Initially I didn’t know what to make of Tanith’s offering. I do like Russ Tippins’s guitar playing, both in the bands he’s been in (ie Satan and Pariah), as well as his solo material… his solo gigs in fact are rather “different” and not as metal and that might in part have given birth to a band like Tanith. With his metal output directed into Satan’s albums, it seems that Tanith is a vehicle for “everything else”. Think copious amounts of Hard Rock, a bit of folk all through a vintage sounding prism.
Think, Thin Lizzy, Wishbone Ash, early Scorpions, Budgie, heck even Winterhawk, Marcus and Ashbury. Then add female vocals dueting with Russ’ own that evoke earthlier versions of Stevie Nicks and Janita Haan. While all of the above are heavy influences in the music of Tanith, the compositions are not copying anything other, than the overall vibe and sound of the era, during which most of the aforementioned bands existed in and do so in a completely authentic and authoritative way, sounding completely effortless. “In Another Time” is so much better off, because of the sum of its influences.
“Citadel (Galantia Part 1)” is a strong opener, with a cool epic lead and a dark atmosphere that’s lightened only by the exemplary dueted chorus.
“Book of Changes” mixes things up a bit, with multiple different parts interlocking harmoniously in an interesting puzzle.
“Wing of the Owl” gets things rocking again, with some really epic hymnal verses, the bridge contrasting them, sung as a duet, much softer, but very appropriately.
“Cassini’s Deadly Plunge” is an epic sounding jam that feel a little Rush inspired, but replacing the vitriolic vocals of one Mr. Lee, with a very nice duet. It’s all about the crushing of Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft on Saturn and it really creates an idealized epic, romantic idea of space exploration.
“Under the Stars” is a lot more American sounding, less epic and a bit more repetitive, but still nowhere near bad. Just a little different.
“Mountain” allows the relative aggression to creep back into the riffs, but it does so, without retreading the blueprint of the earlier songs, but rather going for a more naturalized sound.
“Eleven Years” mixes folk with blues and manages to deliver another interesting hybrid.
“Dionysus” is an actual praise/evocation to the ancient god, but weirdly enough cross-pollinates; its dark rock with a southern/bluegrassy sort of element that makes it all the more interesting for it!
Last but not least, a choral reprise of “Under the Stars” makes for an ideal outro to the album.
Certainly interesting and boasting at least three songs that could have been part of any “great” album in the seventies, displaying a deep affection for rock forms at their most primal and genuine, Tanith’s debut is an album that doesn’t have to try hard to win you over!