Album Review :
The Showdown - Back Breaker

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Band: The Showdown
Title: Back Breaker
Label: Solid State
Release Date: 8/19/2008
Review By: JoshIVM

Tracklisting:

01. Titanomachy-The Beginning
02. Hephaestus-The Hammer Of The Gods
03. Aphrodite-The Disillusionaire
04. Achilles-The Backbreaker
05. Prometheus-The Fires Of Deliverance
06. Cerberus-The Hellhound Awaits
07. Odysseus-A Song Of Hope
08. Aries-I Am Vengeance
09. Infernus-You Will Move
10. Nemesis-Give Us This Day
11. Medea-One Foot In Hell

I am sitting here preparing to listen to the new album by The Showdown, an album I have been waiting to hear for quite awhile. After hearing the first song released on Myspace I was extremely pumped for this release! With a mix of classic thrash metal and an almost tough guy hardcore vibe it was a great mix and one that should bring early fans back into the fold. But, as always you can’t judge an album by one song and I wondered what would the whole album sound like. It didn’t take long to realize that the band has once again changed sounds and produced a mix of something old and something new.

Titanomachy – The Beginning” is a good intro to get your head bobbing and as the song progresses possibly even a little head banging might result. It starts off quietly but then the musicians kick the door in. Drums are pounding, guitars are chugging, and bass is booming. This should be the show opener as well. Just shy of a minute-and-a-half in, the southern flavored metal kicks in and then we get treated to a nice guitar solo, something I was hoping they’d keep from their previous effort, Tempation Come My Way. “Hephaestus – The Hammer of the Gods” wastes no time in diving in to a gallop beat and man is this track heavy. The sung parts are catchy as can be without coming off cheesy. It does appear that to pull off these songs fully live they’d need a second guitarist but that remains to be seen. “Aphrodite – The Disillusionaire” is a shredder with a driving rhythm and thundering chorus. David’s vocals were meant for this style. A perfect mix of old school thrash and NYHC angst, “Achilles – The Backbreaker” was the first song dropped on an unsuspecting public. I would never have guessed they’d bring this sound on a new album but they pull it off with ease. There are some groove metal parts in this song too. “Prometheus – The Fires of Deliverance” opens with a straight up 70’s era guitar riff before fully transitioning into thrashy aggression. Two-thirds of the way we hear more of that groovy sound from the last album’s songs like “Temptation Come My Way” and more guitar soloing follows that. If you want to be metal you have to have some good solos and they definitely get my approval on this disc. “Cerberus – The Hellhound Awaits” is the ballad of the disc, another staple of many a metal album. It’s far heavier than a normal ballad but it is sung and is much slower than the rest of the disc. Don’t worry though the singing isn’t clean like some tracks on the last album but instead offers a harsher approach a-la James Hetfield of Metallica. “Aries – I Am Vengeance” is a standout track! Lots of guitar work and a Pantera-esque feel throughout. Groovy, powerful metal. It is fast, ferocious, and unrelenting in it’s metal onslaught.

Overall Rating: The Showdown’s talent for crafting well written songs, regardless of your like or dislike of the particular genre, is impressive. Back Breaker is a fantastic disc from start to finish and upon each listen! Old school metallers will be greatly pleased with this album because it has the ferocity of bands like Pantera and Testament and you’re able to understand the vocals. Very few cookie-monster moments here. Expect these guys to make some waves in the metal arena and perhaps land some opening slots on big tours. (9.5/10)

Standout Tracks: “Aries – I Am Vengeance”, “Aphrodite – The Dillusionaire”, “Hephaestus – The Hammer of the Gods”

Links:
Myspace
Solid State Records

Buy: Walmart ($8.88)

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