The Showdown
Back Breaker


2.5
average

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
September 18th, 2008 | 57 replies | 8,564 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is what happens when a metalcore band tries way too hard to be to many things at the same time...

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The Showdown are a four piece Christian metalcore band from Tennessee. The sound of the band is a bit difficult to relate, not because they are unique or innovative, but because the band tries to force itself into almost every single nook and cranny of the metal genre. So what exactly do they play? Is it metalcore, thrash, melodic death metal, straight up rock, nu-metal? Well...yes...all of them...and while it seems like an interesting approach, just trust me, for the most part its not pretty. The music shifts from thrashy passages with southern rock grooves, to bland and uninspired metalcore passages, to rather poor attempts at melo-death, and a lot of places in between, and nearly all of it comes out sounding forced and mechanical.

While things like song titles and album art are extremely superficial, and in most cases irrelevant, I feel like mentioning it is almost necessary. I mean seriously, the album cover boasts a mostly naked (and unrealistically buff) man, who has been pierced with at least 20 arrows, and every single song name starts with a mythical character (such as Prometheus) and an abhorrently pretentious suffix (The Fires Of Deliverance). Under normal circumstances, things like song titles and album art don't really have a lasting effect on anything. However, when the music presented is this boring and unimpressive, it makes the painfully atrocious song titles and concepts even more ridiculous.

The album is never really awful, it just fails to impress on so many levels. The vocalist doesn't really appear to have a voice of his own, and for the most part it just feels like he's doing caricatures of more famous vocalists (for the most part he sticks to what seems like Alex Varkatzas of Atreyu doing a Phil Anselmo impersonation). The vocals aren't really terrible, they just feel completely forced. The vocals range from run of the mill metalcore screams and roars, to horridly gravelly singing and mediocre pseudo-death growls.

The other instruments really just throw out a constant stream of mediocrity throughout the album. The guitars provide overly repetitive riffs and a few lackluster solos (and breakdowns of course) but there are a few moments where they show a small glimpse of decency, like a few of the riffs in Hephestaus - The Hammer Of The Gods. The bass is never heard, but if you expected it to be, then you really aren't familiar with modern metal at all. The other half of the rhythm section is probably the most technically sound portion of the band. The drummer is by no means a "beast", or any other overused adjective used to describe drumming, but as far as metalcore drummers go he actually manages to be a few steps above average in spots. Sadly, its only in spots, and for the most part he sticks to the same basic patterns and beats found on most modern metal albums.

As I stated before, the album as a whole isn't inherently bad, it just feels completely unfocused and directionless. The instrumental aspects don't really do anything to make up for the mostly poor vocal performances, and the awfully pretentious song titles and album art don't really help out. However, there are a few tracks that can be enjoyable in small amounts, such as Hephaestus, Aries, and Nemesis, but even the enjoyable tracks leave more to be desired. If you are really just jonesing for some metalcore and you need it this instant, I guess this would hold you for a week or so. Otherwise, I would suggest you just ignore the fact that this album exists.



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user ratings (62)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
daguitarmaster (4)
The Showdown is back full force with a 11-track heavy metal journey that will blow your mind away...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ToWhatEnd
September 18th 2008



3172 Comments


The to in your summary needs to to spelled too. Always thought this band would suck, those song titles are atrocious.

marksellsuswallets
September 18th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dangit I've been doing that a lot lately...blargh...fixed

BallsToTheWall
September 18th 2008



44164 Comments


The song i've been hearing off myspace has me in pursuit of acquiring this, sounds like a christian version of Pantera. Always had a thing for this band persoanally so I will get this. Good review.

handoman
September 18th 2008



2386 Comments


I saw these guys on the front page of pure volume one time. So I just assumed that they weren't that good.

marksellsuswallets
September 18th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah...Prometheus has parts that are extremely Pantera-ish...I can see the appeal of the band, but to me they're just horribly underwhelming...

p.s. what the crap is this doing under hard rock?! :confused:This Message Edited On 09.18.08

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 18th 2008



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

In most cases, this wouldn't be bothersome, but in cases such as that, the music generally makes up for it. Here, it doesn't.
This is a bit awkward. Not bad otherwise.

This album is terrible though. I started review of this about a month ago but I just stopped. It's kind of sad to see how far they've fallen, they're just so bland now.This Message Edited On 09.18.08

marksellsuswallets
September 18th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, now that I look at it that sentence did feel really rushed and awkward but I think I fixed it...

ToWhatEnd
September 19th 2008



3172 Comments


I should have clarified this but the first to needs to be too. The one you currently have with two o's only needs one. ...tries too hard to be... is how it should read.

marksellsuswallets
September 19th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ugh I thought that was the one I changed haha...man I am inattentive today...haha

ninjuice
September 19th 2008



6761 Comments


Good review man, although you still need to change what TWE pointed out.
Their first album was kinda cool cause it was like a Southern metal band with hardcore influences. Then "Temptation..." is a weak Metallica-esque album and this sounds fairly bad. I do like their cover of "Carry On Wayward Son" quite a bit though.

IAmInsect
September 19th 2008



3800 Comments


what i've heard of this is fucking awful

beans
September 19th 2008



2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i really enjoyed temptation come my way

but ill take a listen to this and see whats up

good review though

i am the robots
September 19th 2008



1027 Comments


the showdown's really meh to me, but this reviews decent

iamthenightmare
September 19th 2008



754 Comments


its disappointing to see a band go from something like chorus of obliteration to this. They used to be somewhat cool, unique, and fun to listen to, now they're just a bore. This Message Edited On 09.19.08

Essence
September 19th 2008



3578 Comments


Woah, Mappy returns. But for how long? :P

marksellsuswallets
September 19th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think we should all sign a petition to keep Solid State from signing any more bands until the ones they have can start producing acceptable music...

Essence
September 19th 2008



3578 Comments


Wait, I would totally do that, but I am in the middle of a breakdown.

marksellsuswallets
September 19th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Alright well when you're done with that get back to me...

Essence
September 19th 2008



3578 Comments


No, it will be awhile. I have 30 more breakdowns before I can do anything else, and after that, I will probably end up doing more breakdowns.


Seriously though, the only requirement to get signed must be to play in 3/4.

marksellsuswallets
September 19th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

or 4/4 with an insane amount of chugtastic triplets! dundundun dundundun dundundun REE!!!
Seriously though...this really isn't acceptable...I thought about giving the album a 1.5 out of sheer anger and frustration with the current state of metalcore but I decided to try my best to be fair...maybe I shouldn't have...



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