Rating:
9.2
Tygers Of Pan Tang - Spellbound
1981


01. Gangland
02. Take It
03. Minotaur
04. Hellbound
05. Mirror
06. Silver And Gold
07. Tyger Bay
08. The Story So Far
09. Blackjack
10. Don't Stop By
11. All Or Nothing ['97 re-release bonus]
12. Don't Give A Damn ['97 re-release bonus]
13. Bad Times ['97 re-release bonus]
14. It Ain't Easy ['97 re-release bonus]
15. Don't Take Nothing ['97 re-release bonus]


NWOBHM has to be one of the strangest musical movements to ever happen - it holds some of the world's most famous acts as well as some of the most overlooked bands in metal. Tygers Of Pan Tang would fall under the latter category, and with an album like this it almost seems like a crime against humanity that they seemed to fly under the radar of massive commercial appeal.

This is the Tygers follow-up to their decent (albeit fairly bland) debut "Wild Cat". Replacing original singer Jess Cox with Jon Deverille gave the band a great edge, with more intense, wider-ranged vocals. "Spellbound" kicks off with arguably the greatest Tygers song - 'Gangland', a speedy proto-thrash track with an immaculately placed solo which can only be described as a "face-melter". The album is absolutely crammed packed with songs of similar structure and of almost equal greatness. Save for 2 ballads, one pop-ish song, and the utterly pointless instrumental 'Minotaur', the album is damn near perfect - outrageous vocals, speedy riffs and "face-melters" galore. The ballads are not entirely bad in themselves, but after using all your energy to keep yourself from breaking out your air guitar to some pure metal tracks like 'Hellbound' and 'Tyger Bay', getting hit with a ballad is a big downer.

The production itself is nothing incredibly unique or groundbreaking, typical early 80's metal production, very comparable to Iron Maidens self-titled (though with less prominent bass). Despite the album not being anything too terribly trailblazing, almost everything seemed to be perfectly placed, well written, and executed quite nicely. If Tygers Of Pan Tang kept this level of quality up for a few more albums they probably could have paralleled with bands like Saxon or even Judas Priest fame wise, unfortunately the albums to follow are easily to blame for their fall into obscurity, but that's a story for another day.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Tygers Of Pan Tang
Album: Spellbound


 


written by Doc Godin | 27.02.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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DayFly - 17.03.2009 at 23:20  
Easily their best album. I'm a bit amazed that you didn't comment on Sykes solos, though. He's arguably the best guitarist to emerge from the NWOBHM movement, at least from a technical viewpoint. His work here is already incredible.
Doc Godin - 17.03.2009 at 23:51  
Written by DayFly on 17.03.2009 at 23:20

Easily their best album. I'm a bit amazed that you didn't comment on Sykes solos, though. He's arguably the best guitarist to emerge from the NWOBHM movement, at least from a technical viewpoint. His work here is already incredible.

I believe I did comment on the solos, not Sykes specifically because I wasn't entirely sure whose solos were whose (between Sykes & Weir), I didn't want to make the mistake of giving credit to one guitarist while getting it the wrong way around.
DayFly - 18.03.2009 at 00:28  
You commented on one solo and most metal album have a couple of good ones

Now, I'm not sure if it is Sykes' or Weir's work, but compared to their previous album (which, despite contrary information on this site, didn't feature Sykes) the solos have gotten a lot better.
Doc Godin - 18.03.2009 at 00:33  
Written by DayFly on 18.03.2009 at 00:28

You commented on one solo and most metal album have a couple of good ones

Well, I couldn't spend the whole review discussing solos now could I?
DayFly - 18.03.2009 at 00:49  
Well, I would've, at least more than you did, and that's why I dropped the comment. And I almost forgot, nice review.

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