|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By: Titanic|
|Record Label: Retroactive||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 2002||Artist Website: Titanic|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 65%|
|Running Time: 28:56|
Vocalist Keith Miles got his start in the mid-eighties when he recorded the album Stand As One while a member of the Christian metal band Holy Right. Taking a year and a half away from music following the break up of Holy Right, he proceeded to put together Final Axe with guitarist Bill Menchen and in 1989 released a very promising debut entitled Beyond Hell's Gate. Miles, under the moniker Simon Tyler, reunited with Menchen in the mid-nineties and formed Titanic, the two releasing its hard rocking debut appropriately entitled Maiden Voyage in 1996. Tyler and Menchen return six years later, however, with Titanic's sophomore effort Screaming In Silence. Continuing in the straightforward hard rock direction of its predecessor, Screaming In Silence stands as an improvement over Maiden Voyage with stronger songwriting in addition to a more refined production job.
While Screaming In Silence is a solid effort from front to back, one problem plaguing it is a lack of diversity in that its compositions border on the predictable. For example, if you listen to Menchen's and Tyler's earlier work on Beyond Hell’s Gate you will find much more variety: A couple of tracks move in a commercial metal direction, several reflect a classic metal influence while other give prominence to a thrash feel. The album even delivers an instrumental. Screaming In Silence, on the other hand, fails to bring that type of variety in that, for the most part, its material moves in the same type of mid-tempo paced and straightforward hard rock direction.
In bringing his trademark gritty and raw sounding vocal style to the project, Tyler puts in one of the finest performance of his career. Those of you familiar with Beyond Hell’s Gate know that Menchen is a very fine fast fingered guitar player. On Screaming In Silence, however, his playing can come across on the restrained side in that he rarely if ever cuts loose with any type of relevant lead guitar work. Along that line, the songs on Screaming In Silence end up way too short (seven of the albums ten tracks are under three minutes), one of the main reasons being that their instrumental passages are of inadequate length.
Screaming In Silence is characterized by a solid production job giving prominence to crisp and refined sounding sonics. An edgy rhythm guitar sound stands alongside a clean mix of lead guitar. The bass comes across strong and steady, but the drums, lacking in presence, would improve with a cleaner mix.
Opening the album to the sound of pinging, "The Band Plays On" kicks in to a driving guitar riff that quickly impels it to a strong forcefully delivered chorus. An instrumental passage limited to a few brief seconds of rhythm guitar takes away from the songs appeal.
The crunchy rhythm guitar at the start of "Hypnotic" gives way to a punchy bass line as the song reaches its first verse. Subsequent to the rhythm guitar returning hard and heavy, it leads the way to a chorus with a catchy refuse to go away hook. An instrumental passage featuring several seconds of restrained lead guitar proves the only factor to detract from the song.
The brief (2:30) "Time" immediately jumps out of the gate to a fast paced riff that conveys it at in up-tempo fashion to a good catchy chorus. An instrumental passage carried by only twenty seconds of rhythm guitar harmony fails to cut it.
Set in motion as the rhythm guitar bounces between the left and right channel, “As I Am” takes off to a driving guitar riff that pushes it forward in a near heavy handed manner. The aggressive way in which the songs chorus is delivered, on the other hand, can border on the repetitious. Menchen displays his talent by contributing several seconds of the albums best lead guitar work.
After "See Through My Eyes" begins by immediately launching into its energy-laden chorus, a crisp rhythm guitar backed by a punchy bass line propels its verse portions at an even mid-tempo pace. The tight sounding rhythm guitar harmony driving a nice extended instrumental section returns to carry the song over its last forty seconds.
A muscular guitar riff carries "Carnival Of Souls" forward from the start, the song slowing for its first verse as Tyler's gruff voice helps take it to a brief but strong high octane chorus. Menchen's slowly moving and restrained lead guitar work fails to do the song justice.
Slowly progressing through its first verse, "Broken Toys" evenly transitions to a chorus delivered in a good hard hitting fashion. Only fifteen seconds of uninspired lead guitar work takes away from the effectiveness of what otherwise is a very fine number.
"Web Dreams", similar to "As I Am", starts as the rhythm guitar bounces between the left and right channel. Once a heavy duty riff enters the mix, it proceeds to push the song to a chorus that ends with the rhythm guitar also bouncing between the left and right channel. I wish Titanic had expanded upon an instrumental passage limited to only a few brief seconds of lead guitar.
The energetic "Questions" gets underway in a fast paced manner before slowing as an upfront mix of rhythm guitar shores up its first verse. An infectious chorus in which all of its lines begin in the form of a question ranks among the albums best:
Do you Rock n' Roll? - Does it take control?
Do you scream and shout - Just to let it out?
Do you Rock n’ Roll? – Can you feel its soul?
Do you scream and shout? – Well just let it out
A few brief seconds of restrained rhythm guitar carries an instrumental passage that does not make the grade.
The driving hard rock of "Screaming In Silence" slowly advances through its first verse, the song building and gaining momentum for a chorus that ends as Tyler repeats its title in a catchy manner. Menchen delivers fifteen seconds of very fine lead guitar work before the song closes to a resounding explosion.
The album ends with three bonus tracks from Maiden Voyage in "Ocean Of Blood", "Gods Of War" and "Hollywood Blvd".
While Screaming In Silence can best be described as a solid effort musically that stands as a legitimate improvement over Maiden Voyage, the album is held back by the bands lack of instrumental prowess in addition to a hint of predictability in its songwriting. That being said, the combined talents of Tyler and Menchen cannot be denied, and when taking into consideration its sound production job, the albums comes with a solid recommendation.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "The Band Plays On" (2:49), "Hypnotic" (3:19), "Time" (2:35), "As I Am" (3:06), "See Through My Eyes" (3:44), "Carnival Of Souls" (2:54), "Broken Toys" (2:50), "Web Dreams" (2:23), "Questions" (2:30), "Screaming In Silence" (2:45)
Simon Tyler – Lead Vocals
Bill Menchen – Guitars
Ray Kilsdonk – Bass
Timothy II - Drums
Also reviewed: Titanic - Full Steam Ahead, Final Axe - Beyond Hell's Gate, Final Axe - The Axe Of The Apostles, Menchen - Red Rock, Redeemer - Double Edge Sword, Redeemer - Anno Domini, Rev Seven - Heavy Laden Volume 1, Rev Seven - Heavy Laden Volume 2, The Seventh Power - The Seventh Power