Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spellbound

Tygers Of Pan Tang's second album, Spellbound, is easily one of the greatest NWOBHM albums. It's a raucous party that spills from the smoke-filled pubs onto the cobbled streets of Whitley Bay Rock City. I always avoided these guys because of the seemingly coke metal name (that's not how you spell "tigers" or "poontang") but once I got over my initial reservations, I was treated to a balls-out rocking good time. This album marks the debut of far superior Tygers vocalist Jon Deverill. Enjoy.

23 comments:

Tally said...

like you said i always passed on this band cos of the dumb name and artwork, i think i have been missing out. to the record store i go.

Devil Dick said...

old people lik eme love this sort of shit...

i bought this the week it came out...

what was that 81? 82?

eric said...

The Tigers of Pan Tang were actually a group of Chaos worshipping warriors in Michael Moorcock's Elric saga. Not sure why these guys misspelled Tygers, but I'd imagine it having something to do with avoiding a lawsuit.

But yeah, thanks for upping this for another guy who avoided them due to the name.

Planet of Terror said...

I'm surprised by this. Reminds me of Dianno era Iron Maiden a little, though a little less ballsy. Didn't the guitarist wind up in Whitesnake at some point? Thanks for this, it's good stuff.

Aesop said...

Devil, this came out in '81.

Planet of Terror, you are probably thinking of Vivian Campbell who played in Sweet Savage before going on to Dio and then Whitesnake.

Eric, yes, I remember. But if I remember correctly they weren't tigers but rather men with tiger heads. I read the series when I was about 12. Now all I can recall is what I know from Hawkwind songs and Cirith Ungol record covers. I have the books here, I should consider re-reading them.

Oh, and doesn't this just kick ass?

Jake Thee Pope said...

Tygers axeman John Sykes played for Whitesnake as well-- in fact, he's responsible for that cringe-inducing Zep cop, "Still of the Night," and the gut-churningly embarrassing ballad, "Is This Love?". He tried to repeat the same formula with the equally horrid Blue Murder, along with that fuckwit egomaniac, Carmen Appice, handling drums.

Owned this album for years, and yet it does little more than collect dust. There's something missing-- I put it down to the Flockhartian thin production.

Aesop said...

Oh, didn't know about the Sykesnake connection. That was their heydey of Kitaenian schmaltz (see what I did there?) Weird to think that Whitesnake, at that point, was made up of members of Angel, Deep Purple, UFO. Ahhh, but it was the '80s.

Jake Thee Pope said...

Not the 80's-- the late 80's. How did it go so horribly wrong??! In the first part of the decade, we had the tail end of the NWOBHM which became alla that righteous early thrash; punk morphing into hardcore and the art-damaged heaviness of Killing Joke. How THE FUCK did we end up with poodle-headed douchebags, Soft Cell and Kajagoogoo??!

DiNo said...

Classic. And I always liked the name, even though at the time I didn't know exactly where Pan Tang was situated (somewhere in Asia for sure!) ;)

vugelnox said...

I always sort of assumed these guys were a bad 80s glam rock band because of the name. One of my friends big into NWOBHM almost smacked me when we were discussing the subject one day and this band name's came up. He was thoroughly insulted I would think that about them and quickly set me right.

Aesop as always thanks for the abundance of NWOBHM on your blog! It is one of the greatest and still one of the most under appreciated forms of metal.

Aesop said...

From http://catalog.chaosium.com/

"Pan Tang is a grim island of lurking evil. Wild jungles to the north resound with the roar of a thousand tigers — the animal sacred to Chardhros the Reaper. The Plain of Glass divides the island, a shining wasteland of ancient volcanic devastation. The farmland to the south is a living hell for the plantation slaves doomed to rot.

The capital of Pan Tang is Hwamgaarl, the City of Screaming Statues. Here there be unholy tigers who hunt citizens at will. Sorcerers study the dark arts openly and summon otherwordly abominations to do their bidding. The Gardens of Pain and the University of Lucid Perversity await your every delight. Within the Palace-Temple of the Theocrat the Lords of Chaos are given their due.

Ruling over this nightmare realm is Jagreen Lern, Theocrat of Pan Tang. As his powers and influence ebb ever higher, his forces gather. With patience and cunning, he manipulates the Young Kingdoms into attacking their former Melnibonean masters. Once the fools have either destroyed themselves or brought Melnibone to it's knees Pan Tang will be ready. Jagreen Lern will open the floodgates of damnation, and a new age of Insanity will wash over the ruins of the Bright Kingdom."

vugelnox said...

"the City of Screaming Statues"? now I know where At the Gates got that song title from

Robert said...

Haven't heard this in probably 15 years. Thanks, man!

S-Bowlin said...

The only exposure I've had to this band before was their track on some NWOBHM compilation tape I've had in my collection since I was a youngin, but I was always kinda befuddled by that name. This shit is all right, I have to admit. Thanks Aesop!

S-Bowlin said...

Addendum: I thought the song Gangland sounded familiar and I had a holy shit moment when I realized fucking Kreator covered it on their 'Out of the Dark, Into the Light' ep. Fucking. Just wanted to share.

Aesop said...

Cool, never heard that.

SvartStøy said...

this rules thanks aesop, just got past the first track and am floored, thanks a bunch

Steven said...

John Sykes left the Tygers to play in Thin Lizzy during their final moments. He's on their last studio album 'Thunder and Lightning' and their final live album from '83. He played on two Whitesnake albums ('Slide It In' and 'Whitesnake'), then got kicked out cuz Coverdale is a spiteful asshole as well as an astoundingly cheesy cheeseball.

And I think the first Blue Murder album is great. He fought his record label tooth and nail do get it done his way, going so far as to sneak into the studio to re-record all of (record label assigned) Tony Martin's vocals himself. The second BM album is weak and stinky. He spent most of the '90's playing with Scott Gorham and Brian Downey in a very sincere Thin Lizzy tribute band, dubiously called Thin Lizzy.

Anonymous said...

I remember getting "Thunder and Lighting" in the cutout bin and hating the record other than the first track." Goddamn it so exciting! Goddamn"!


Thanks for Spellbound, "Silver and Gold" and "Mirror" are really great.

There is a YouTube clip of this band in that era and the other guitar player is rocking what looks like girl cowboy boots! Not that I know my cowboy boots but damn they look odd.

Thanks again!

AT said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I wore out my vinyl copy of this when I was in high school. Loved this band so much I named one of my bands after a song on their debut (Fireclown). We didn't know at the time that there had been a NWOBHM band called Fireclown.

Sleestak said...

Thanks I always passed on this band because of the name. I figured they were an L.A. styled hair band.

Daniel said...

Shit,I've passed this one up so many times. Ahh well I'm just actually getting into alot of the nwobhm despite my friends being huge fans. My friend Charles from My Mind's Eye Records is burning me those nwobhm bootleg cd volumes. Anyways this is ripping. I got to see John Sykes play with the reformed thin lizzy,wasn't really into it. It was free and my friends in the band Boulder opened up...ah well I'm running on...tooo much coffee. Thanks for the killer site!!!

Aesop said...

Right on, Daniel. This record is a scorcher. And I love Boulder.