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Portland, OR | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Portland, OR | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Metal Progressive



The best kept secret in music


"Tanagra - None of This Is Real"

Fantasy themed power metal of the European variety is not something that we, here in the States, are used to. Even more so, there seems to be a shortage of this in the genre altogether since a lot of the European bands that started out playing power metal have abandoned their power metal roots for a more "artistic" approach. In other words, they suck now. To me, there is nothing like some speedy, riff driven power metal with soaring vocals and lyrics about fantasy, history, chivalry, etc. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Portland, Oregon has been trying to keep this incredible young band, Tanagra, all to themselves. Well sorry Portland. I found them and I'm about to tell the world about them.

I love a band that can be ambiguous when it comes to their lyrical approach as well as the meaning behind their name. The band could be named after an island from the original Star Trek series or it could be named after the town near Athens, Greece where ancient terracotta figurines were found dating back to the fourth century BCE. What I can say about this band is that their music speaks volumes about who this band truly are. Their debut album, curiously titled None of This Is Real, is some epic, riff laden, melodic power metal that is a breath of fresh air to a metal fan like me. Not since my discovery of Noble Beast has an album impressed me like this. Coming right out of the gate with "The Undying Light" we have a speedy intro to the song with an infectiously melodic lead guitar working it's way to the verse. At that point the song the riffs do the talking while the galloping rhythm is the just the perfect hook to make this song stand out. There is some keyboards just slightly in the mix during the chorus to provide atmosphere. The vocals are a nice and clean, very melodic, and remind me of Atlantean Kodex in places. If this song is any indication of the rest of the album then I am in for a real treat.

And what a treat it is because the rest of the album is pure gold. The riffing never lets up and those incredibly infectious melodies never let up. The verse from "Tyranny of Time" is catchy as fuck and the melody of the chorus is even more catchy. There are some gang vocals that seem slightly out of place but they make up for it with the "whoa" choirs that remind me of early HammerFall. The soloing is godly...and that carries a lot of weight with me. The guitar work never lets up whether it's the awesome riffs, the solos, or the harmonized leads, these guys are good. They have an epic side that they pull off quite well as seen on the eight plus minutes opus, "Antietam." As someone who not only loves history but has lived near this historic place and toured the battlefields where so many lives were lost in the bloodies day in American history, this song does it justice in it's lyrical approach as well as in the melodies...enough to give me goose bumps. Starting out with some clean guitars and the snare drum sound that you might hear in a battle of old, the epic dual lead guitars come in and begin the song. The riffs are as solid as always and keep the song flowing. The vocalists emotions are all over this song going from clean to gruff when he gets really emotional. The slower, more ballad sound towards the end is emotional with a clean guitar solo adding another layer of atmosphere. This band knows how to tell a story in a song.

And they don't stop there with the epic sound. "Bitter Earth" is another eight minute epic that never lets up and has enough layers to keep you interested. Some might have issues with the song lengths but these songs are telling stories. A song like the album closer, the monstrously epic "The Path to Talmor" is a song that is telling a specific story and I think that if they cut anything out of it then that would compromise the integrity of the song. I guess my attention span is great than some because these long epic songs are perfect the way they are. Maybe :10:04 Pm" could have been trimmed down a bit but even there it just seems right for what the band is trying to say. I guess that I grew up on 70s prog rock and some of those songs were entire album sides so long songs are just fine in my book...if they are done right. This band is ambitious and this album is proof that ambition will take you a long way. I'm already looking forward to a follow up.

So what we have is a damn fine debut by a band that seems intent on putting the USA back on the power metal map, and that's just fine with me. If you like riff heavy epic power metal then you must get this album. This is one of those albums that, I think, should be a classic one day.

9.5/10 - The Elitist Metalhead

"Tanagra - None of This Is Real - (8.5/10)"

No, Tanagra is not a Viagra for tanning bed fanatics, but a highly promising young power metal band hailing from Portland, Oregon. 4 years after their demo Blind Ambition, they are now offering their first full length album None of This is Real and are trying to take the world by storm. More going for a European than a classic US sound, Tanagra’s first impression already is a great one with an outstanding artwork showing that even without a label they are going for the complete package, a laudable attitude in a time of hit and run releases.

When people think about US metal, only few are going to come up with Oregon any time soon, but bands such as Agalloch, Toxic Holocaust, Leviathan and infamous Velvet Cacoon have definitely left their mark and also the likes of Lord Dying, Gargoyle, Sculptured, Wehrmacht or Saint are known to more than just some chosen few. And Tanagra are on an excellent way to add themselves to this circle of dropped names, not just by being one of the few power metal bands of note, but just by sheer quality.

Without the hint of an intro, “The Undying Light” tears through the silence with double-bass and a great riff/lead giving way to an energetic and upbeat power metal song that puts high emphasis on melodies, but without neglecting the necessary heaviness and when that riff/lead returns, all is good! Despite being a debut album, None of This is Real oozes with talent and mature arrangements, which makes one wonder for how long these guys really have been together and how much time they spent to get this tight, but the natural flow of “Eliana” or “Antietam”’s dynamic and energy showcase said talent greatly.

Despite quite a few of the songs surpassing the 8-minute mark, Tanagra never sound forced or drawn out in order to stretch their tracks out, instead they utilize the time to let the ideas and arrangements develop and pull the listener in. The already mentioned “Antietam” is one of the prime examples of how the Americans make this work for themselves, with a constant ebb and flow of speed and intensity, yet with such ease and fluidity that the eight minutes just seem to fly by. “10:04 PM” hits in a similar kerb, but it is not until closing “The Path to Talmor” that tells an epic story over its twelve and a half minutes that the Oregonians really display their talent for keeping songs cohesive even over this long of a stretch, with the music shifting and changing, but coming together in the end.

None of This is Real technically is a very misleading title, because this album is very real and is a great first stepping stone for Tanagra, which should hopefully lead to a contract rather sooner than later. One of 2015’s big surprises in power metal and definitely one of the best independent releases of the year. And looking at the quality of the material here, one can only imagine what they might be capable of with more experience! Definitely a band to keep both eyes on! - The Metal Observer

"Tanagra - None of This Is Real"

Tanagra sounds like five guys who met while playing Magic: the Gathering, discovered they were all also into Sci-fi, history, and power metal and thought it might be cool to start a metal band. Surprisingly, not only did they actually start the band, they self-released a phenomenal record.

Tanagra are from the US, but play power metal that’s deeply indebted to the European masters of the genre (as evidenced by their fantastic throwback album art and band logo). The album is chock full of catchy riffs, singalong choruses and awe-inspiring shredding but they’re not simply slaves to the genre forefathers. Tanagra's not afraid to shake things up, and that’s what elevates them from solid power metal to the single best “indie power metal” band I’ve found on Bandcamp.

Tanagra write about the future, Back to the Future, Magic: The Gathering and the American civil war, but have an edge to almost every aspect of their music that makes their earnestness seems more badass than silly. Power metal can sometimes come off as almost laughably earnest, both subject matter and delivery, but the dark side Tanagra show keeps that at bay.

The guitars sound dirtier than usual for the genre and delve into black and death metal riffs complete with blast beats. The vocals are delivered in a lower register than power metal's usual falsetto with some grit reminiscent of Chris Black’s vocals in Dawnbringer, prior to Night of the Hammer. This is mixed with some great backup harmonies like those employed by Woods of Ypres and Thrawsunblat. There’s the odd falsetto accent too, but they actually accent the songs, rather than taking them over.

The musical variety is held together by excellent song writing. Riffs and vocal hooks flow seamlessly together. Each part of each song is in service of the songwriting, rather than showmanship. Near the end of "10​:​04 PM", for example, the song breaks into a 5/4 riff that I didn’t notice till I’d listened to it about a dozen times. Probably because the main riff in the song is so excellent.

The production deserves credit as well. Everything sounds clean, but not sterile and the album measures a nice DR 8, which isn’t amazing but is certainly better than average from the genre

To top this all off the album is Pay What You Want on Bandcamp. Trust me, you want to pay something for this gem. - Metal Bandcamp

"Review: Tanagra - None of This is Real"

The USPM scene has always been flooded with good bands, from Liege Lord and Vicious Rumors back in the day to solid newer acts such as Last Bastion, Noble Beast and Visigoth. Formed in 2010, Tanagra is no exception, following in the footsteps of the genre while also combining elements of European Power Metal and a little bit of Epic Heavy Metal, and this year the band displayed their debut with None of This is Real.

The album starts strong with "The Undying Light", offering a mid-paced approach and filled with cool riffs. "Tyranny of Time" and "Eliana" serves as worthy follow-ups, showcasing the dexterity of Steven Sodeberg and Josh Kay as axemen, and other songs like the opuses "Antietam" and "The Path to Talmor" makes the experience a pleasant one. Throughout the course of the 8 tracks we can see that Tanagra have attempted to capture an epic essence to their work, although not leaving behind their skills as prolific musicians, resulting in an interesting – but at times too over the top – mix of sounds with inspired riffing. A few improvements need to be made, such as higher quality production (which is actually ok if we take in consideration that the album is an independent release), better distribution of the length of the songs (8 minutes is too much for a song like "10:04 PM") and perhaps a more energetic approach for Tom Socia's vocal lines, whose voice lacks punch in some passages, and at times even sounds a bit monotone. All of this can be easily remedied, though, with a few adjustments here and there.

All in all, Tanagra is definitely in the right path to become a respected act in the fantasy-themed Power Metal genre, delivering a quality first attempt which should please all Power Metal enthusiasts and reach the hearts of many more metalheads in the near future. - The Metal Crypt


Power metal by way of Portland, Oregon, None Of This Is Real is the indie release from Tanagra released in 2015. This is impressive both for sheer quality and for the fact that this is one of the most European-sounding albums from an American band in quite some time. Sure, this isn't revolutionary, but that's never been the point with Euro power metal. - The BNR Metal Pages

"Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #7"

That cover. It’s majestic. Almost as majestic as the opening fanfare for this record. Holy shit, that cover is bright. Tanagra’s None of This is Real was released last year and this is the first time, I am hearing about it. This is an unsigned band from Portland whose debut album is well produced and confident vocals which soar like big fucking neon birds. If few things are going to convince you today, then make sure you listen to the band’s closing 12 minute track “The Path to Talmor,“ I’ll see you on the other side of wherever Talmor is. Also this band gets double points for naming their outfit after the island on Shantil III where Darmok and Jalad once faced the Beast and thus their feats were codified in the language of the Tamarians. Just saying. We all know where you are coming from. - Hollywood Metal

"Sifting Through Bandcamp February 2015"

With power metal seeming to have a bit of a resurgence here in the States, it is getting easier to come across some old school goodness for those willing to take a look. Tanagra is a yet another proud example of this (Visigoth being another in recent memory), and holds the traditional metal flag proud for all to see. Full of fun and driving riffs, rich melodies, and triumphant vocals, there’s much to enjoy about Tanagra’s first offering. The sound keeps an older feel to it production-wise (giving it a nice retro flavor), but clear enough to hear everything the band is offering without cause for alarm. A nice introduction to a band that should be finding some greater success soon. - Dead Rhetoric

"Mini Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl 10-22-15"

The United States epic storytellers of Tanagra started their career with a great Power Metal album. Swirling and morphing, the crunchy guitars flies away from the traditional speed pulsating riffing with melodic acrobacies and vicious solos, without saturating the songs and the softer parts. I felt that the vocals are somewhat restrained in some songs, but in “Antietam” invigorates the ballad moments, and in the second half of the record the chorus gain more punch with the double vocal harmonies. “The Path to Talmor” closes in a grandiose mood the circle and serves as a testament that this band is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned in this style. — Link Leonhart - Toilet Ov Hell

"Tanagra - None of This is Real (Deutsch)"

Von den aus Portland in Oregon / USA stammenden Tanagra habe ich noch nie gehört und direkt sticht mir das bunte und wunderschöne Fantasyklappcover des Albums "None Of This Is Real" in die Augen. Satte 57 Minuten rockt man einen sehr basisch tönenden Melodic Metal der nicht mit Keyboards zugekleistert wurde und dank oldschool Produktion besonders in Sachen Drums gerade Underground-Metalsucher ansprechen wird. Unglaublich bei dem Driss den viele Labels heute heraus bringen, dass Tanagra nicht mit dieser CD irgendwo einen Deal bekommen haben. Die warme und sehr eigenständig-melodische Stimme von Frontmann Tom Socia weiß meinen Ohren gut zu gefallen. Teilweise hat die Chose gar einen leicht epischen Touch den manchen nordisch angehauchten Bands wie Doomsword auch Inne haben und was der Sache etwas Farbe bringt. Manchmal verfällt die Band jedoch auch in leicht belanglose Strophen fängt sich aber meist direkt und haut kurz darauf tolle Chöre raus die sich im Kopf festsetzen oder meist sehr packende Refrains die den Hörer nicht so schnell loslassen. Für Metalfans die abseits bekannter Bands und Labels suchen ist "None Of This Is Real" eine gute Sache! - My Revelations


Still working on that hot first release.



Formed out of the love of Iron Maiden and Star Trek, Tanagra hit the Portland, OR 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 2015 after releasing their debut album, None of This is Real, an ambitious collection of US Power Metal showcasing their love for complex arrangements and lengthy songs, they garnered critical acclaim from a multitude of publications around the world and began their rise by opening for acclaimed bands such as Visigoth, Primal Fear, Sanctuary, and Blaze Bayley.

In the time following their debut release, the members found a deep love for Progressive Rock/Metal and Symphonic Black Metal, and in writing new material found ways to combine the sounds of bands like IQ, Spock's Beard, Caladan Brood, and Borknagar into their existing US Power Metal framework, crafting a fresh original sound. A culling of straight-forward riffing and songwriting gave way to a focus on monumental compositions comprised of soaring guitar leads, huge multi-layered choral vocal arrangements, complex long-form structures, and beautiful chord progressions backed by layers of lush symphonic orchestrations.

In 2016, Tanagra entered the studio with the fruits of their labors to begin recording their ambitious second album, titled Meridiem. Hunkered down across two studios for close to three years, joined by guest pianists, cellists, and violists, they refined and crafted their seven compositions to perfection with every minute of studio time spent adding more and more layers of depth, emotion, harmony, and complexity.

Meridiem will be released to the world in early 2019 both physically and digitally, available from most distribution sites like Spotify, Bandcamp, and iTunes.

Band Members