NWOBHM WEDNESDAY: Tygers Of Pan Tang-Ambush
For this week's NWOBHM WEDNESDAY (a series that I admittedly have slacked on lately) we take a look at the new album by Tygers Of Pan Tang. Really, there is little left that needs to be said about Britain's own Tygers Of Pan Tang. As front runners of the NWOBHM movement the band released some of the greatest British metal of all time. At a time where we see countless retro acts trying desperately to capture the sound that broke down the walls of heavy metal (and sadly failing to be honest) an act like this is sorely needed. For the new album the band choose to re-unite with producer Chris Tsangarides once again. Chris worked with the band previously on "Wild Cat" and "Spellbound" (1980 and 1981 respectively) so "Ambush" does carry itself in similar fashion to those classic albums. Speaking of the album "Wild Cat" (again, a classic album and a must own for anyone who claims to love the movement) the new cut "Hey Suzie" (penned by drummer Craig Ellis) can be seen as a updated version of the the band's killer tune "Suzie Smiled". Lead by guitarist/founding member Robb Weir (who does a smashing job on the new album alongside fellow guitarist Dean "Deano" Robertson) the band has managed to release an album that looks back fondly at their roots ("Hey Suzie") while still maintaining a modern edge (the sweet number "One Of A Kind" is commercial rock at it's best). Special mention should be given to Italian vocalist Jacopo Meille. A big reason that this album works so well is the way in which Jacopo is able to paint the music as part modern rock and part classic rock. He is much more then a capable front man as he makes "Ambush" his own.Of course when any band steps into the studio they are only as good as the album's finished product. As such credit must also be given to the albums overall production.Chris Tsangarides was able to bring out the best in the band as evident by the numbers "Keeping Me Alive", "She", "Man On Fire" and "Speed". In his hands the band's own brand of British heavy metal by way of classic rock shines brightly making this one of those albums that demands repeated listens. Everything from the vocals and guitars to Gav Gray's bass riffs sounds crisp while also retaining a rich classic rock vibe. Without a doubt "Ambush" is the kind of album that the Tygers Of Pan Tang needed to release for not only their fans, but themselves. The band has been waiting on a moment like this for a long time-a moment when they can step out of the crowd and back into the spotlight saying "This is how it is supposed to be down".