It is always nice to see the old NWOBHM bands still recording and performing great music after some 40 years. The Tygers Of Pan Tang were one of the bigger bands of the movement who had all the right pieces of the jigsaw and really should have gone on to have some of the fame that Iron Maiden carved out for themselves. They didn’t do too badly though and had legions of fans and released some very good albums too. They still sound fresh today and it is always a delight to dip into their back catalogue.
Formed in 1978 in Whitley Bay on the North East coast of England they released a number of great albums prior to disbanding in 1987 and, luckily for us, they got back together again in 1999 and have been an active touring and recording band since then. A lot has happened since those early days in 1978 and their early line-up of Robb Weir on guitar, Richard Laws on bass, Jess Cox on vocals and Brian Dicks and the current set-up bear little relationship with just Robb Weir remaining and the rest of the team being Jacopo Meille on vocals, Michael Crystal on guitar, Gav Gray on bass and Craig Ellis on drums. This is the same team though that produced 2016’s Tygers Of Pan Tang so there is now a little continuity at least. The result of their recent hard work has really paid off for them as Tygers Of Pan Tang was very well received but Ritual is simply stupendous, the songs are all hard and heavy mini-epics as they have song writing to an art and can say everything they need to in the 4 to 5-minute mark. Robb Weir and Michael ‘Micky’ Crystal seemingly meld together and their riffing and solos makes the band sound so hungry and, perhaps, heavier than they have ever sounded. Huge praise too for Italian vocalist Jacopo Meille as he has settled into the band so perfectly with his wondrous voice and he sounds so British too, a great choice by the band here.
If it is a while since you last had a listen to the Tygers Of Pan Tang then please re-visit as they are doing good things at the moment and Ritual is as good an album as they have ever produced, a quite phenomenal release.