TYGERS OF PAN TANG [CLASSIC HEAVY METAL]
Tygers of Pan Tang are a heavy metal band, formed in 1978 in England. They are a notable band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. The band is named after an elite group of chaos-worshiping warriors, called the Tigers of Pan Tang, in Michael Moorcocks Elric stories.
By the time this album was released, John Sykes (formerly of Streetfighter, later in Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder) was added as second guitarist. Jess Cox then had a falling out with the others and quit, to be replaced by Persian Risk vocalist Jon Deverill. This lineup released Spellbound in 1981.
Spellbound is the second album by NWOBHM band Tygers of Pan Tang, produced in 1981 on MCA. “Gangland” has been covered by German thrash metal band Kreator in 1987 on their “Behind the Mirror” single.
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“Silver and Gold”
“The Story So Far”
“Don’t Stop By”
“Wild Cat” their debut album was good (in fact it was very good). but Spellbound is just all around the better album if you ask me. This one is a faster, consistent heavy metal record that has more of a kick to it and the energy on it is turned up several notches. A lot of the songs on here were fast and free heavy metal songs with great catchy choruses and very good riffing and soloing. Even the two ballads on this album don’t fail to entertain me. I couldn’t really tell you why but they just work on this album. Axemen Robb Weir and John Sykes absolutely kill it on here. Each riff and solo is fast, furious and most importantly fun. This album doesn’t have one dud on it if you ask me. This album is the very first Tygers Of Pan Tang album to feature Jon Devrill. Devrill would remain with the band until they dissolved in 1987. I like his vocals quite a bit more than Jess Cox who did the vocals on Wild Cat because he is a lot louder and energetic. Cox wasn’t bad at all but he seemed to be missing that extra oomph that Devrill had. The drumming like the first one is often fast and loose and it works. The production is also really good. This album is regarded as the Tygers Of Pan Tang masterpiece album simply because it is. This is the one you need to hear the most. Buy this fucking album.
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 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. The album is damn near perfect – outrageous vocals, speedy riffs and “face-melters” galore.
The production itself is nothing incredibly unique or groundbreaking, typical early 80’s metal production, very comparable to Iron Maiden’s 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,.
Spellbound represented an amazing evolution for the Tygers of Pan Tang, especially considering that it was released a mere six months after their debut. Simply put, the addition of versatile new vocalist Jon Deverill and brilliant guitarist John Sykes (yes — that John Sykes) helped improve the Tygers’ musicianship and songwriting abilities to no end, allowing producer Chris Tsangarides to exact an infinitely superior (if not as innocently charming) performance of the band from a technical perspective. With a muscular brand of metal lying somewhere between Def Leppard and Saxon, the revitalized group had all of their bases covered and only MCA (frequently referred to as the “Musical Cemetery of America” in those days) could possibly squander the potential of memorable numbers like “Gangland,” “Take It,” and the especially hook-laden “The Story So Far.” Other highlights include “Mirror,” one of the bands best power ballads, and “Don’t Stop By,” where Sykes takes the first great solo of his career, showcasing both the stunning technical mastery and fluid musicality which would become his trademarks.
Spellbound still ranks as one of the more consistent and impressive early albums of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and should satisfy all first-time customers.
Jon Deverill – Vocals
Robb Weir – Guitar
John Sykes – Guitar
Richard “Rocky” Laws – Bass
Brian Dick – Drums
Spellbound was Tygers Of Pan Tangs second album, and in my opinion a significant improvement over their rather adolescent debut. Lineup changes seemed to have contributed greatly to this progression, as Tygers replaced their singer with Jon Deverill, a very capable vocalist, and also added guitarist John Sykes to their ranks. To me this is the quintessential Tygers album, and as such one of the best NWOBHM offerings out there. Spellbound is a consistent effort, full of hook-laden tunes with enough balls to satiate your metal jones. My personal favorite track is the ultra-catchy Hellbound.