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VS-Baronin.livejournal.com - 'Ritual' Review by Vsevolod Baronin

Not to say that the brightest representatives of NENWOBHM (the "new wave of British heavy metal from the northeast") Tygers Of Pan Tang had less career adventures than their fellow rivals in style from other parts of Britain - from the original composition to the moment of the revival of the "tigers "In 2001 there was only a guitarist Robb Weir (Robb Weir), in its composition 1984-1987 did not play. As you know, Robb was the only guitarist in the first line-up of the group, and with him as such recorded the debut album “Wild Cat” (1980), personally considered by Jeff Barton (Geoff Barton) and other heralds NWOBHM for the fundamentally better work of the group. Let us leave this opinion to the conscience of these heralds, but Robb really turned out to be the guardian of traditions: having found sensible vocalist Jack Meille at the time of recording the album “Animal Instinct” (2008), he turned Tygers Of Pan Tang into a wonderfully stable in a musical sense, composition. All that the group has been recording since then is variations on the theme of its really best album “Spellbound” (1981), on which melodic speed metal was presented to the world for the first time, although until the birth of the tricky some terms still had about five years. From that moment, Robb and colleagues did not know defeat, although they didn’t grab stars from the sky ... But the concert and studio activity of Tygers Of Pan Tang unexpectedly led to the re-release of their early legacy in the guise of the five-disc CD box “The MCA Years” (2017) - like that that now an attentive listener can compare old and young tigers, and ...

And to make an amazing conclusion, especially with respect to such NWOBHM veterans, the conclusion: the group didn’t leave their roots anywhere, and the material is exactly the same as almost 40 years ago. Probably, Robb, unlike many other peers, understands perfectly well that they are not expecting from him some mythical "experiments" and "development", but precisely finding a well-trodden track once and for all. Perhaps that is why he gives his colleagues the opportunity to fully act not only as co-authors, but simply as songwriters - and they are happy to try. So glad that the differences from the spirit of “Spellbound” on “Ritual” for at least the third time (after the albums “Ambush”, 2012, and “Tygers Of Pan Tang”, 2016) are extremely minimal - for example, the numbers “Raise Some Hell” , “White Lines” and “Damn You!” they sound like the outbacks of the early 80s that the band played just now. Yes, this is the same "frantic boogie" -1981 according to Jeff Burton! Somewhere, musicians add a little more epic to vocal melodies (“Worlds Apart”, “Spoils Of War”, “Art Of Noise” and “Sail On”), somewhere - they try to create a vocal “almost hit” (“Destiny” ), or even play a simple European hard-n-heavy, showing a lot of similarities with the Swiss Gotthard (“Rescue Me”). But there is no “way out”, and the whole essence of the quintet’s work is best expressed in the ballad of a big hand (you can’t say otherwise) “Words Cut Like Knives” and the super-melodious track “Love Will Find A Way”, which I’d like to name a monument in honor of NWOBHM, and no less. One can only be surprised at the loyalty of Robb and his musicians to the postulates of a different era - but with what genuine joy they share with us in the company of their former guitarist Fred Parser! Here I don’t even want to point out to other veterans of the style “you would like that”: for the mass of young groups “Ritual” can also become a model of how to keep your roots and be true to your musical ideas.

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