Distributor/label [URL]: http://www.fighter-records.com/
Buy Album [URL]: https://tytusband.bandcamp.com/album/rain-after-drought
Band Website: http://www.tytus.it/
Band line up:
Ilija Riffmeister – Vocals & Guitars
Mark Simon Hell – Guitars
Markey Moon – Bass
Frank Bardy – Drums
2 The Invisible
3 The Storm That Kills Us All
4 Our Time Is Now
5 The Dark Wave
6 Death Throes
7 Rain After Drought Part 1
8 Rain After Drought Part 2
9 Move On Over
10 A Desolate Shell Of A Man
Italian band Tytus take on NWOBHM and mix it with a side order of 80’s Thrash that could have come straight out of ‘the bay’. Ilija Riffmeister takes on both lead guitar and vocal duty, with Mark Simon Hell providing the second of the twin guitar attack. Markey Moon on bass and Frank Bardy on drums provide the rhythm section for this powerhouse four piece, the line up has changed a little from the release of their first Ep ‘White Lines’ in 2014. The Ep was remarkable in that it was released three times, each time on a different label, in a different colour and a different country, but only 100 copies in each release. In the USA, it was Green and on Self Destructo Records, while it was Yellow in Spain on Ghost Highway Records, in Italy it was Purple on Kornalcielo Records. 2017 saw the first album ‘Rises’ come out on Sliptrick Records, recorded at Track Terminal Studio in Trieste, mixed by Bardy and then mastered at Dead Air Studios in Leverett. The album saw them tour Europe with bands such as Pentagram, Warrior Soul and Crowbar, and also featured White Wizard guitarist Will Wallner and Conny Ochs a German singer/songwriter.
The band have a strong pedigree, all playing in previous bands such as Gonzales, La Piovra, Ohuzaru, Eu’s Arse, and Upset Noise, touring Europe, Japan and America, soaking up punk, hardcore, rock and metal styles which in turn they fed into their combined sound for Tytus. Following the album release they went back to the same Track Terminal Studio to begin work on album number two, ‘Rain After Drought’, this time for the Spanish label ‘Fighter Records’, which looks like it will firmly cement them in the retro market, but without simply becoming another parody.
A dramatic and atmospheric entrance to the album, shows this to be a finely sculpted homage to early Maiden, it contains their raw essence, the rhythms and energy, ‘Disobey’ is furious and rebellious in its message but the guitar work is classic and detailed, the drumming feels real, too often the machine gun style comes across as faked, but this is organic and delightful. ‘The Invisible’ moves us on to San Francisco Bay, conjuring up the feel of early Metallica, before they were polished and made commercial. Bardy beats the drums into submission, so hard does he pound them, but with excellent timing, and the vocals are very early Hetfield in style. ‘The Storm That Kills Us All’ has a powerful punch, a captivating riff and the attitude of Judas Priest, it provides a third angle, to help us triangulate just where this band are coming from, the heart of the early 80’s when denim & leather were the uniforms we wore and music kicked ass.
Echoes of something more akin to hair-metal, dirtier and less serious in tone, ‘Our Time Is Now’ shows off some powerful harmonies, great melodies and all alongside riffs that would make Eddie The Head happy. Reminiscent of ‘The Trooper’, ‘The Dark Wave’ is a wonderful trip back in time, it is classic NWOBHM through its core but it manages to avoid just being a carbon copy, as it adds different twists along the way. A little doomier and heavy on the bass, ‘Death Throes’ has a little more Sabbath about it, meatier riffs that draw you in and pull you under their spell.
The Title track is not one but two songs, split into ‘Rain After Drought Part 1’ and ‘Rain After Drought Part 2’, the first part is akin to an opus, instrumental and giving you an insight into the musicianship and skills you can expect from the band, superbly dramatic for an instrumental, it has light and shade and great mood creating time changes. At just under 7 minutes long, this is a risky track, but one that provides a fascinating insight into their creativity. Part 2 has vocals, it’s a soft rock, power metal, 80s epic, verses building to singalong choruses, a hook that catches you unawares, and different to every song before, now get those arms in the air and join in. Much more thrashier and angrier, ‘Move On Over’ is frantic, machine gun drumming makes its entrance for the first time on the album, the twin guitars are in a duel to the death, a complete contrast from the previous track. Last of all comes ‘A Desolate Shell Of A Man’, which is a hard hitting NWOBHM track, the shrillness of the vocal gives it an urgency that appeals, while the bass is intoxicating, complex musical breaks show this band has a lot to offer to the genre. It finishes the album with a delightful crescendo.
Normally albums that are this retro annoy me, they become stuck in a loop of trying to recreate a past that we can never get back, but this one is different, it doesn’t feel like it is just a copy, even though the similarities are very clear to hear, it is more that they pay homage while doing their own thing. There is everything that was enjoyable, the raw freshness that hit you when you first heard bands like Metallica or Maiden, the impressions they left on the soul, the way they captured your imagination, this is a gloriously nostalgic piece without being stuck in the past. The quality shines through, there is variety too, it’s not just all at one speed, the vocal style changes, the guitar work has different elements, even the drumming changes from song to song, and yet it still feels somehow unified. This is certainly an album that deserves high praise, and Tytus are becoming a band to take notice of.
Review by Lisa Nash