Blood In The Gears
4/29/2011 - Review by: Eric Compton
Tennessee's The Showdown have proven to be a mixed bag of tricks in their short and steady career. The youngsters are the epitome of blinding intensity with its tangle of metalcore and mosh putting the band into mid-tier levels from one step to the plate. The band hit paydirt with "Temptation Come My Way", burning down the Bible Belt with enough groove stomping power to crush the ideology of metalcore. The "Balls To The Wall" energy and staying power crossed with amazing production values catapulted the band and album into the top tier...at least in my book considering no metal critic of any weight approached it. The band shifted more into a Throwdown meets Metallica vibe on follow-up "Back Breaker" which was a bit disappointing with its return to growling and belching.
"Blood In The Gears" is a much anticipated release for me and after months and months of weighing its merits I finally have decided to give it a fair shake. This is the best sounding album to date with leads that really come up and off the disc and that down-tuned heaviness that bands like Mudvayne and Five Finger Death Punch seek. That Southern swing is still rampant and important, leaving cuts like "Man Named Hell" and "Take Me Home" a reflection of Metallica's "Load" with enough punchy attitude to make it a harbinger of aggression and serious intent. This album just smokes but at the same time its metabolism just burns it up so fast. The riffs are pounding and the vocals are a cross of growling, hardcore and clean vocals that make it all pan out. I dunno...I could name drop a dozen bands in this style and on any given day The Showdown may one up them. Think of Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster without the humor, Black Label Society without the booze, Corrosion Of Conformity with a work ethic or Throwdown with more melody and less Pantera. Brooding, strong as an ox and pushing a really heavy load. I wish someone was listening besides me.
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