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On disc: Titanic

- Full Steam Ahead - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Full Steam Ahead

Full Steam Ahead
(Retroactive Rec. - 2008)

Guitarist and mainman Bill Menchen started Titanic in the mid-90's and they released 2 albums til the end of the last millennium. Now they present their 3rd album which is called Full Steam Ahead. These days Titanic is Bill Menchen - responsible for everything beside vocals and drums -, new singer David St. Andrew and drummer David White.
They kick off quite heavy with Shovel The Coal, an up-tempo rocker. A guitar-driven tune with a catchy refrain. Beside razor-sharp heavy riffs you get pounding drums and a powerful, dark voice which reminds me a bit of Kevin DuBrow (R.I.P.)... Menchen adds here a nice lead guitar part. With the following Dead Mens Bones another fast guitar-driven tune is coming at ya... The refrain will hook you up and make you sing along. The more I listen to the first tunes the more I have to think of Quite Riot, even if they are more melodic metal, but there is something in Titanic's sound.... And it doesn't sound back-dated... Crunchy riffs lead you into Captain Of The Ship, but then slows down for a moment... With the riffs the heaviness and power is back. The slower parts are kinda flowing along - to a anthemic chorus. And later in the song Menchen puts some cool guitar lead on top. Slower, but quite heavy and with fat riffs comes Holy Ground over you. A bit more laid back then the other tunes. David St. Andrew's vocals are striking. A bluesy guitar solo fits well to this heavy rocker. On Upon The Cross the punchy bass line and pounding drums make the song stick out and support the lyrics about the life and dead of Christ. A bit dragging is The Sea, beside heavy riffs you will find some atmospheric guitar melody... And a lead part which is floating on the heavy drum beat. And as a kind of lead out you hear the sound of surf... No ballades can be found on this disc! Even if the re-recorded and overdone Come Home has some balladesque parts, all songs are forced ahead by heavy riffs and pounding drums.
As a bonus you get 2 songs which are taken from their debut Maiden Voyage and re-recorded. On both tunes you hear original singer Simon Tyler and Sweet drummer Robert Sweet. Btw, Come Home was overdone and was originally called Hollywood Blvd.. Simon Tyler had also a deep timbre, but sounds quite different compared to David St. Andrew. Even if I like Tyler, I think that Titanic's sound is more unique with their new singer... But I think that's a matter of taste, too.
Due to the lyrics many will call them white metal, but that only gives you an idea about the lyrics, not the music which is melodic metal with some hard rock attitude. That the words have a deeper meaning is cool and as they never preach, it shouldn't be a problem for any metal fan. Musically you get heavy metal / melodic metal with a dash 80's flavor. If you want to check them out, listen to: Wisdom, Upon The Cross, Dead Mens Bones and The Sea.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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