Back Breaker review by Showdown

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  • Released: Aug 19, 2008
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (30 votes)
Showdown: Back Breaker

Sound — 7
Back Breaker. The name itself just screams 'macho' and the album cover, despite the vaguely homoerotic undertones, follows suit. I think taking a quick look at the front and back of this CD should tell you just about everything you need to know about The Showdown. They're a tough talking, tough riffing four-piece out of Tennessee serving up their 3rd album for anyone with a head to bang. Thick, sludgy battery is this band's fort and it comes in bucketfuls, with riff after riff in the same minor key. Of course, that could be construed as a bit of a problem, but anyone who's going to mind is not the sort to enjoy this music anyway. The band really nailed their sound, especially considering that they only have one guitarist, as the texture through this whole album is just god damn heavy. Details on this album are few and far between, as there is little variety and an almost constant unison between all four instruments. Drums, bass and guitars are united for 90% of the time for sonic effect, keeping the rhythm section very, very tight. The vocals are also very much rhythm-based as well, despite often bursting into saturated chorus harmonies. David Bunton sings commandingly at all times, implementing mostly midrange snarls and an equally midrange singing voice, however a lot of the time the sound of his vocals can be quite thin. This is more because the other three instruments combined absolutely knock them out in terms of power than it is because of any problems with Bunton's delivery.

Lyrics — 7
Whilst some mixing issues mar the vocal power that this album could easily have had, the lyrics are definitely consistent. Each songtitle has a prefix of a particularly mythological Greek God, and The Showdown manage to combine that theme with their own puissant tendencies. The end result is the sort of 'war cry' styled battle lyrics that have now become quite old. However, a lack of variety works for them musically and the lyrics compliment that, though there is a hint of atmospheric flair that reflects some intelligence behind the testosterone-fuelled bravado of it all.

Overall Impression — 7
Only the most hard-headed listener will be able to stomach this whole album in one sitting, but when looking for a simple, effective and utterly heavy set of songs, there are few reasons why you wouldn't go for this. Innovation isn't on the cards, and some mixing problems do plague the core songwriting, but 'Back Breaker' is a tightly cut slab of riffs, thunder and brawn. It's good fun and worth listening to simply for the crushing heaviness of some of the finer cuts, such as 'Infernus -- You Will Move' and 'Achilles -- The Backbreaker'.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pretty much looking forward to this CD. I liked the last one. Wondering how only having one guitarist now will affect them.
    "Only the most hard-headed listener will be able to stomach this whole album in one sitting" Thats me. I thought this whole Cd was awesome.
    i just noticed they left the h out of thrash in the genre section. the showdown is not trash! haha
    *Listening to this album as I write* It's a great album and you can tell that the guitarist has gotten better from the last album. I just can't get into it as much as I got into Temptation Come My Way. Plus ... the carry on my wayward son cover was just killer in TCMW!
    A Chorus Of Obliteration as AWESOME. Temptation Come My Way was a disappointment. Back Breaker seems to be even worse, now with only one guitarist. What a great band once. Glad they're still singin' the Gospel.
    Showdown rocks. temptations come my way was a great album. i havnt listened to this one yet but im headed to youtube right now then to the store.
    When I heard the album, I thought my head would explode, I'm serious! I had to pause and take off my headphones once in a while! It was really heavy! I'm not saying it's perfect, it just really good. The Showdown forever!
    Nope. This is kinda they're attempt at coming back to metal after Temptation Come my Way. This is a pretty bomb album anyway. After seeing them after the Monument Incased in Ash tour. Pretty sweet
    I think they are an alright band now. But I wish they wouldn't have changed their style from Chorus Of Obliteration...
    Looking forward to this record. I liked the last one, but I'm wondering how only having one guitarist will affect them.
    Wow, Temptation Come My Way didn't come out that long ago did it? Or maybe it's just me?
    Vaguely homoerotic undertones? Is UG calling an entire race of people and an entire time period homoerotic? I'm not gay, but I'm still unsure as to what a guy with a ton of arrows stuck in him has to do with homoerotic. I realize they meant the buttflap, but come on UG. I know you're kidding but you're childish.
    This is coming from a long time The Showdown fan. Although they've definitely nailed their new sound on a couple songs on this album I wish it wasn't so similar sounding the whole way through. Also it'd be nice if they stuck with a sound from one cd to the next. haha. Other than that it's definitely entertaining to listen to. I completely agree with this review.
    LifesSweetDrug wrote: They should mix it in with some lighter stuff.
    Why, their heavy songs are so good, it would be kinda crappy to wreck a good album with sum crappy little ballad when they are a really heavy metal band
    Amazing Album saw em' live a couple years back and they did a GREAT live show hope the "Only having one guitarist" doesn't affect them to bad
    Definitely heavier and I prefer there southern metal style of there old album, but this is listen-able. Wish the singer would go back to his old style tho They should mix it in with some lighter stuff.
    i liked chorus of obliteration, so i think this should be pretty good too. i heard they had a style change, but i listened to a few of the songs and it doesnt sound much different. i'll so check this shit out.
    i respect your opinion but in my opinion this is a great album. definitely the best by the showdown in any case.
    Captain Sadler
    The Reviewer wrote: Only the most hard-headed listener will be able to stomach this whole album in one sitting
    I listened to it twice in one sitting... So what does that make me?