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Review: Titan Force - Titan Force
Titan Force
Titan Force

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2016
Originally released in: 1989
Duration: 45:16
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 5+/5

Review online: February 25, 2017
Reviewed by: Omni
Readers Rating
Titan Force

Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (12 Votes)

Titan Force was formed when vocalist Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin joined Titan, a band founded by Mario Flores and his siblings, John and Stefan. It's worth noting that this incredible band was formed out of a session where Conklin had agreed to perform a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" with Titan. The band members found that they worked so well together that they agreed to finish up some existing songs with the new vocalist, and Titan Force was born. The lineup of Conklin on vocals, Mario on guitar, John on bass, Stefan on drums and Bill Richardson on guitars and keyboards would go on to record several demos and two electrifying albums of melodic power metal with a progressive edge. This self-titled album is their debut.

"Chase Your Dreams" starts off the album with an immediate showcase of the unique Titan Force sound. Right away, it's apparent that the guitar work of Mario Flores and Bill Richardson is far beyond most other bands. The duo displays an amazing knack for catchy and exciting melodies. Their interplay makes excellent use of the vibrant, punchy guitar tone. Harry Conklin is amazing, as always, but he gives a more refined and mature vocal performance than he did on his previous work. This vocal performance would have sounded out of place on Ample Destruction or Metal from Hell, but it suits the style of Titan Force quite well. The rhythm section of John and Stefan Flores is also very tight, and there are a lot of great audible bass parts and the drum work is competent and varied. Musically, bands such as Queensrÿche and early Fates Warning provide some sonic references and fans of those bands and their great use of the space between chords as a means to gradually build evocative guitar parts should find plenty to enjoy on this album, but the sound of Titan Force is still very much their own.

The pacing on this album is excellent. After the exciting opener, slow burners such as "Master of Disguise" and "Lord Desire" give the listener some time to catch their breath while also allowing Harry Conklin an opportunity to show off his amazing vocal prowess. This album contains some of his most varied vocal performances and shows him stepping outside of his more wild and aggressive vocals from earlier bands a bit more often. Sandwiched between four tracks in both directions, the instrumental "Will-o' the Wisp" allows the two guitarists a true opportunity to further display their already obvious talents and let loose some stunning guitar melodies. As such, it's an excellent segue to the more upbeat second half of the album. The aviation tale "Blaze of Glory" is an absolute showstopper that just oozes heavy metal intensity and is an easy favorite, but the anthemic "New Age Rebels" acts as a powerful call-to-arms for heavy metal fans and this is a true highlight on an amazing album.

By varying the music on both sides of the album, the band manages to offer a consistently interesting listen throughout the duration. Many albums stick to the same pace and general style on almost every track and offer up maybe one ballad as a potential single, but this album has quite a lot of variety without anything feeling forced onto the album. This album is a must for fans of Jag Panzer, Queensrÿche, Fates Warning and Crimson Glory and can stand toe to toe with the finest releases by any of those bands. It's rare to find such a powerful dose of heavy metal that doesn't shy away from strong melodic emphasis.

This album was beautifully remastered by Patrick W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony for a brilliant reissue by High Roller Records. It's nice to have this album available again in such a beautiful edition.

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