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TYGERS OF PAN TANG - Ritual

Release date November 22/19 (Mighty Music)

This is the 13th full-length album from Britain’s Tygers of Pan Tang since their original formation in 1978. Guitarist Robb Weir is the sole original member left (and even he hasn’t been on every album), with the rest of the current members having joined at various times over the last two decades.

Although the Tygers were part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, their sound has always run along that fine line between melodic metal and hard rock, and it still does. A couple of the songs sound like vintage Tygers (opener “World’s Apart” and “White Line”), having an old-school metal feel with great vocal and guitar harmonies. Meanwhile, a couple of other metal songs sound like they could have been on a latter-era Saxon album (“Raise Some Hell” and “Damn You!”), given the serious riffing found therein. “Love Will Find a Way” on the other hand is a little on the cheesy side, and at times I swear this is a song on a 1980s Whitesnake album, with vocalist Jacopo Meille doing his best Coverdale impression. Heavy on the fromage or not, this song actually works though.

At 11 songs (not counting a dismal bonus remake of the 1980 Tygers classic “Don’t Touch Me There”) and 53 minutes, this album could have used some paring down. “Rescue Me” and “Sail On” are slow plodders that could have been left off, and the mandatory over-emoting power balled “Words Cut Like Knives” should definitely have been left on the cutting room floor.

Some good songs on this effort, if a bit too long, but for loyal fans of the band, it is definitely worth checking out. If you are not already a fan but are interested, then buy 1980’s classic Wild Cat album first as a proper Tygers introduction.

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