Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grand Halls 29

TYGERS OF PAN TANG – “Spellbound” LP ’81 (MCA, Eng) – I don’t have to tell anybody reading this page that the NWOBHM movement spawned a helluva lot of fantastic bands. TYGERS OF PAN TANG were one, and while they’ve released a bunch of albums over a stop-start career, their sophomore effort “Spellbound” is the one I’ll think of every time someone mentions their name. The recording of this LP brought a couple additions to the TYGERS’ ranks at that time, namely John Deverill (vocals) and guitar wizard John Sykes (later of Whitesnake, Blue Murder Thin Lizzy). These changes helped create a massive upgrade in sound! “Spellbound” is a virtual study in well-written, exceptionally-played and diverse heavy metal that features a delicate balance of polish and rawness. Cuts like “Tyger Bay,” “Silver & Gold” and the rip-roaring “Gangland” are furious, hard-hitting items that burst with excitement to this very day. Sykes’ guitar work is simply awesome, a kinda “heavy metal Gary Moore,” and he runs rings around Rob Weir, who’s fretsmanship is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Then there are, to me, the most amazing tracks, “Don’t Stop By” and “Mirror,” melodic and very heavy ballads of the highest order. On the latter, Deverill delivers one of the most stunning vocal performances of the entire NWOBHM era. This album is obviously not one of the most obscure of the time, but don’t let it’s relative ease of acquisition throw you. “Spellbound” is a completely essential purchase for anyone into classic metal. Spellbound Train

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