In Another Time when demons and wizards ruled supreme, of black roses and rock legends, of secret treaties and fires of unknown origin, and where Grecian giants roamed under endless skies. In Another Time, to which Tanith’s music transports us.
Tanith are a band that shamelessly wears their influences on their sleeve. Featuring Russ Tippins of Satan fame on guitar, this four piece group of friends wrote In Another Time with really just one goal in mind: to write kickass music inspired by 70s rock and to have a great time doing it. Just a quick look at the album’s gorgeous cover art, which in itself looks like a cross between Uriah Heep’s Demons and Wizards and Ashbury’s Endless Skies, gives you a perfect idea of what you’re in store for. Tanith play that style of twin guitar driven 70s rock and give it just enough bite to metallize it, putting them in excellent company with the likes of Wytch Hazel, Pagan Altar, and Grendel’s Sÿster. Rest assured that despite their old school sound, Tanith isn’t just another throwback band. While they clearly pay homage to their influences, Tanith brings more than enough of their own character into the mix to make the music sound remarkably fresh.
Tanith’s biggest differentiator comes from the band’s vocal arrangement. Vocal duties are split evenly between Russ Tippins and Cindy Maynard with each having a very distinct approach. I’m not typically a fan of female/male duets and I never really imagined it to work in this type of metal, but Tanith handily prove me wrong. The vocal melodies are exceptionally well written and the way that Tippins and Maynard intertwine their vocal lines is simply sublime. There’s no better example of this than the album’s triumphant opening track titled “Citadel (Galantia, Pt. 1)”. With its catchy vocal lines, the song has been stuck in my head since I heard it.
It’s not just the vocals that really make this album special either, the instrumentation is tight all around. The guitarwork, handled by Russ Tippins and Charles Newton, is incredibly smooth with non-stop melodies and twin guitar harmonies that just scream Thin Lizzy. Driven by the rhythm guitars, the music has just that extra bit of power to push it from purely hard rock territory and into the realm of metal. It’s the album’s more energetic, powerful, and guitar oriented moments that stand out as highlights to me. While there isn’t much to complain about here, there are some slower and more passive segments particularly in the middle of the album that don’t quite live up to the triumphant opening. In an album full of highlights, this drags the album down a bit. However, even in these songs Keith Robinson’s lively drumming keeps things interesting.
Complimenting the music and tying it all together, In Another Time’s production is perfect. It has that decidedly old school touch to it while not sacrificing clarity. The instruments are expertly mixed in and I really can’t stress enough how killer the mix is here. The twin guitars are right in the forefront as they should be with the dual vocals sitting nicely above them. The drum tone in particular sounds very organic, working to highlight Robinson’s excellent drumming while Maynard’s pronounced bass rounds out the rhythm section. The end result is a vibrant and creative interplay between all the elements of the album where each instrument is able to shine. Tanith don’t just have that old school aesthetic, but they live it – they took active measures to make sure the entire recording process of In Another Time was analog. If you told me this prior to hearing any of their music and I would have told you that it’s probably not worth all the trouble, but the end results speak for themselves. It’s flawless and these musicians clearly know what they’re doing.
If there wasn’t enough evidence out there that Russ Tippins has sold his soul for eternal youth and endless creativity, then let In Another Time stand as testament to that fact. This is another wonderful addition to his tremendous catalog of releases, but it’s shocking to me that the other three musicians don’t have anything else under their belts. This is a fantastic debut album and Tanith should be incredibly proud of what they’ve accomplished here. In Another Time is one of my absolute favorite albums of 2019 so far (in a stacked year no less!) and this one is likely to stay in my regular listening rotation. A must listen.
Album rating: 90/100
Favorite track: Citadel (Galantia Pt. 1)