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The Titãs' seventh studio album, Titanomaquia, was also their first without singer Arnaldo Antunes and first with a foreign producer, namely grunge architect Jack Endino. Brought in to apply his Seattle seal of approval to the proceedings, as well as help the boys nail down the hard rock guitar sound they were looking for, Endino's presence also served to deflect some of the unwanted scrutiny brought on by Antunes' departure and perhaps even give the band a much-needed confidence boost. Judging by the overall results, he was well worth the investment, as the Titãs rallied to mail in a surprisingly strong set, made all the more special by the band's always inspired and unique lyrics. Although it retained the same simplicity of spirit as 1991's very lackluster Tudo ao Mesmo Tempo Agora, Titanomaquia's storming opening numbers -- the fiercely inflammatory "Será que é disso que eu Necessito?," the heretical punk anthem "Nem sempre se pode ser Deus," the scandal-listing "Disneylândia," and the urgent pop single "Hereditário" -- struck with an invigorating sense of urgency and aggression that further exposed its predecessor's rampant apathy. The songs also required no small amount of guts, given the ever-present risk of alienating the band's fan base; but then, that had never stopped the Titãs' before. Consistently compelling throughout, Titanomaquia is not without its weaknesses, however. The violently oppressive "Estados Alterados da Mente" transgresses a tad too far into alternative rock defacement, as do imminently forgettable songs like "Fazer o Quê?" and "Tempo pra Gastar," and the principal riff of the otherwise fine "Agonizando" is simply guilty of desperate Nirvana-cloning. On the other hand, suitably quirky standouts like "De olhos Fechados," "A Verdadeira Mary Poppins," and "Taxidermia" could have only been conceived through the singular prism of the Titãs' twisted genius. Certainly subject to personal taste (if you hate hard music, you just won't get it), Titanomaquia was, among many other things, a triumphant statement of survival for the Titãs.

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