TITANIC - SCREAMING IN SILENCE (2010, Retroactive)
Catalog Number: RAR7895
Packaging: 4 panel jewel case
ABOUT THE ALBUM
This heavy metal classic was originally released in 2002 as the debut release for the fledgling Retroactive Records. Screaming In Silence got the label off on the right foot, as it now boasts over 120 releases! With just a single 1000 unit pressing the album quickly went out of print. Just as impressively, with a total of four releases, Titanic remains one of the top selling bands on a label that boasts big names like Bride, Guardian and Deliverance! The 2010 Collector's Edition features stunning new artwork, while the music has been remixed, remastered and partially re-recorded. We extend a special thanks to the amazing Robert Sweet (Stryper) for providing real drums on this Collector's Edition (the original recording featured a drum machine). We asked him to "really let loose" and to "drum like you've always wanted to - with no restrictions" and that's exactly what he did! The result is a world-class heavy metal release with drums by a bonafide superstar! Guitar duties are handled by axeman extraordinaire, Bill Menchen (Seventh Power, Menchen, Final Axe, Rev Seven, Redeemer) and the sudden impact vocals of Keith Miles (Final Axe, Holy Right) provide a powerful classic metal experience with vocals riffs that could power the Titanic! Melodic power metal fans have made it clear that Screaming In Silence is a classic worthy of its legendary, heavy-weight status! Retroactive Records is pleased to make this out-of-print album available once again! For fans of Judas Priest, Saint and Bloodgood.
*White Throne Blog: ?Bill & Keith?s passion are obviously there but the drumming of Robert Sweet adds the spark to a smoldering metal flame that ignites in a blaze of glory.?
WHITE THRONE BLOG REVIEW
With a powerful energetic drum assault from Strypers Robert Sweet these reissues of Bill Menchen's Titanic are even more powerful than when they were first released. Both Maiden Voyage and Screaming in Silence were solid heavy metal albums before. Now with the drumming of Robert Sweet they are spectacular! This is mid paced heavy metal that leather jackets and denim jeans were made for.
Both ?Screaming?? and ?Maiden?? were originally released using a drum machine (if that is incorrect someone please correct me.) Needless to say the sound wasn't as big as it could've been. It showcased Menchens guitar prowess and Sam Tyler?s vocal styles. Screaming in Silence and Maiden Voyage highlighted powerful hook laden heavy metal songs. Now with this new dynamic of real drums by Sweet, he added the missing piece, power, feel, drive and downright rock n roll attitude.
When you listen to the improved ?Fight Back,? ?I am Watching You,? ?Oceans of Blood,? or ?Gods of War? from Maiden Voyage there is so much more feel that it enhances Bills guitar riffs. It is simply astounding. The added bass drums and fills just increase the power that was already there in the songs to begin with. The hair starts swirling and the neck joins in with glorious praise.
The songs from Screaming in Silence also receive a tremendous boost from real drumming. Robert?s dynamics on ?Hypnotic? enhance a very groove influenced metal song and just add that missing piece. ?As I Am,? ?See through My Eyes? are some just obvious examples of the intensity taken up to the next notch. Bill & Sam?s passion are obviously there but with a drummer of Robert?s caliber behind the kit he adds the spark to a smoldering metal flame that ignites in a blaze of glory.
The hooks are stronger and more infectious than before. The songs here just sound vastly improved. Heavier than say Priest's Point of Entry but perhaps not quite British Steel. Hook filled like Saxon's Denim and Leather but with the guts of Armored Saints Raising Fear. Not ground breaking but first rate. Any takers?
I would almost view those first two original releases as warm up demos for the real thing. The introduced you to the songs and band, but were'nt the finished product. So if you don't already own the original releases do yourself a favor this spring, and if you do you will definItely want the upgrade.
These releases are the real thing and if you?re a fan of traditional metal ala Armored Saint, Judas Priest, Dio and Accept don?t hesitate and add these discs to your collection.
Bang yer head and yell!
ANGELIC WARLORD REVIEW
Titanic?s sophomore release Screaming In Silence, similar to fine wine, keeps getting better with age. All platitudes aside, the album, initially coming out on Retroactive Records in 2002, treaded the waters of traditional heavy metal, a direction similar to that taken on the group?s 1996 debut Maiden Voyage.
While I always considered Maiden Voyage in its original form thirty minutes of non-stop repetition, Screaming In Silence (in my opinion) proved the superior work with its more polished feel and greater sense of melody. As a matter of fact, when I first reviewed the album several years ago, I gave it a very respectable grade of 65%.
Maiden Voyage and Screaming In Silence were later re-issued in 2010 by Retroactive Records with new album artwork and Robert Sweet (Stryper) on drums. Both were re-mixed, re-mastered and partially re-recorded.
The upgrades as a result of the 2010 re-issues make all the difference in the world. Maiden Voyage, for example, literally comes to life ? due to the re-mastering and drum performance ? with songs now ?full of energy and oozing with emotion while not forsaking hooks in the process? (a quote taken from my 80% review of the re-issue).
Screaming In Silence showcases similar improvements. The re-mastering, courtesy of J. Powell at Steinhaus, brightens things by upgrading a production that ? while not all that bad to begin with ? comes across crisper and cleaner while reflecting the greater separation of instrumentation. You can now actually discern the drums while the lead guitar stands out fluidly in the mix.
Robert Sweet, as one might expect, would prove an asset to whatever project he happens to record, particularly if said project originally used a drum machine (as such was the case with the 2002 version of Screaming In Silence). I do not think I need to go into a great deal of detail but to say that Robert breathes now life into the Titanic material would be sufficient. Just compare Robert?s performance here (and on Maiden Voyage) to the pedestrian drum sound on Stryper?s Murder By Pride to understand my point.
Lead guitar represents another standout area. Now, I have always been a fan of guitarist Bill Menchen?s playing, dating back to his Final Axe days from the late-eighties. What I appreciate about the re-issue is how the artist returned to the studio and recorded guitar solos (that were not there previously) for several choice tracks. His lead work, ranging from the bristling to the bluesy, ranks with some of his finest to date and helps make tracks such as ?Hypnotic, ?Time? and ?As I Am? that much better.
So how does it all add up? As a result of the previously referenced upgrades in production and drum and lead guitar performance, I upped the final score of Screaming In Silence from 65% to 75%. At this point I am sure you are asking why Maiden Voyage received a grade 5% higher?
Well, beyond the fact that my opinion is the only one that matters (only kidding!), I feel the Maiden Voyage material is slightly stronger. If I were to invite a comparison, Maiden Voyage heads in the heavier direction while Screaming In Silence reflects a more melodic feel. Where the two diverse is that Maiden Voyage ? with its all around heaviness ? features the stronger chorus hooks. Not that Screaming In Silence lacks hooks (it by all means does not!) but if all things are equal I tend to gravitate towards the heavier release.
The only complaint to offer is the shortness of the Screaming In Silence material, an issue characteristic to many of Bill Menchen?s earlier efforts. Of the ten songs here, eight are in the three minute range or less and none come in at over four. As a result, a needed element of versatility is missing that a couple of tracks in the 4 or 5 minute range might have provided. Irregardless, despite the length of each individual track, you cannot complain about the all around quality of the songwriting.
Credit must also be given to vocalist Simon Tyler for his trademark ?raspy? and ?gruff? sensibilities. Now, while I might hesitate to label him the most technically proficient of vocalists, he complements the albums material - both its heavy and melodic ? with a ton of attitude and charisma.
The metal anthem ?And The Band Played On? gets things going. Driven its length by a militant ? almost robotic ? guitar riff, the song delivers a wallop as a result of its hard charging milieu and Tyler?s intense vocal delivery. This one is classic Bill Menchen all the way.
The same can be said for ?Hypnotic?. What we have here is as no-nonsense a piece as you will find, a face melting slab of metal joining a dominant guitar presence with nothing less than a curtly delivered chorus. Menchen?s lead work, in contrast, heads in a bluesy direction.
The pace picks up with ?Time?. While this is one of the albums shortest at just two and a half minutes, the song is certainly not lacking in energy with its frenetic tempo and Menchen?s lightning-like soloing abilities. A climactic setting is established in the process.
Straightforward hard rocker ?As I Am? might not be the catchiest piece but serves up its share of guitar driven fortitude and angst laden vocals. More bristling leads can be found while Robert Sweet goes all out behind the drum kit.
?See Through My Eyes? maintains the caustic sensibilities. Driven, weighty and heavy as all get out, the song comes across sledgehammer-like in capacity while not abandoning the group?s penchant for solid melody structures. Again, several stretches of well placed soloing from Menchen.
?Carnival Of Souls? ranks with the albums fastest, a jagged edge track with a punch driven chorus (abundant hook here) and tempo of a relentless capacity. I cannot help but be reminded of old school Bride in the process.
?Broken Toys?, contrasting with a more mid-paced heading, is certainly not lacking in backbone with its massive riff action. The chorus - well placed and quite catchy ? allows the song to hold up under repeated play in the face of the near overriding environs.
?Web Dreams? opens its first seconds calmly before a storm of guitar kicks in. At this point we are on, as the song proceeds to rage its brief (2:29) distance in hook driven fashion in featuring a forcefully delivered chorus and punch laden mentality. The end result is a compelling joining of the melodic and the heavy.
Strong and steadfast in proportion, ?Questions? establishes a staunch environs with its muscular guitar mix but also proves listenable in reaching for (and obtaining) quite the proficient melody. All the while a slightly bluesy edge underpins things in the process.
The albums title track can be best described as curt and abrupt, an edgy three minutes of decisive metal that proves quintessential Titanic. The too the point chorus brings a solid hook while Menchen once more delights with a stretch of adept lead guitar.
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "The Band Plays On" (3:01), "Hypnotic" (3:15), "Time" (2:33), "As I Am" (3:02), "See Through My Eyes" (3:48), "Carnival Of Souls" (2:50), "Broken Toys" (2:47), "Web Dreams" (2:29), "Questions" (2:44), "Screaming In Silence" (3:02)
Simon Tyler ? Lead Vocals
Bill Menchen ? Guitars
Ray Kilsdonk ? Bass
Robert Sweet - Drums