Tygers of Pan Tang are no strangers to compilation albums. Indeed, according to their own website they have released 13 of the damn things. What none of them do, however, is cover the more ‘recent’ period, referred to by some as the “Renaissance Period”. This may have something to with having a Florentine on vocals for that time, the absolutely outstanding Jacopo Meille.
This period of the band has actually lasted longer than the original line-up which formed in 1978 so they’ve earned the right to put out a compilation. Majors and Minors takes tracks from four great albums, plus two other tracks not released on vinyl or CD.
The four albums from which the tracks are culled are Animal Instinct (2008), Ambush (2012), Tygers of Pan Tang (2016) and Ritual (2019).
Ever-present guitarist Robb Weir describes it as “Like your best Tygers tracks, but all in one place!”. I for one cannot argue with that for a second. It is an outstanding collection of tracks showcasing Tygers of Pan Tang at their scintillating best.
The core group of Meille, Weir, Gavin Gray (bass) and Craig Ellis (drums) have been together for almost a decade with Meille, Weir and Ellis even longer. They have now been joined by Francesco Marras.
Choosing the tracks from these four albums must have been a helluva job because Tygers rarely disappoint. But choose they did and putting “Only the Brave” up first, as it is on their self-titled album, was a masterstroke.
This is a killer tune with everything a decent rocker needs. Slamming riffs, heavy melody, a storming solo and spine-tingling vocals. If this track doesn’t raise the hairs on your neck then you must be clinically deceased.
Generally, what I find most impressive is the way the band has moved with the times throughout their career. This especially applies during the Renaissance Period. This is bang-up-to-date metal with a sharp, keen edge.
The Ritual album is the best represented here with five tracks. Tygers of Pan Tang comes in with four and Ambush and Animal Instinct have two each.
There are a couple of added bonuses too. “What You Say” has never been released on an album, and “Plug Me In” has not seen a CD release.
“Spoils of War” also has an orchestral mix, and it works.
There are belting tunes all over the place and it would be rude to select my favourite few. But I’m going to anyway. There’s the aforementioned opening track, obviously. Joining it up there are “Keeping Me Alive”, a toe-tapping, fist-pumping winner (if that’s possible) and “Destiny”, with Meille on top form. “She” is impressively brooding and “Worlds Apart” is a full-on audio assault.
I could go on and on and I’m just being pernickety. All the tracks get the blood flowing, no doubt.
Sadly, you’re going to have to wait until May 28, when it is released on Mighty Music.
So put the date in your diary and look forward to a great collection of top drawer quality rock.
Check out my other articles and reviews here. Sparky.