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Titanium Black: Bleed For You

The Queensr˙che-like logo for Titanium Black isn't the only reference to the classic progressive-metal band that this upstate New York outfit makes. In fact, in vulnerable singer Terry Michael LeRoi, note-savvy guitarists John Matthews and Dave King, and the precise rhythm section of drummer Robbie Spagnoletti and bassist Aaron Worden – not too mention astonishing songs that are atmospheric, melodic, muscular, substantial – Titanium Black comes off as another Queensr˙che. Only better.

The range of musical emotions on the debut Bleed For You ranges from doubt (the uncomfortable assault of opener "Cracks of Light") to anger ("Words," with its aggressive refrain of "They can slap you in the face/And make you sting") to cynicism (the social commentary of the aggressive "Quite A Machine") to desire (the piano-drenched "Perfect Love," on which LeRoi delicately spits out lyrics that lack practically any reflection of the title sentiment) to bitterness (the slow-building "Miles Away"). And that's just the first five songs. The album's highlight comes later on, though, as the organic prayer-like ballad "Close To You" unfolds with a lone acoustic guitar and LeRoi's soaring voice, which sounds like Geoff Tate's lower register. LeRoi's examination of God's presence in the face of loss reaches its crescendo with a series of "la-la-las" that manage to make the singer sound tougher and more dramatic than ever: "I want you to show me Jesus/I need you to be/I want you to pull me close to you/I want to believe."

LeRoi calls writing Bleed For Me "an exorcism." Indeed, the album's dynamics get darker as the track listing gets deeper, and each of these 14 songs – even the 36-second pseudo-a cappella title track and the irritating, downtuned barrage that is "Celebration of Suffering" – emerges as a sonic adventure. Remember the first time you heard Operation: Mindcrime or even Empire? Well, this is sorta like that. Really.

Add elegant packaging and pristine 5.1 surround-sound production from Michael Wagener (Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe), and Bleed For You emerges as something rare these days: a relevant metal record that falls prey neither to trends nor its own hubris. Instead, Titanium Black has made an album that matters simply because of its music. LeRoi's catharsis is our privilege.

Track Listing:
1) Cracks of Light (4:43)
2) Words (3:59)
3) Quite A Machine (4:00)
4) Perfect Love (3:57)
5) Miles Away (3:54)
6) Torn to Pieces (4:25)
7) Spit You Out (3:18)
8) Deconstruct (4:13)
9) Bleed For You (0:36)
10) Handful of Lies (3:44)
11) Close To You (4:20)
12) Rain (1:35)
13) Celebration of Suffering (5:06)
14) Deep (4:32)
Total Time: 52:30

Added: August 11th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Titanium Black Web Site
Hits: 3067
Language: english

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