and acoustic. Heavy as Fredrik Thordendahl, light and warm as Joe Pass
Keyboard Style: rare if any
Percussion Style: Heavy butt kickin' metal right down to tasty jazz & funk
Bass Style: Picked electric with huge style range
Other Instruments: Alto & Bari Saxophone
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: eclecticism and rapid contrast irritates you.



Summary: Wow! There is no half way about it?I LOVE THIS BAND! The easiest comparison I can make is to a more focused and jazzy Mr. Bungle. The styles within are wildly contrasting with seamless transitions and epic proficiency within each style. And this is not just an exhibition of "look what I/we can do". This is a strong body of compositions that hold their structures, even as varied as they are stylistically within each song. The jazz sections are very tasteful and would hold their own in any corner nightclub. The metal section are as heavy hitting and brutal as any Tech/Extreme band. Somehow it all fits. Perhaps most impressive is there choice of composition. Danny Elfman's The Simpsons theme, a challenging piece on its own, is further glorified by Jan Zehrfeld's arrangement with blasting Djent guitar and extended swing section. A rather unusual selection of Zappa tunes are chosen for 2 closing medleys. These guys do not shy away from a challenge. And they present with exceptional interest and taste.



Final Score: Right to the top of my playlist. 5 stars and more if I am allowed to give them. This is a band full of talent and taste that everyone with an appreciation for fusion and metal should have in their collection. Listen to this album!

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 Starke Stücke by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 45 ratings

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Starke Stücke
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars I am a minor jazz fan; my dad was the one who really initiated any spark within me, with his collection of over 200 jazz albums (not including his over 200 vinyl records). A friend of mine showed me the song Zickenterror, and I was determined to search them out . I got my hands on STARKE STÜCKE, perhaps one of the greatest fusion albums I have ever heard. Blasting off with Pink Panther , the band shows their great skill with saxophone and guitar mix. M.W.M.I.O.F.R. (don't ask me what that stands for) is great, with heavy guitar, raging saxophone, and in the end a great er- "vocal" part that accentuates the heaviness of the album. The band then does a great take on Smoke on the Water . Then Friede, Freude, Fußball (Peace, joy, football [soccer]) comes in with great melodies and funky elements. Wind of Change offers a soft jazz breather. My favorite track on the album is their take on the classic Birdland . A great more mainstream (ish) track is Dreamology with great fusion elements. A great take on AC/DC's Thunderstruck comes in with the telltale hammer-on/pull-off piece then with heavy guitar/sax duology. A funnier song with its ridiculous vocals is Zickenterror with an awesome funk part near the end. Paranoid ends the album on a softer note.

My favorite tracks Are:

- Pink Panther

- Friede, Freude, Fußball

- Birdland

- Dreamology

- Thunderstruck

- Zickenterror

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 Panzerballett by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 19 ratings

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Panzerballett
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars An explosive debut for a very potent German band that mixed in this album the classical musical ingredients of fusion,metal,rock,jazz and adding an unusual instrument called SAX,and that makes the spark of originality for PANZERBALLET!From the beginning ,the album has a high uptempo of the compositions and each song has an unbelieveble energy proving that this guys are hungry to achieve their msuical credo in something very well done! The syncopated funk rhythms and fusion vibes have the frenzy that makes instantly this debut album a very enjoyable audition!The rhythmic section is very spectacular and efficient and the interventions of JAN ZEHRFELD on guitar are stellar!Great ideas and an amalgam of brilliant interventions for each musician ,prove that there is all the time plenty of space for inovation and experiments in fusion!I repeat,the use of sax is something that could give the impression of not being ok,but,believe me,what the guys in PANZERBALLET are doing is more than catchy and interesting!The only minus can be some stereotype and repetitive ideas and not a too obvious personality for each song,but the direction choosed is very precise and clear! Surelly,in time there will be a more mature approach for composition,technically everything is PERFECT!Being an instrumental debut ,the musicianship shown is breathtaking and we are sure and 100 % convinced thet the future loooks more than promissing for this very telented and orifinal fusion,definitelly fusion German band! 4 STARS for the courage and will to dare!

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 Starke Stücke by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 45 ratings

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Starke Stücke
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars Metal up your... jazz! Again!

STARKE STUCKE is the second album from the German jazz/fusion-metallers. Contrary to their debut which consisted only of their own compositions, this time they have included 6 'covers' of classic tunes; and I put the word in apostrophes because most of those covers have very little to do with the originals. The main theme of each original track is apparent but, in general, PANZERBALLETT pick the tunes up and transform them into metal jazz themes of their own...

The album contains 4 completely new compositions (all done by mastermind Jan Zehrfeld like before) which resemble to the band's debut work; jazz/fusion saxophone tunes co-exist with heavy-thrash guitars to create an attractive musical outcome. This time, the tracks are relatively shorter, more concise which subsequently makes this album more 'listenable' than the debut. My favourite of their own compositions is M.w.M.i.O.f.R, consisting of crazy, speedy fusion rhythms and heavy slow guitar riffs in the vein of Machine Head, Mastodon etc while the ending reminds the best Meshuggah moments. The only vocal-based track is Zickenterror; a berserk song with abrupt breaks and vocals (male and female) sung in the most bizarre fashion - I believe this could have been a Fantomas song or something similar.

Another small deviation from the debut is that the ratio of metal:jazz here is much higher. More and more metal-influenced guitar riffs have taken over and I don't blame Dick Heath for singling out Friede, Freude, Fußball - probably the 'jazziest' track. From the cover songs the band has selected I am not familiar with Birdland but I can guess it is well transformed from its original version along with the others.

With the exception of the Scorpions and Sabbath tunes, all the other covers are performed in the most lively and energetic way that uplifts the tracks in a different dimension. The former are executed in a more 'lounge-jazz' style with no snappy intervals and major surprises but with excellent melodies. Pink Panther and Thunderstruck are in my opinion the most successful 'transformations' from the prototypes, embodying various heavy guitar riffs.

You have probably understood by now that this has been a (more than just) satisfying and enjoyable experience to me. Overall, STARKE STUCKE sounds more mature, concise and FUN (!) than the band's debut and I would not hesitate to recommend it to tech/prog metal fans and jazz lovers. The PANZERS are back with a shout!

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 Panzerballett by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 19 ratings

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Panzerballett
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars From the band's official website: ''An innovative, hard 'n' heady mixture of jazz, funk and metal, crossing complex polyrhythms with metal guitar riffing, funky grooves and jazz improvisation: Bang your head with brains''!!!

After this sensational description by the band itself I feel there is not much to say! I believe this is really a metal band, however there is a part of them that really enjoys jazz/fusion. Saying that, in this first album, PANZERBALLETT are exploring more the pathways of jazz/funk/fusion rather than metal. Although there are plenty of moments that resemble to extreme progressive metal, I feel the saxophone solos are overtaking this situation...

Combining Meshuggah-like rhythms with pure jazz is not the easiest thing in prog or music in general but these guys quite succeed. Although the guitar and the saxophone are the instruments that dominate the sound, the - often funky - bass is really outstanding and provides the ideal background for the others to improvise. Iron Maiden Voyage (no relation to Iron Maiden whatsoever) is the highlight track where this previous sentence definitely applies.

The album consists of 8 ''proper'' compositions (plus a short 'fun' track), filled with lots of guitar and sax improvisation and continuous rhythm changes, while the main themes are repeated after many minutes within the same track to provide some sense of structure. Another element that struck me is the enormous speed of some compositions - something that makes them almost impossible to follow and to comprehend.

It is hard to deliver a track-to-track review for this extraordinary (in many aspects) album. There are quite a lot of brilliant moments here and surely both fans of jazz/fusion and technical metal will find interesting elements. At the same time, I feel this debut is a bit more eclectic than normal due to lots of improvisation and unexpected changes, so 3.5 stars is the fairest option...

Have you ever heard a PANZER DANCING? Well, if not, this is your chance!

PS. Many, many thanks to Dr. Heath for making this band known to me.

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 Hart Genossen Von Abba Bis Zappa by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.30 | 24 ratings

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Hart Genossen Von Abba Bis Zappa
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars OK, let's try this game. It's even more insane than their previous one. And it's insane that I love it even more. Maybe songs better suited for this twisting, shifting of everything and so on. Another load of cover songs, but this time, it works slightly better. Just little bit, but measurable bit. I like the way where current German production is heading, with Martigan's new album, Sylvan's work, Lacrimosa, it's getting better every year.

There's sung part on Mein Teil (my tail?) is better than original, but don't have so much jazzy parts (which can sounds almost surreal at times). Also, I think that calmer (not loud, not metal) songs are better than their opposites. This band simply have advantage in jazz parts, it's what they can do the best. But when it's blend of all three elements, it's something like symphony. Only from other side of spectrum, from the crazy side (the Breeze)

4(-), better handled covers than previous one. Leaning almost to masterpiece heights, from which some covers are persuading me not to give full rating. And there's another thing. Death metal thing doesn't really fits here for me (Weary Eyes. This also brings it down. But of course, many things lifts this up. Overall, it's better than his previous brother from 2008, but not as much to give (+)

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 Starke Stücke by PANZERBALLETT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 45 ratings

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Starke Stücke
Panzerballett Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars At first, when I saw certain song names (Smoke, Wind), I though that it's just mundane, cover album. I know 5/10 songs as originals, so I supposed I'll be disappointed. But because you see "but" here, you can probably guess by now that my experience was different. I already knew their first album and was eager to hear more. OK, I would be more interested in their original work, then completely rewriting (in game world, it's called total conversion), but overall is pleasing. Or at least little bit pleasing.

The problem is, that I don't like idea of covers. I grew up listening pop covers of their more successful classical brothers, so I don't like them now. But it's not just my problem, doing your own song, music, or lyrics, it's the best way. And that's the problem, or maybe I can call it advantage. This music is new, they managed to import long solos, slighter and greater differences in these tracks, that only thing which (sometimes) reminds of original is melody. I don't have to say that instruments are different, style also and that this is something between jazz/rock/metal, right ? And the important thing, atmosphere, the feeling you get from these songs is very, very different, because of saxophone, different guitar, many things. But I like it, it's like

4(-), because even I like it, I know that except certain parts of this album, these songs are covers, but then I say to myself that they're completely different. Take it as you wish, it's your decision after all, I've already made mine. I like it.

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