Panzerballett: Breaking Brain

Fun, heavy prog with brass and balls.

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So goes the blurb, this Munich five-piece have long held to the philosophical principle of ‘Verkrassung’, whereby ‘preconceptions have to be challenged and everything has to be made more extreme than that which already exists’.

They’re not the most extreme band to have cropped up in these pages, but Panzerballett’s acute and entertaining blend of conservatoire-standard brass and brains-’n’-aIl, balls-to-the-wall progressive metal makes for some high-protein music. Euroblast blends Zappa-style sax with Pantera-level heaviness (this from a band who have a song called A Vulgar Display Of Sauerkraut). Jan Zerhrfeld and Josef Doblhofer’s nimble guitars (part Satriani, part Dimebag) vie with Alexander Von Hagke’s sax nicely, as Helko Jungs and Sebastian Lanser weave achingly complex rhythms. It’s all leavened with humour: carriage return bells on diabolically complex Typewriter II ; the Muppets/Metallica mashup Mahna Mahna (say the title out loud); the drawn-out dissection of the Pink Panther theme. These guys are a cut above, and if, Aristocrats-style, you find a spoonful of fun helps the fusion go down, then look no further.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.