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The Showdown - "Temptation Come My Way" (CD)

The Showdown - "Temptation Come My Way" CD cover image

"Temptation Come My Way" track listing:

1. Fanatics and Whores
2. Head Down
3. Six Feet Under
4. We Die Young
5. Breath of the Swamp
6. It Drinks from Me
7. Temptation Come My Way
8. Forget My Name
9. Spitting in the Wind
10. I, Victim (Here’s to the Year)
11. Carry on Wayward Son
12. Death Finds Us Breathing

Reviewed by on March 17, 2009

"The title track has the grooviest, dirtiest metal riff since Dimebag played on “Rebel Meets Rebel.”"

By day The Showdown is a Christian-metalcore band, using religiously themed lyrics, hard-charging guitars and an excellent metalcore shout to spread the word. By night, however, The Showdown is a southern metal band. And thank god the sun went down for their second full length release, “Temptation Come My Way.”

The album starts with a bluesy riff that could go anywhere, but settles into an easy metal groove, and then explodes from there. “Fanatics and Whores” is stuffed with blues-tinged riffs, double kick drums and a solo that comes out of nowhere, all in just over three minutes. And this is just the beginning.

Highlights abound on “Temptation Come My Way.” The title track has the grooviest, dirtiest metal riff since Dimebag played on “Rebel Meets Rebel.” “Six Feet Under” features Eric Koruschak’s mighty bass lifting the best hard rock song released in a while. And “Breath of the Swamp” is a heavy metal ode to the south that may be better than anything Lynyrd Skynyrd ever played.

The vocals and lyrics are quite the story as well. The album was released in two different versions to not upset their religious fans, with one removing “Fanatics and Whores,” which rails against televangelists. The rest of the album does not pull punches either. For example: “Six Feet Under” focuses on unjust death for religious causes, “It Drinks From Me” is about the hypocrisy of religious faith through alcohol, and “I, Victim” hammers on sacrificing only for god. The lyrical themes are highlighted by David Bunton’s vocals. He is the Swiss Army Knife of the band, mixing singing, growls, shouts and metalcore anytime and to excellent effect.

While praise should be heaped on The Showdown for breaking the lyrical monotony of Christian rock themes, musically the album eventually gets tired and falls back into mainstream rock styles – away from the southern style that makes it so good. “We Die Young” sounds like Three Doors Down on a bender, despite a killer guitar solo from Josh Childers and Travis Bailey. The same goes for “It Drinks from Me.” “Forget My Name” sounds like Sammy Hagar guest stars on guitar.

Most of the “filler” songs have some great individual parts, be it a riff, solo, vocals, theme or whatever. But they don’t come together and rip heads like the best songs do, as they just don’t have that southern grit and groove. While none of this is bad in and of itself, the inconsistency is disappointing.

However, in the end everything is alright. The Showdown has crafted some excellent southern metal, and they love to cover Metallica, Pantera and Slayer live. What’s not to like?

Highs: The heavy, dirty, bluesy, groove-filled southern metal.

Lows: Sometimes the band gets away from their southern roots.

Bottom line: Despite the inconsistency, it is a very good album every time through the stereo.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)