here are so many bands playing “retro-metal” these days, that it’s often difficult to find one that really stands out, particularly when all of them are influenced almost exclusively by Black Sabbath. As always, it boils down to who your influences are, and whether you choose to pay homage to them, or shamelessly rip them off. On Yeth Hound, the latest release from Tyfon’s Doom, it’s certainly more of the former, with a sound that is closer to the NWOBHM than the occult-laden doom most “retro” bands go for these days.
The first thing I noticed about Yeth Hound is how genuine it sounds; there are plenty of traces of Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden in the sound, but the music here channels those influences into something that feels a bit more sincere than your average occult rock act. The riffs are melodic and memorable, and the vocals sound like King Diamond’s lower range, with a little bit of snarl and grit. “Gate to New Reality” is a great example of everything that works about Tyfon’s Doom; the music has that famous galloping pace that Iron Maiden is known for, with some pretty flashy dueling lead-guitar work, and an epic, arena-ready feel overall. There are no cheesy “reefer smoke for the Dark Lord” vibes on this record, just solid, no frills heavy metal, and it’s a damn joy to listen to.
There’s a lot of reverb in the mix, particularly on the vocals, giving the music an even more old-school heavy metal vibe. Unfortunately, that reverb makes the cymbal crashes a little too strong, slightly distorting the overall tone in some areas, particularly the first couple of tracks. Also, the vocals, though they match the music pretty well, can get a little too nasally at times, as can be heard on “Rockers,” and “Galactic Flash/Last Ray of Light,” the latter featuring some terrible attempts at falsetto. Still, there’s a charm and sincerity in the vocals, and they tend to be spot anyway, so most of their problems can be overlooked. With just a little cleaning up in the mixing department, and some tightening in the musical performance, Tyfon’s Doom could really become a force to be reckoned with, proudly carrying into battle the banner for traditional heavy metal.