|Review: Tygers of Pan Tang - Animal Instinct|
Label: Cargo Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: May 16, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (5 Votes)
Tygers of Pan Tang had mellowed down quite a bit after heavier early albums, and I had heard a few excerpts from 2003's Noises from the Cathouse which failed to impress me at the time. So, I wasn't expecting too much here - hell, it's by pure luck that I found this new album while browsing eMusic.com. Imagine the shock upon hearing this the first time - they're back, baby! For one thing, Tygers of Pan Tang have always been about catchy songs, and Animal Instinct is filled with those, thanks in large part to the powerful and catchy vocal melodies - although the music itself mostly follows the same path. What Animal Instinct brings back from the early days of the band is a heavier, more aggressive and metallic sound that had slowly faded away - albeit not completely disappearing over the years. This sounds more like what you'd expect from a NWOBHM band and less of a metal/hard rock (with more emphasis on the latter) hybrid.
There is of course a limit to the musical aggressiveness on display here; this is the Tygers of Pan Tang after all, not Slayer. This is what I usually call "party metal" - very upbeat, positive-sounding and commercial to some extent, but with enough heaviness and crunchy guitars to satisfy Heavy Metal fans looking for something fun to listen to. In the past the band always had a couple of ballads or something close and almost as cheesy on their albums, but this time the album is filled with 11 good metallic rockers, a couple of those a bit slower than the rest, but never getting close to ballad territory. The sound is crystal clear, even the drums are surprisingly brought more to the foreground this time around, and the vocals and guitars just shine most of the time. Some guitar passages are even a little Priest-ish, if that can give you a taste of how much more metal this album sounds compared to... well... most of their albums since the mid 80s. I found it quite difficult to turn this off, as it just gets better with every listen. If you had given up on the band, or if you're looking for some fun, feel-good Heavy Metal, then Animal Instinct is definitely worth checking out.
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