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Tanith - In Another Time Award winner

In Another Time
by Santiago Puyol at 24 June 2019, 8:47 PM

Do you know that feeling of listening to a record and transporting yourself to another moment in time? "In Another Time" by TANITH is one of those albums, launching you from the first second live into the 70s with its sound deeply rooted in the progressive side of Hard Rock and incipient Heavy Metal. This New York quartet touches on influences from LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE or BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and even early JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN, also incorporating bits and pieces from PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL and RUSH. The album title feels almost like a promise that the band effectively fulfills, sounding like a product of another era, in the best possible way.

Epic opener "Citadel (Galantia, Pt. 1)" puts on the table the elements that will be found throughout the album. The vocal interplay between bassist Cindy Maynard and guitarist Russ Tippins, and the chemistry shown between them, is the heart of the band's sound. Maynard’s bass pounds with a sense of movement throughout "Book of Changes" and "Wing of the Owl (Galantia, Pt. 3)", the latter reprising the main melody from "Citadel", building into the conceptual feel of the record.

The band builds "Cassini's Deadly Plunge" around a classically inspired bass riff, promptly introduced as soon as the song begins. The voices of Maynard and Tippins carry with them a vibe that resonates back to the 1970s, while the last third of the song is pure Progressive Metal with excellent guitar solos. Quickly evoking the SABBATH of "Sabbra Cadabra" with a noisy, bluesy sound, "Under the Stars" is one of the high points of "In Another Time". With a great sense of groove, TANITH moves between powerful verses and memorable, luminous choruses. At the midpoint there is an abrupt break that introduces a brief instrumental interlude, sounding equal to "Animals"-era PINK FLOYD and the more ethereal side of RUSH.

This progressive sound is strongly present throughout the album, crossed by Folk influences, something notorious in the soft breakdown of "Wing of the Owl", percussive and full of vocal harmonies. Some Flamenco influences also run through the sound of TANITH, notably on the Gilmour-inspired solo of "Owl" and the acoustic and psychedelic instrumental "Under the Stars" reprise that closes the album. "Mountain" moves between 3/4 and 4/4 sections, making its shifting time signatures an interesting trick. The sense of rhythm of drummer Keith Robinson stands out, being the one who holds this song altogether, allowing a natural and creative flow of the groove. The snare sound contributes to the urgency and sense of motion generated by this song, being prominent and metallic, an interesting choice by the band and producers.

Alternative Rock influences sneak into the mellow and soft "Eleven Years", a song that would not sound out of place in an "Unplugged" collection of the 1990's. It ends up serving as the breather of the album, relaxing and with a warm, melodic bass line. Despite its slightly different sound from the rest of the album, it does not stand out, and feels like another piece of this sonic puzzle. Continuing with a ballad-like feel, "Dionysus" brings back the Seventies-inspired sound, introducing vocal harmonies that evoke the work of groups like FLEETWOOD MAC or EAGLES, with strong pop sensibilities yet a light rock punch. The use of fade-out here is another inspired production decision.

Overall, "In Another Time" is a strong full album format debut for TANITH, exploring a tried and sometimes tired sound without feeling like it’s trying to simply copy what has already been done. The band succeeds into paying homage to a golden era of Rock music while injecting new life to the sound. The almost flawless production helps to build this sense of travelling to another time through music. A couple mixing choices, mainly the presence of the vocals in the first three tracks, keeps me from considering it perfect in that department. The instrumentation is superb, especially the intricate guitar solos provided by either Tippins or Charles Newton (or both), being the dueling guitars on "Book of Changes" my personal highlight. This is an enjoyable record from beginning to end!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Citadel (Galantia, Pt. 1)
2. Book of Changes
3. Wing of the Owl (Galantia, Pt. 3)
4. Cassini’s Deadly Plunge
5. Under the Stars
6. Mountain
7. Eleven Years
8. Dionysus
9. Under the Stars (Reprise)
Cindy Maynard – Vocals, Bass
Russ Tippins – Vocals, Guitars
Charles Newton – Guitars
Keith Robinson – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 23 May 2022

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