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Metal Integral  - 'Ritual' Review by Laudrome26

TYGERS OF PAN TANG evokes in me a flurry of memories. These English from Whitley Bay formed the group in the late seventies by Robb WEIR and Jeff COX. I bought all the albums that have always had a place of choice in my discotheque. Yes, it was the time of vinyls! The Wild Cat (1980) and Spellbound (1981) both produced by Chris TSANGARIDES (who died in January 2018) (THIN LIZZY, Gary MOORE, ANGRA, JUDAS PRIEST, MALMSTEEN) had a significant impact in the midst of the outbreak of this famous New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. These two albums received a more than positive reception by the British public (N ° 18 and 23). The band is also a springboard for a renowned musician: guitarist John SYKES future THIN LIZZY, BADLANDS, WHITESNAKE and BLUE MURDER. He joined the band in 1981 and stayed until Crazy Nights. In 1982 he was replaced by Fred PURSER on The Cage 1982, which still ranks No. 13 in Great Britain. The Wreck-Age in 1985 (plus FM) and Burning The Shade in 1987 are also part of my nightclub. After I had no news, a multitude of other groups also appeared or monopolized my mind.

So think that this Ritual makes me very happy, even if the music here has moved away from the beginning. The result is excellent with this great album and it's a real surprise to re-hear the TYGERS OF PAN TANG at such a level. Of course, there is talent, it's obvious and our British have refreshed their compositions. The inspiration is there and the richness of the writing does the rest. Only original member of the beginning, Robb WEIR surrounded himself with very good musicians like the Italian singer Jacopo MEILLE (ex MANTRA) who in a slightly different register is in the lineage of the excellent Jeff COX and Jon DEVERILL. I have a soft spot for guitarist Michael MCCRYSTAL who distills incendiary solos in a style close to John SYKES.

The recording was entrusted to an "old man of the house" Fred PURSER, the guitarist who had succeeded John SYKES. The mix and part of the production is the work of Soren ANDERSEN (Glenn HUGHES, Mike TRAMP) and TYGERS OF PAN TANG. For a perfect and modern sound, Harry HESS (HAREM SCAREM, NEWMAN, MIDNITE CITY, Tony MILLS) did the mastering. The care given to the sound is paid because it sounds modern, sometimes heavy and the thread is the melody that is always put forward. The song is not drowned in an overpower that wants to impress the listener. Another good point! The more I listen to Ritual, the more I find him great qualities.

A wave of riffs at the AC / DC announces the first Worlds Apart title. Finally the guitars become more melodic heavy supported by the warm voice of Jacopo MEILLE. Very good start, which marks the new territory of "tigers". The second title Destiny is a little gem of melodic hard rock that quickly becomes indispensable to my ears. The chorus comes ringing and haunting me several times a day. The addictive rhythm of the guitars is also one of the great assets of this superb composition. Michael MCCRYSTAL's solo is worthy of John SYKES. Intro with a false air of a BON JOVI metal version, Rescue Me deploys its powerful rhythm and the chorus always extremely catchy me scotche literally. I find the spirit of the great firebrands of the past such as Hellbound or Raised On Rock on this Raise Some Hell who "moves harshly"! The two guitarists give themselves to their heart's content! Our British are very inspired and rejuvenate their repertoire with this sublime piece that is Spoils Of War. A hyper-muscular melodic hard rock limits heavy but still exciting and appealing. The single White Lines is representative of the group's new orientation. The title associates with an astonishing accuracy power and melody. If like me Mirror (album Spellbound) or The Actor (The Cage) are power-ballads that speak to you, I'm sure that Words Cut Like A Knife is more than make you capsize. This hyper melodic piece with an end more than burning (this solo!) Is a small masterpiece. Rhythmic and fiery, Damn You continues on this pitch of heavy atmospheres and always borrowed from racy melodies. This album is "hot"! Very same! Like this Love Will Find A Way which will draw at WHITESNAKE (1987) and BLUE MURDER a dazzling melodic breath. Heavier and darker, with its more massive sound Art Of Noise returns in more metal countries but with this particular attention to a haunting chorus. TYGERS OF PAN TANG are at home in all areas as Sail On, a long title, which develops a more progressive but without losing the thread of the melody. I am under the spell of the aerial break followed by this flamboyant solo. Great art!

Diversity, intelligent composition, impeccable sound, attractive melodies, "top level" musicianship, this Ritual will surprise more than one! Even if the albums of the beginnings are far away, it would be really stupid to pass beside such an album which completely conquered me. The "Tygers" are still here and there!

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