Formed out of the love of science fiction, fantasy, and theatrical heavy metal storytelling, Tanagra hit the Portland, USA metal scene in 2011 and alongside bands like Spellcaster, Excruciator, and Ritual Healing, helped foster a heavy/power metal scene in a city obsessed with black and doom metal.
In the time following their debut release, the members found a deep love for progressive rock/metal and symphonic black metal. In 2016, Tanagra entered the studio with the fruits of their labours to begin recording their ambitious second album, titled “Meridiem”, which will be released to the world on April 26th 2019, both physically and digitally.
The idea of combining black and progressive power metal is an unusual one seeing as they don’t normally make for good bedfellows. However, it’s intriguing and certainly drives up interest in just how this new album from Tanagra will sound.
The short answer? Bloody awesome.
The long answer has to be as deep and fulfilling as Meridiem is. 7 tracks long with 3 passing the 10 minute mark should tell you just how huge in scope this record is.
Tanagra’s kind of thinking is out of this world as the title track delivers familiar black metal riffs with symphonic elements, traditional metal hooks and a clean singing more associated with sour sounding rock. It delves deeply into melody too resulting in a track that leaves such an impression.
It’s all about guitar shredding on Sydia though as the power metal side of Tanagra comes a-knocking. Hyperactive as hell but a nice change of pace. Especially as the remainder of the album focuses on a much grander style of metal.
Of course if you prefer your metal in punchier segments then you’re not going to have much joy here but the confidence in which Tanagra approach such epics as Silent Chamber and The Hidden Hand should keep most interested. The latter, as well as being over ten minutes long, isn’t afraid to spit the riffs out at a frantic pace. Easily the highlight of the album thanks to its dynamic shifts.
Talking of which…Witness takes those shifts and pushes them even further with the enlightening hugeness of a symphonic black metal epic for the ages. It’s a powerful mix of everything heard so far squashed into one 14+ minute tale ending a very strong release for Tanagra.
Tanagra – Meridiem Full Track Listing:
3. Etheric Alchemy
4. Silent Chamber
5. The Hidden Hand
6. Across the Ancient Desert
Tanagra - Meridiem (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8.5/10