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Titanium Black, on their website, claim that "metal is a theatrical, powerful and passionate medium". A bold proclamation to say the least, and with such claims there definitely is pressure on the band to prove themselves to be able to uphold such views on metal through their music. The result is Bleed for You, the debut album from Titanium Black.
While the band's MA page classifies the band as "traditional heavy metal", I would beg to differ as what is presented here is anything but traditional. Sure, there are traditional heavy metal influences that can be picked up littered throughout the album (after all, which band dares to claim themselves to be heavy metal yet not have any traditional influences?), but the main product that is presented here is more than that, rather, it is more of a polished up heavy metal, with influences from the genres least expected to be thrown around here.
The album title, down to the song titles and song lyrics all revolve around the theme of emotions. Love (Perfect Love), sadness (Torn to Pieces) all show the different emotional sides of the band. Hey, who says that heavy metallers can't sing about their emotions, musicians are humans too! But the band mans it up and unlike the stereotypical emo-kid that you see on the street, Titanium Black displays this through their music, aggressive yet beautiful and retrospective at the same time.
The album starts off with a person running, heart pumping hard and fast. As the person runs past, the voice of Terry LeRoi introduces the listener to the album, a soft verse played with a guitar on cleans at the background. His style of vocals is reminiscent of power/heavy metal singers such as Peter Wagner, but with a smoother quality. The opening track, Cracks of Light is but a more melodic side of Titanium Black as following tracks show the different influences and sides of the band. Songs like Words are heavy and have an almost doom metal feel to them with the heavy and slow riffs, and the prominent basslines, reminding the listener of doom metal pioneers Black Sabbath. Power ballads like Perfect Love are piano and acoustic guitar-driven and soulful and beautiful, backed by orchestrated string instruments. It is also on such tracks that LeRoi's vocals are tested as he manages to hit each notes and display his vocal range from low to high notes.
A few things that potentially dragged down the enjoyment of this album. First, the length of the album. 14 tracks, clocking at almost an hour, it sure takes some patience to get through it. Secondly, the rapping on the track Quite a Machine gave it more of an R&B feel (at least during the rapping part) more than heavy metal, though I understand that the atmosphere might have called for it, but rapping in metal generally puts me off. Also the guitarists are given little time to shine, with extremely few guitar solo spots that are not memorable.
At the end of the day, few bands can really pull the emotional thing off extremely well. While there are moments that shine on this album and certainly reeks of emotion, it can get slightly too overwhelming at times, causing the album to falter.
Titanium Black is one of the select few bands that upon, fits listen, you know you’re in for something special. From the opening of "Cracks of Light," you’re hooked, the band’s singer Terry Michael LeRoi, sounds like a cross between David Drainman, Randy Odin & Shok Paris singer Vic Hix. Needless to say, the vocals are powerful & display extraordinary range, the musicianship is top notch & classy. The songs are very memorable & catchy, old school, yet contemporary, either Terry Michael LeRoi has endured some hard lessons in life or he is the most the most brilliant lyricists of all time. Michael Wangener produced this record, known for his previous work with Accept, Dokken, Great White & countless other bands, he mixed this record in 5.1 surround sound, which by the way, will enhance your listening pleasure. Even with this sonic addition to the recording, this record stands by it’s self as one of the best records of the year 2004. If there is a metal god in the heavens this band will be a household name by the end of this year. Watch out for their release of the DVD audio of Bleed for You, with a bonus cut, later in the year.