Tytan – “Justice Served” (High Roller Records)
Formed out’ve Angel Witch’s rhythm section of bassist Kevin Riddles and drummer Dave Dufort, Tytan lived up to their name in just being able to attract all star musicians into their fold at the time from Lionheart’s Steve Mann to Les Binks of Judas Priest! Despite being caught in the NWOBHM, Tytan’s heavy use of keyboards and overt melody soon proved they went beyond the label, much to the joy of budding musicians like Simon Wright who would use the band to move onto better things like AC/DC. Sadly for Tytan, no such luck would be enjoyed with the band’s label holding back the release of their debut album, despite a promising EP in “Blind Men And Fools”, now a cult classic! Although “Rough Justice” did eventually hit the streets in 1985, it was too little too late and the band ultimately folded. Fast forward to 2012 and with the true metal movement gaining steam, Riddles recruited a new line up to play Headbangers Open Air, and from the resurgence of interest increased touring, ultimately culminating in a record deal and this sophomore release – some 32 years after its predecessor! Well, it’s clear listening to the 12 quality tracks here that big Kev isn’t gonna suffer fools justice this time round as “Justice Served” lives up to its name in bringing the full measure of the Tytan sound to a new era. That said, with the exception of closer ‘The Cradle’, whose beginnings bring to mind the heavy synths of the past, the new material is far more guitar driven and clearly targeted at the true metal crowd – although by no means lacking in an abundance of NWOBHM melodies be it vocally, guitar or keyboard driven! This album is a great comeback and the line up is brimming with talent from the high soulful vocals of Tom Barna whose dextrous guitar, along with Dave Strange’s produces just the right blend of authentic 80s heavy metal heaviness and power melodies like on the deep but catchy ‘Reap The Whirlwind’. Retaining that air of ‘being different’, Tytan serve up ‘Billy Who’ with the guitars simply exploding all over the place in a neo classical frenzy while the keyboards anchor the song with a pomp rock melody before funking out themselves. Best of all is James Wise’s drum solo with plenty of cymbal work and double bass drumming, bringing back fond memories for me of Neil Peart’s own mini concertos – awesome! Proving their worth even more on ‘Worthy Of Honour’, beginning as a gentle acoustic and Kev himself taking on the passionate vocal lead before the song explodes in the brilliance of power melody soloing with a strong Slash signature ending with the keys fading out….impressive, truly impressive. “Justice Served” proves that Tytan these days are not just content with keeping their legacy, but are ready to take on the world with their come of age heavy metal. Well done big Kev – no more skids here mate!