After witnessing a few live shows since their re-emergence, Tytan are more than your typical NWOBHM band. Their debut album may have come out a couple of years too late to be heralded as a major force in the original NWOBHM movement, but it is none the less well respected. Kevin Riddles is probably best known for being in the original incarnation of Angel Witch. Tytan are far from that music, as was displayed on their debut ‘Rough Justice’ back in 1985. ‘Justice Served’ is a well-received album number two, and after a couple of listens, an appreciation for the quality of song writing goes without saying.
‘Love You to Death’ starts the release and features duel vocals of both guitarist Tom Barna and Kevin Riddles (on bass). Of course I am assuming this based on what I have seen live most recently. The track itself picks up where the debut ‘Rough Justice’ ended. As the album develops, the warmth and clarity becomes much more of a gilt-edge collective. The vocal phrasing and melodies are too good not to enjoy. ‘Fight the Fight’ and particularly ‘Spitfire’ are that touch more edgy, more rocking, the character of the release is formed wondrously when you get to ‘Reap the Whirlwind’. In some respects, the way …’Whirlwind’ builds and delivers reminds me of some epic Purple and Zeppelin tunes. Over the course of the release there is subtle use of keyboards, a fitting part of each song arrangement I have come to find. Now when I mentioned vocal performance earlier, I wasn’t prepared for the softer track ‘Midnight Sun’. The emotive delivery here is very special, enough said really, just listen and enjoy the track!
Another tracks that’s been aired live recently is ‘Billy Who’. This is a great musical release, you feel and hear the enjoyment during the guitar riffs and yes I even enjoy the mini drum solo in the middle. A perfect feel good hard rocking tune. Dave Strange’s lead guitar work is pretty cool, there’s classic riffing and some modern guitar techniques included and mixed perfectly. You may know the name from his other work with Midnight Messiah.
Ok, so Tytan always have and are here on the softer side of music, the PR material suggests akin to Praying Mantis, which I can appreciate, but Tytan retain a rough edge in their delivery rather than polishing the overall sound too deeply. The 32 year wait for their follow up is a very special album indeed. It’s funny, but each time I play this I take away more positives, it’s a truly enjoyable album. ‘Justice Served’ is art, a special album that has the ability to capture and deliver many human emotions amongst some hard ricking tunes. A really warm album and well worth the wait.
(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)