Review Summary: Blood In The Gears proves The Showdown are willing to shift gears, once again. Solid, heavier, and a stable release from a band who can't quite please all fans with previous albums. Well here's the album that can please everyone.
First and foremost, this is my first review. So im open to criticism and all that. There will soon be another review of this album by another member here on Sputnik and I hope someone writes it soon because mine sucks. I just wanted to get my opinion out there and this album had no review so I gave it a shot. This is not the most descriptive review, but again, this is only my first review and I plan on doing more.
So here we go...
The Showdown have without a doubt shifted their musical direction since A Chorus of Obliteration. I was a huge fan of these guys until they released Temptation Come My Way. Their sophomore album was a great disappointment to me and the majority of fans. There was always a southern-type feel to their debut, A Chorus of Obliteration, but nobody was expecting such a difference in style upon the release of Temptation Come My Way. After that album I decided I wouldn't purchase another upcoming album, only because I figured they would continue on in the direction of southern rock.
So then Back Breaker was released and I wasn't interested in even listening to a single song. But, I was curious so I read a review here on Sputnik and to hear that it was heavier and there was a return of the dominating screams by David Bunton, I instantly bought the cd. It was an amazing album, it had a very heavy groove to the entire album. Still southern feeling, but there are a few really heavy and hard-hitting songs on Back Breaker.
So now here we are in 2010 and as a fan of The Showdown (once again) I was anticipatively waiting for the new album. Blood In The Gears will shock anyone who liked A Chorus of Obliteration. It definitely is a benchmark record for these guys. It's the album that sounds the most like a return or even a tribute to their old metalcore roots. It surpasses Back Breaker in many ways.
Songs like A Man Named Hell, Heavy Lies The Crown, Bring It Down, Dogma Enthroned, Graveyard of Empires, and the Hidden Track are all great tracks to listen to if you're into the heavier side of The Showdown. The music still has that heavy, southern, groove metal atmosphere to it and it's no doubt that it's apparent.
I'd like to mention that the drummer isn't AJ Barret, as the 2 previous albums featured him. The new drummer Isaac Harris brings alot to the table. The drums are amazing on this cd, very powerful, energetic, and fast. He definitely sets the pace for the album and thats made clear in the first song.
Take Me Home, The Crooked Path, and Diggin' My Own Grave are the songs that are reminiscent of the soft/southern rock songs heard here and there among Temptation Come My Way and Back Breaker. Good songs, executed near perfection, and are obviously songs that would be good for radio rotation.
The vocals are the highlight of this album though. David's screams sound better than ever. The deep screams are flawless and are what makes me enjoy this so much. The normal pitched screams and yells/shouts also couldn't be any better.
And for his clean singing voice, I can't say much about it. They're not bad by any means, but still room for improvement.
There is some great, creative guitar work on here also. Not much to note about it though. One thing I would like to note is that the musicianship seems to work phenomenally.
Overall this is an album worth listening to whether you're a fan or a skeptic.