We all love a good mashup, especially when it involves Stoner Rock. And although Titanosaur isn’t the textbook definition of a mashup, the project does combine a few different influences into one homogenous form of furious headbanging.
Taking Monster Magnet’s knack for catchy tunes and Motörhead’s penchant for furious pacing, Titanosaur has struck on a formula that is exciting, heavy, and fast.
In Titanosaur’s latest album, Absence of Universe, we hear Titanosaur perform its best songwriting to date.
Titanosaur is a solo project conducted by Geoff Saavedra in New York. Pulling inspiration from the Punk energy of the Ramones, the speed and energy of Motörhead, the infectious songwriting of Monster Magnet, and the heaviness of Black Sabbath, Geoff has carved out his own space in the Heavy Scene.
Of course, Geoff has also injected a fair bit of his personality into project, frequently wearing his dinosaur mask for promotions and mixing in his own brand of humor.
As Titanosaur, Geoff has released:
- Eat Me (2018)
- II (2019)
- Messages (2020)
- Inti Wañu EP (2021)
In Absence of Universe, Titanosaur has looked to Ministry, Sepultura, Mastodon, and Killing Joke for additional inspiration.
Absence of Universe Album Review
Release Date: February 4, 2022
Label: The Swamp Records
Track 1 – The Echo Chamber
As an opener, “The Echo Chamber” sets the tone for the entire album, offering a Doomy, Space Rock-infused update of Motörhead. Chaotic yet carefully crafted, “The Echo Chamber” is a relatively brief teaser for what’s to come throughout Absence of Universe.
Track 2 – Conspiracy
“Conspiracy” is a furious and grooving headbanger with a light Industrial touch, as if White Zombie had driven by the studio during the recording. One of the strongest tracks on Absence of Universe, “Conspiracy” was rightfully a single ahead of the album’s full release.
Track 3 – So Happy
“I’m so happy!” Titanosaur growls at the beginning of “So Happy,” one of the most compelling songs on all of Absence of Universe. While the frantic Punk Rock powerchords are undeniably Titanosaur, there’s also a dash of ethereal keys in the background, giving an unsettling and haunting feel throughout the song. Plus, the switched guitar tone occasionally offers a slight and fleeting Industrial Metal feel. Added all together, “So Happy” is one song that could have easily made the single cut.
Track 4 – We’re All Waiting
Another single ahead of the full Absence of Universe release, “We’re All Waiting” mixes its straightforward drumming and riffs with a slight Space Rock influence (something you can hear in both the instrumentation and the lyrics). And be sure to watch the music video!
Track 5 – Miles to Go
“Miles to Go” is an interlude track, but to call it such would be reductive. Yes, it’s built around an organ and it’s a break from the chaotic and heavy chords throughout the album thus far, but there is still a great deal of attention to detail on this track, especially when it comes to the depressing lyrics:
I had miles to go
My head exploded into pieces
No more time to kill
No more making up reasons
Track 6 – The Mountain
“The Mountain” is a return to the Titanosaur comfort zone: heavy riffs at quick speeds. Interestingly, some of the catchiest riffs on Absence of Universe come in the chorus here, and the guitar solo offers a slightly Psychedelic tone, which adds a dash of additional flavor to this track.
Track 7 – Shut Off The Voices
In its opening, “Shut Off The Voices” begins with a stark deviation from the rest of the album. Instead of relying on heavy, choppy riffs or an organ, “Shut Off The Voices” begins with an acoustic guitar—an instrument that will occasionally appear throughout this song. That one addition is enough to add plenty of dimension to Absence of Universe, and “Shut off The Voices” ultimately becomes one of the most intriguing and dramatic songs on the album.
Track 8 – I Will Live Forever
Thanks to its interesting percussion choices and sleek guitar, the introduction to “I Will Live Forever” is rather smooth and relaxing, especially when compared to the rest of the album. Eventually, though, those power chords rip back into the sonic fabric. Still, that intro percussion and guitar appear throughout the song, and that prevents this composition from ever becoming too heavy. Like “So Happy,” “I Will Live Forever” could have made a strong case for receiving the single treatment, and it occasionally calls to mind Corrosion of Conformity.
Track 9 – Needed Order
Energetic and fast-paced, “Needed Order” doesn’t feel like a four-minute song. But that length allows Titanosaur to embellish the end of a few choice riffs and focus on building emotion throughout the experience. Overall, this is a compelling little song, and it’s a somewhat softer track that effectively closes the album by keeping you wishing for more.
Final Score: 8.25/10
Standout Tracks: “Conspiracy,” “So Happy,” and “I Will Live Forever”
Pros: Saavedra successfully spins his disparate influences into a fascinating tapestry of Metal and Punk, delivering an exciting 40+ minutes of thrills and eager headbanging.
Absence of Universe could have easily become a repetitive Punk Rock slog, relying on the same structure and three chords from one song to the next. Again, Saavedra strategically belies expectations. Yes, most of the tracks on Absence of Universe share a similar backbone, but Saavedra mixes in a variety of instruments and techniques to make each track unique. This album is definitely a collection of brothers and sisters, but each one is a heavy rocker in its own right.
Cons: Absence of Universe is a well-constructed album, and its diverse influences should pull in Rock and Metal fans from plenty of different camps. But if you’re not a fan of pounding kick drums and choppy riffs, this album might not have the staying power of a typical earworm. That said, anyone with an inclination toward Punk and Metal will likely devour this album on repeat.