Friday, October 16, 2009


My first exposure to Titanic is their aptly titled ‘Full Steam Ahead’. This album charges like a juggernaut and like the Marvel Comics character once the momentum starts get outta the way!! Many of you are probably aware of guitar player Bill Menchen’s involvement. For the uninitiated Bill’s also been apart of the bands Final Axe, Rev Seven, Seventh Power, Menchen and finally Titanic.

Straight ahead heavy metal with a melodic edge is probably the best way to describe the Titanic sound. Fantastic hooks and melodies abound on this album. Don’t think however for a minute those elements ‘soften’ the sound. Far from it, it just makes you want to hear it again. Musically, perhaps in the same vein as a Rob Rock, Saint or perhaps Armored Saint. Headbanging metal that gets the fist pumping and the hair swaying.

Bill creates a great array of riffs and guitar melodies, but it must be pointed out that vocalist David St.Andrew just smokes on this album. His vocals have that gravely Rod Stewart/Paul Rogers perhaps even a Kevin Dubrow feel. You’ll have to visit Bill’s website if you would like to know how they hooked up. Drummer David White provides a groovin’ back bone to this metal attack.

From opener ‘Shovel the Coal’ (an ode to keep on in the faith and not give up) all the way to closer ‘The Sea’ this release is infectious. “Dead Man’s Bone’s” shreds, ‘Holy Ground’ shakes, and ‘Captain of the Ship’ are ominous. Superb heavy metal songs which you just don’t hear much of these days. Death metal this isn’t but does every song have to 200 miles an hour to be good? Absolutely not. This is an album that could be played for any fan of traditional metal. The production is above par with a pounding drum sound and heavy guitars.

Lyrically very Christian, but not clichéd. I applaud that. There is no mistaking what Titanic professes to believe. Just listen and read the enclosed lyrics. Some metaphor but mostly explicit well written songs about faith, life, Jesus and what it means to follow him without being preachy. Often the preachy stuff just turns folks off because they listen to music for entertainment and escapism.

Along with other Retroactive artists such as Main Line Riders or Grave Robber, the lyrics are definitely Christian just not necessarily ‘Jesus Saves’ every single song. Sorta like in scripture, if you were to take a single book of the Bible on it’s own you may have no clue what’s going on. Take Esther for instance or Lamentations or Song of Solomon. All significant in there own right but in the context of everything else it makes more sense.

Titanic ‘Full Steam Ahead’ is worthy addition to any collection of Heavy Metal. This release did come out in 2007 but I only received it recently and it’s become almost permanently jammed in my CD player. I can only hope I can get it out to review something else! SHOVEL THE COAL!!!

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1 comment:

alldatndensum said...

One of the absolute best pieces of work that Bill Menchen has done! This band needs to be back in the studio doing more in this style. This line up was just magic!