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Tanagra: Meridiem
Tanagra - Meridiem Music Review

Tanagra: Meridiem

Progressive Metal

Formed some eight years ago, Tanagra has become a staple of the Portland (OR) metal underground with their version of progressive power metal. They dropped their debut album, None Of This Is Real in 2015, and found themselves sharing stages with Visigoth, Primal Fear, Sanctuary, Vicious Rumors, and Judicator, among many others. Now, after four years of studio visits and song craftsmanship, the band returns with their sophomore effort, Meridiem.

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Overall, Tanagra is something of a complex band as they pull musical ideas from traditional heavy and power metal, symphonic metal, and progressive metal. You'll find their songs rumble with the gallop and groove of power metal, but not necessarily in a way that is consistent throughout a song. Moments, parts, and segues of different musical character will inform songs as well. For instance, in the middle of the title cut, Meridiem, there's a delightful piano and acoustic guitar breakdown. Pace eventually peaks again, with a guitar solo to follow. With Witness, the power metal is juxtaposed with some choral vocal harmony at the start then, a the midpoint once more, a slight gentle acoustic breakdown. But the song is also made dense by the symphonic synth layer.

Alternatively, the briskness of power metal can control songs such as The Hidden Hand, and parts of Etheric Alchemy and Silent Chamber. But even so, these songs must be listened to with some care for those moments of musical intrigue. One common thread that weaves its way through most songs is a lingering guitar line which eventually develops into numerous solos. If there's anything I found somewhat disappointing, it was the weak vocal lines. Tom Socia's voice doesn't seem to offer enough strength and range to rise above and carry a song. But this could be a production issue as well. Nevertheless, Tanagra's Meridiem will likely please and intrigue fans of American progressive power metal, thanks to the band's ambitious and lightly complex songwriting.

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The Bottom Line

Tanagra's Meridiem will likely please and intrigue fans of American progressive power metal, thanks to the band's ambitious and lightly complex songwriting.

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