Tyfon’s Doom will probably be a new name to many. They are a Finnish one man Heavy Metal project and this is the full length debut after last year’s well received EP “Yeth Hound” (It turns out that a Yeth Hound is actually a “sinister flying canine inhabiting evil aligned planes” and not, as I thought, a terrier with a lisp that agrees with everything…the things you learn…). “Emperor’s Path” follows the benchmark of interesting traditional/true Heavy Metal with a Scandinavian twist that multi-instrumentalist Tommi Varsala first explored on the EP, further developing his own take on the genre.
Tyfon’s Doom are about guitar riffs and guitar arrangement and there are some great examples throughout the album. Tommi is certainly a more than competent guitarist, displaying impressive lead-work as well as crunching, dynamic rhythm playing, both in abundance throughout “Emperor’s Path” and the overall sound is very reminiscent of early 80’s Heavy Metal. There’s plenty of NWOBHM style guitar lines, but mixed with powerful, speedy drums and interesting arrangements that help the songs gallop along and introduce hints of Power and Speed Metal to proceedings. Manilla Road spring to mind, as do Cloven Hoof, with a bit of Cirith Ungol in the darker, slower passages. Don’t expect soaring high pitched Dickinson/Grimmet vocals, as they are lower, gravelly and loose in delivery making the whole thing sound at times like Demonaz, which isn’t bad company to be in.
The production has a slightly low-budget feel, but if this isn’t intentional it still seems to suit the music and would fit alongside some of the Ebony/Neat Records bands that the UK had in abundance back in the early 80’s. It also helps to hide the slightly off-key vocal moments that occasionally arise, but these also add a charm that again transports you back to a time when a band was just a bunch of mates doing the best they could on a limited budget. Another vibe that is actually quite hard to achieve as a solo project! As a former drummer myself I find the programmed drums a little disappointing and irritating, but the expense and awkwardness of having a real drummer (in many ways…) is probably made irrelevant as it won’t bother many listeners and doesn’t really detract from the songs – it’s just me being picky.
There’s an anthemic drive to many of the songs, the vocals drawing on a Scandinavian Battle/Viking Metal influence and creating an epic feel to tracks like ‘Sea Of Life’ and ‘Endless War’, but each track has a mighty air to it that demands a cold mountain backdrop in one way or another…if you know what I mean. There’s a huge amount of care and attention that’s gone into crafting each track and it shines through in each individual song, so basically if you like your Metal Heavy (and who doesn’t?) with plenty of great riffs, uncomplicated by unnecessary keyboard embellishments and full of traditional heavy charm then Tyfon’s Doom are worth checking out.
(6/10 Andy Barker)