From Blackest Darkness Titanic - Maiden Voyage (Magdalen) 1996

1. "Nightmare" (3:08)
2. "You've Got Nothing On Me" (3:39)
3. "Gods of War" (3:30)
4. "And the Dead Shall Rise" (3:18)
5. "Ocean of Blood" (2:33)
6. "Hollywood Bvld" (2:36)
7. "I Don't Believe" (3:21)
8. "Fight Back"(2:58)
9. "I Am Watching You" (3:35)
10. "Freak Show" (3:51)
11. "Don't Care" (3:02)
12. "Freak Show" (3:53)
13. "Suicide Doctor" (3:44)

This is one of those discs that I get tons of emails about asking why I don't have it yet. I had heard it a year or two ago when it was new and was not immediately impressed, so I didn't bother to purchase it. Well, when M8 re-released the disc I decided I should give it a second chance. I must say that the music began to grow on me more after a while. The music is no-frills heavy metal. There are no ballads, no radio friendly songs, just straight forward, mid-paced heavy metal reminiscent of Saint, Judas Priest, and especially Armored Saint. Unfortunately some of the disc is rather generic. Favorite track is the hook laden "Gods of War." Coolest lyrics "I Don't Believe." This re-issue features previously unreleased bonus demo tracks with Robert Sweet (ex-Stryper) on drums, who apparently joined this band for a short time. The bonus tracks are a bit annoying though as the mix is not very good. The drums are way to out front.

Screaming In Silence Titanic - Screaming in Silence (Retroactive) 2002

1. "The Band Plays On" (2:49)
2. "Hypnotic" (3:19)
3. "Time" (2:35)
4. "As I Am" (3:06)
5. "See Through My Eyes" (3:44)
6. "Carnival of Souls" (2:54)
7. "Broken Toys" (2:50)
8. "Web Dreads" (2:23)
9. "Question" (2:30)
10. "Screaming in Silence" (2:45)
11. "Ocean of Blood" (2:34)
12. "Gods of War" (3:32)
13. "Hollywood Blvd" (2:34)

Titanic are a true rarity. While styles like thrash, progressive and power metal have all made comebacks in the undergound in recent years, traditional, mainstream heavy metal has all but disappeard. Well, Titanic are certainly bucking the trends, because this is exactly what they continue to play. Most people would compare them to old Priest, Armored Saint and Saint . Well, the comparisons are not far off, but I don't know that this particular Titanic release has the same charisma as any of those bands. However, this is certainly not a bad CD. Actually I quite enjoyed it. "Hypnotic" will instantly have your head banging along to it's infectious rhythm and the repetative chorus will have you shouting along within the first listen. "Your Hypnotic, and you got it". Likewise "As I Am" sticks out as one of the albums choice cuts. "Gods of War" manages to make an appearance on this disc again. Not sure why they decided to re-record this song as this version is not much different from the version that appeared on their first CD. However, I will say that I think this is one of their strongest tracks. These guys do have the metal sound down, right down to the headbanging riffs and striking leads. The guitar tones are beefy and crunchy and the drums are pummelling. Speaking of the drums, Stryper's Robert Sweet also guests on 3 tracks. However, I think that it is vocalist Simon Taylor's solid, mid-range metal voice and vocal melodies that really makes this CD as enjoyable as it is.

Full Steam Ahead Titanic - Full Steam Ahead (Retroactive) 2007

1. "Shovel The Coal" (3:59)
2. "Dead Men’s Bones" (3:12)
3. "Deep Down" (3:13)
4. "Captain Of The Ship" (4:28)
5. "Holy Ground" (3:05)
6. "Sons Of Thunder" (3:16)
7. "Upon The Cross" (3:02)
8. "The Wind" (3:59)
9. "Wisdom" (3:30)
10. "The Sea" (3:38)
11. "Nightmare" (2:56)
12. "Come Home" (2:38)

"Full Steam Ahead" is Titanic's third release. As I expected, "Full Steam Ahead" is a straight forward, traditional heavy metal album that follows in the tradition of the first two albums. With the departure of long term vocalist Simon Tyler, there is a noticeable difference in the band's sound. New vocalist David St. Andrew has a similar sound to Quiet Riot's Kevin DuBrow. His gruff, gutsy vocals, mixed with the mostly mid-paced, guitar driven metal works well together. St. Andrew's vocal delivery on "Wisdom" in particular seems to have the Quiet Riot quality to it. The production seems improved here than in the past as well. The guitars deliver a heavy crunch, the leads are clear hear and the drums are big, without sounding over produced. Those who are familiar with guitarist Bill Menchen's past work with Titanic, as well as his work with Final Axe and Rev. Seven should find something to like here. This band has a distinct sound and they have not wavered from it. Unlike his ill-fated, vocal effect saturated Seventh Power release, I find this straight forward metal approach to be much more enjoyable. The album closes with two bonus tracks from "Maiden Voyage".

Wreckage Titanic - Wreckage (The Best of & the Rest of) (Retroactive) 2008

1. "Ocean Of Blood" (2:31)
2. "Hypnotic" (3:15)
3. "I Am Watching You" (3:33)
4. "The Sea" (3:38
5. "Hollywood Blvd" (2:35
6. "Carnival Of Souls" (2:52)
7. "Gods Of War" (2:39)
8. "Screaming In Silence" (2:41)
9. "Nightmare" (3:06)
10. "Dead Men’s Bones" (3:12)
11. "Web Dreams" (2:22)
12. "Time" (2:35)
13. "Shovel The Coal" (3:59)
14. "Don’t Care" (2:59)
15. "Freak Show" (3:49
16. "Ocean Of Blood" (2:33)
17. "I Am Watching You" (3:35)

Titanic was founded in late 1995 by guitarist Bill Menchen, vocalist Simon “Keith Miles” Tyler, bassist Ray Kilsdonk and drummer Tim Palmatier. The four piece unit recorded their traditional metal debut, "Maiden Voyaage", in December of the same year and independently released by the band in the summer of 1996. The release was considered an underground Christian metal classic in some circles. Since that time, the band had release two more albums including "Screaming in Silence" (2002) and "Full Steam Ahead" (2007). Coming less than a year after the release of "Full Steam Ahead", Retroactive has released this compilation featuring tracks from all three albums. Since the band only has three albums out, and all three are stylistically very similar, the track listing here offers a good overview of the band's catalog. In other words, "Wreckage" does an accurate job of compiling some of the best songs off the groups three albums.

Titanic is mid-paced, simplistic, traditional heavy metal. There isn't anything complicated about this band whatsoever, nor is there anything trendy about Titanic's music. Band leader and guitarist Bill Menchen writes simplistic metal riffs and offers some tasty, melodic guitar solos. (Think "British Steel"-era Priest with mid-range vocals) Titanic has featured two vocalists so far; Simon Tyler who sings on the band's first two albums and David St. Andrew, who sang on "Full Steam Ahead". Their vocal styles are noticeably different. However, they are not so radically different that the compilation sounds disjointed. (Actually, I think that David sounds a bit like Quiet Riot vocalist Kevin DuBrow.) What works in the bands favor is that all three albums have similar song writing and production. Bill's guitar tones, while heavy, are processed sounding. "Maiden Voyage" has only a slightly heavier, rawer sound.

Closing out Wreckage are four bonus tracks featuring Robert Sweet (Stryper) on drums. These tracks might be motivation for die-hard fans who already own the first three albums to purchase this compilation. However, none of these tracks are radically different from the original tracks. I do think that Sweet's drumming tends to beef up "Freak Show" a bit. However, for those unfamiliar with Titanic, or who don't already own the first two CDs, "Wreckage" would be a good place to start. Both "Maiden Voyage" and "Screaming in Silence" were out of print at the time of this release, although both are scheduled to be re-released with all new drum tracks by Robert Sweet.

Maiden Voyage Titanic - Maiden Voyage (Collector's Edition) (Retroactive) 2010

1. "Nightmare" (3:08)
2. "You've Got Nothing On Me" (3:39)
3. "Gods of War" (3:30)
4. "And the Dead Shall Rise" (3:18)
5. "Ocean of Blood" (2:33)
6. "Hollywood Bvld" (2:36)
7. "I Don't Believe" (3:21)
8. "Fight Back"(2:58)
9. "I Am Watching You" (3:35)
10. "Freak Show" (3:51)

Titanic's "Maiden Voyage" was originally recorded and released in 1996. The style of the original was what I penned "no frills heavy metal". Basically the band plays simplistic, straight forward heavy metal with no experimenting or intermixing other styles of metal. The closest comparison I could come up with was Judas Priest and Armored Saint. However, to make it more specific, this is simple, headbanging, anthemic metal, not unlike Judas Priest's "British Steel" or "Point of Entry". I don't say that to get Titanic labeled a Judas Priest clone, because they are not. But the song structures, have those same simple, memorable riffs, sing along choruses and mid-paced songs not unlike "Breaking the Law", "Heading Out to the Highway" or "Living After Midnight". I remember back when I purchased the original CD over ten years ago. At that time I thought the overall feel of the album was a bit generic.

Fast forward to 2010 and "Maiden Voyage" has been re-issued by Retroactive Records with new album artwork – remixed, re-mastered and partially re-recorded in the process – and Robert Sweet (Stryper) on drums. To be frank, I just assumed that re-purchasing this CD would be a total waste of money. How can some simple remixing and re-recording the drums improve this project? What was once a lifeless production with digital, programmed drums now has far improved dynamics and the drums make the overall songs far more interesting. Sweet really does spring some life into the songs. The songs that I thought were decent on the original release are outstanding on this new release. I still think that "Gods of War" is one of the best songs that Bill Menchen and Co. have recorded. The song has an outstanding riff that drives the song, as well as solid, memorable chorus. "‘I Am Watching You" and "Oceans of Blood" come to mind as standout cuts as well.

The overall mix of the song focuses on the crunchy rhythm guitars, and of course the drum work. You will hear every single cymbal, snare crack and bass drum hit. Unfortunately the bass guitar is downplayed quite a bit, even when cranking it on my massive car stereo. This may be due to the drums being re-recorded. In general, the drummer and bassist usually have to fit into a pocket together. With the drums being recorded over ten years after the original recording, perhaps the bass guitar was downplayed because they no longer had that pocket together. Regardless of the reason, I didn't find it all that distracting. The only reason I even noticed it was because I was purposely listening to hear how the new drums would work with the old bass tracks.

Remastering CDs and repackaging old music as new has become the standard in the last decade. Many of them are not really worth reinvesting in if you already own the originals. Some remasters are actually worse than the originals and just sound all compressed and overly loud. That is not the case with "Maiden Voyage". Fans of the original would do themselves well to check out this re-issue. The original CDs sound like demo material compared to this "Collector's Series" release.

Related collections:
Redeemer | Final Axe | Menchen

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