Tygers Of Pan Tang - 'Ritual'

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Tygers Of Pan Tang - 'Ritual'

Classic British Metal imbued with gravitas and majesty.

One of the top dogs (or should that be cats?) in their North East NWOBHM stronghold back in the late seventies/early eighties, the revamped Tygers Of Pan Tang – built around sole original member Robb Weir – have been enjoying something of a resurgence of late.

Since getting back together at the turn of the millennium, the band have undoubtedly gone from strength to strength with each new album getting progressively classier and more memorable. This remarkable reversal of fortunes can, in my opinion at any rate, be attributed to two things. The first was the arrival of Italian born vocalist Jacopo Meille following 2004's 'Noises From The Cathouse' opus; his commanding roar being the most in tune with the Tygers of old since the days of Jon Deverill. The second came when Dean Robertson was replaced on guitar by the tousle-maned firebrand Micky Crystal – no disrespect meant to Robertson or any of the guitarists that preceded him, but Crystal is easily the best plank spanker they've had since the days of John Sykes!

Therefore, with the Tygers' 2016 self-titled effort setting a pretty high standard, a palpable buzz had begun to build around the impending release of 'Ritual' – will they live up to the promise shown or somehow fall short? Thankfully, from the moment the rampaging riffs of opener 'Worlds Apart' shatter the stillness of the autumnal afternoon air, it becomes abundantly clear that it's the former! Marrying those fearsome riffs to hooks catchier than the clap in a Bangkok cathouse works a treat, and when you then throw in some sizzling fret-board pyrotechnics from Crystal... just wow!

However, that's just the entrée and as 'Ritual' unfolds it gradually begins to dawn on you the significance of what they've actually achieved. From the marauding first single 'White Lines' through the brooding 'Rescue Me' or smouldering 'Words Cut Like Knives' to the juggernaut that is 'Spoils Of War', these cats roar with all the finesse of a Ferrari on race day! Finally, just when you think they've nothing else left in the tank, they finish on a crescendo driven high with the broiling epic 'Sail On'. The production, playing, arrangements and delivery are all bang on the money throughout!

The group claim this is their best album since 'Spellbound' and I am in complete agreement on that front – this is classic British Metal imbued with gravitas and majesty!

Dave Cockett

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