There’s something glorious about the spirit and sound of the ’70s. A time which many are too young to remember properly or at all, and for those who were there, fading memories challenge fact vs fiction. Named after the female character in the cult 1968 classic The Devil Rides Out, Tanith are doing their best to remind us of all that is good from that golden era for hard rock.
Tanith – Voyage (Metal Blade Records)
Release Date: 21 April 2023
Words: Paul Hutchings
With their debut In Another Time released in 2019, the band experienced the challenges that the pandemic presented, compounded by their vocalist/guitarist Russ Tippins (also of UK legends Satan) living in the UK, whilst the remaining members of the band, bassist and vocalist Cindy Maynard and drummer Keith Robinson were based in Brooklyn. Having regrouped, the band were dealt a huge blow when guitarist Charlie Newton walked the day before the band began tracking. No wonder the title is Voyage, for that is the exact situation that Tanith has experienced.
Thankfully, they have overcome these obstacles in fine style and produced their second release for Metal Blade Records. Voyage is simply excellent, embracing the twin guitars and vocals of many bands whilst carving out their own sound, which is rich and warming. It’s full of melody, a hard rock rather than Metal edge and harmonies that are so sweet you could get diabetes from listening to them. But there’s no saccharine centre to Tanith, for they drive forward in splendid style throughout this album.
From the opening bars of Snow Tiger, a song about resilience, there’s something captivating about the band’s music. Be it the dual guitar tracks, the combination of Tippins and Maynard’s singing, or simply the groove that the band craft with ease, it’s an album that is pure enjoyment. That’s not to say there aren’t dark elements to the album, with lyrical content on songs like Flame questioning the change in human behaviour during the lockdown.
As the album progresses, you experience the clever storytelling that the band can deliver. The vibrant Olympus By Dawn and the stomp of Architects Of Time are both different and yet share the same characteristics that make Tanith’s sound instantly identifiable. Then there’s the pulsing Mother Of Exile, with a beat that you can’t help but tap along to.
Having started as a twin guitar outfit and having that as a staple part of their sound, Tanith also called on the services of Andee Blacksugar, best known for touring with Peter Murphy and as a member of KMFDM, now also a member of Blondie, who Robinson had played with before. He adds the breadth and depth to the band’s sound that I would suggest is essential for them to continue.
Not only is the band’s sound based in the 70s, but so is their recording ethos. They recorded Voyage to tape rather than digital and utilised vintage amps and speakers to help find the best possible sounds for the instruments.
The result is a genuine, organic, and hugely addictive album which races by in an instant, demanding repeat plays as you soak up the numerous elements that are waiting to be plucked from the air. It’s a cleverly crafted album. As Tippins states, “Voyage is the sound of the universe speaking to mankind through the medium of Tanith. Or, if you like, twin-guitar heavy rock with dual singers, which, if you grew up in the 1970s, will make you want to bounce over to the nearest record store. On a space hopper.”