Panther - 1986 Panther

edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Panther
ALBUM: Panther
LABEL: Half Wet Records
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Jeff Scott Soto - vocals * Mike Barrish - guitars * Glen Davis - bass * Scott Taylor - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 First There Was Rock * 02 Desire * 03 Danger * 04 Deliver The Axe * 05 Warchild * 06 Panther


When asked in 2003 what was the worst project he was ever associated with, Soto answered 'Panther, terrible!' This is a ludicrous answer when you consider Soto was only 21 when this album was released.

Did he really have the mindset in 1986 that Panther were a typically cliched US metal band? Was he thinking at the time that song titles like 'Deliver The Axe' were beneath him? Who knows.

This is actually an excellent piece of heavy metal with heavy shades of 80's Pantera and an extremely heavy duty attack which could have seen Panther rise to higher levels had Soto not quit following this short six track EP.

The Songs

Soto can claim this to be terrible, but he displays fine form here, as does the whole band.

Every track is an anthem, starting with 'First There Was Rock', which takes its cue from every US metal band imaginable, Keel, Icon and Manowar among them.

Still Pantera are the biggest comparison, huge booming choruses and riffs with high pitched vocals putting this in the same league as 'Projects In The Jungle.'

The band takes a stab at melodic hard rock with 'Desire', although it would be amiss not to single out the rough shredding of Barrish's guitar work.

'Danger' continues the assault, with a nice Iron Maiden gallop, only more savage, and I'm truly convinced this is Phil Anselmo on vocals, the similarities between Soto and Anselmo are quite amazing.

Taking the cue of the recently reviewed Jag Panzer, 'Deliver The Axe' delivers a fatal blow indeed, the type of crushing traditional metal which makes people look back at the 80's so fondly these days.

'Warchild' makes a mockery of what Judas Priest were up to in 1986, this is real metal, played with vicious intent, the epic self titled closer another tense workout, building in suspense as the Panther stalks her prey without remorse! How about that Jeff?

In Summary

Soto left to join Yngwie Malmsteen, which wasn't half as interesting as Panther, before also fronting several dozen bands throughout his career thus far.

Panther soldiered on for a few more years, but Soto's departure spelled the death knell for Panther, who if they had perservered and had the backing of a major label with quality production, could have been an interesting proposition. Try telling that to Soto though.

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