Faith or Fear - Titanium 3.5/5

Reviewed: 6-1-12





Tracklist:

1. Titanium
2. Grinding halt
3. System is armed
4. Machine
5. Deep down
6. Forever's not that long
7. Afterglow
8. Bloodbath
9. DJ


Even though those punishing Bay Area thrasers known as Faith or Fear have existed in one form or another for over 30 years, just like Cleveland's Destructor, they have only released a paucity of CDs; all quality, 3 to be exact. In all fairness, the delay of the highly anticipated 'Titanium' was due in part to the tragic death of bassist Clarence "CJ" Jenkins who suffered an apparant heart attack while playing at a reunion show on September 13, 2009.

Feeling slightly dehumanized, but deep down determined to not come to a grinding halt, Faith or Fear have finally unleashed 'Titanium' - a rampage aural assault sure to create havoc and send you straight to hell. Then again what would you expect from those who play their instruments with a deft dexterity and sonic clarity. This CD explodes like a time bomb replete with riffs off the hook, and machine gun like arrangements.

There are a few modern touches, as the band must appeal to newer fans as well as those of us who are as old as Archie Bunker. Overall the true power lies in the excellent songwriting, infectious melodies, and well-penned lyrics vocalized by mainstay frontman Tim Blackman. Oft' times the band suffer and sacrifice and strive to deal with the dark side of life, but overall these metal machine hammer heads prove their mettle faith, and therefore they have no fear.

Lacking no motivation, each song is what you would expect and nothing is done in vain. The title track, "Grinding halt", "Deep down", and "Forever's not that long" are the true stand out tracks.

Even though the closing track, simply titled "CJ", is a instrumental with nothing uncommon or musically challenging, I assume it may be the last bass line ever written by CJ and therefore it serves as a lasting legacy and true life memorial to his eternal presence in the band, but then again the only the shadow knows.



MICHAEL




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