Blood In The Gears review by The Showdown

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  • Released: Aug 24, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (26 votes)
The Showdown: Blood In The Gears

Sound — 9
So far in The Showdown's career, they haven't released two albums that have the same sound. Some hate their near genre-shifting, and some love it, but I hope all their fans can find something that they love about their latest release, Blood In The Gears. Stylistically, it is really a combination of all their previous efforts which turns out to be one of their heaviest and exciting records to date. Dave Bunton's vocals have matured a lot over their career to become the crushing, gravely pipes that you hear on this record. Long-time guitarist Josh Childers and relative newcomer Patrick Judge (Demon Hunter) form an impressive guitar duo. Jeremiah Scott pulled bass duty as well as a good chunk of production. Lastly, Timothy "Yogi" Watts tracked the drums. Track Listing: 01. Man Named Hell: intro via motorcycle sounds, the steady chug of the motorcycle engine slowly gives way to a chugging southern guitar riff, intense verses, catchy, meaty chorus, dual guitar solo at 2:48. 02. Heavy Lies The Crown: heavy-hitting start, staccato verses, powerful chorus, breakdown/interlude at 2:10. 03. Bring It Down: cliched name but awesome track, heavy on the thrash and fast-paced to boot, awesome chorus, *bass solo* at :50, guitar solo at 1:47. Short but sweet. 04. Take Me Home: drum intro, slower tempo, nice lead work mixed in throughout, very Southern feel, catchy chorus, headbanging interlude at 3:30. 05. Blood In The Gears: straightforward groove metal, solo at :28, very gritty vocals, good riffing throughout the song, especially 3:14 onward. 06. Dogma Enthroned: cool pitch-shifting guitar tone at beginning, very heavy, chorus is a little hard to understand due to the effects, but they give it an epic chamber choir sound. 07. No Escape: another very southern sounding song, good riffing, good chorus, solo at 1:50 follwed by some awesome riffs and chants. 08. The Crooked Path: very chuggy song, good vocal delivery, first verse is my favorite lyric, solo at 1:15, awesome bluesy breakdown at 2:15 with a solo at 2:36. 09. Graveyard Of Empires: fast and heavy, sweet snare hits at beginning of verse, real heavy vocals, awesome chorus, solo at 3:04 followed by awesome breakdown/outro. 10. Digging My Own Grave: drastic change of pace, slow, bluesy, and acoustic driven to start off with a shift to the heavy at 1:49 with a solo and a blast from the guitars, another solo at 3:55, cool riffs throughout the overdriven sections. There are actually several bonus tracks available with different versions of the CD, but I won't go into those too heavily because you might not get them with the specific version you bought. This album has a raw and relentless sound that I just love. I love that southern sound that inhabits every nook and cranny of this band's sound. My only criticisms are that some of the solos are a little similar though that doesn't even detract that much from the music and too many of the songs start off with straight double kick from the bass drum. That aside, kudos to these boys for finding an awesome sound.

Lyrics — 8
The overall lyrical presentation has its ups and downs for me. The concept of the album is a criticism of empires and their rises and falls. Lyrics like those in The Crooked Path and Graveyard of Empires I just love because they challenge the normal sensibilities that people have. Songs like Take Me Home, Bring It Down, and even slightly in Diggin' My Own Grave end up sounding cliched lyrically in the choruses. That being said, nearly every chorus is just catchy or hook-laden that it isn't that hard for me to overlook these. Some people love those sorts of phrases anyways. I felt that when the lyrical material was of the heavy sort, the music followed suit. As for singer's capabilities, David Bunton's vocal delivery is one of my favorites by far so its hard for me to find fault there. Where there was singing, it was well sung, and where there was screaming, it was well screamed.

Overall Impression — 9
If you haven't listened to these guys before, I would have to say that they sound like a more hardcore version of Pantera or Black Label Society. That's where they get most of their influence after all. I love just how crushingly heavy this entire album is. No matter the tempo, each song is just as energetic as the next. I don't really hate anything about it. Some impressive songs on the album, to me, are Heavy Lies The Crown, Bring It Down, and The Crooked Path, but every song has something awesome in it and each one is worth listening to. If it were stolen, I would buy it again in a heartbeat. They are the perfect mix for someone who loves that southern feel, banging their head, and moshing like crazy. Pick the album up and "Git bit" today.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love how at the top it says that they've set aside their southern sound, but throughout the reviews, it says they still have a southern sound.
    Naaah, if they want southern, take Down for some inspiration.. not just using a few riffs here and there.
    It's not southern rock by any means, but those southern riffs are still there as heavy as they might be. This album is really Temptation Come My Way meets Back Breaker.
    A Chorus of Obliteration will always be my favorite album of theirs, but this one DEFINITELY takes second, followed by Temptation Come My Way, and the Back Breaker lol. I was really not looking forward to this one after Back Breaker, but then I heard a couple songs and was like alright, this could be good... Then the cd leaked and the first track blew me away! The motorcyle idling the riff wth the guitar fading in... orgasmic!
    This album is definitely number 2 of my favorite albums by The Showdown, number 1 being Temptation. I think they are finally getting their stride. Patrick Judge is a fantastic guitar player and really shines both in Demon Hunter and The Showdown. I thought that Yogi Watts did the drums for the album? Anyways, great album, the video for A Man Named Hell is awesome too!
    TheMarrtyr13 wrote: never mind the Yogi question, looked at my booklet in the CD, my bad.
    Actually Yogi did record the drums for this album as far as I'm aware. Harris is a pretty new addition on the drums I think.
    This was a really good album for them. I didn't even know it was coming out until I saw an ad for it on some website. I was moderately interested at first and didn't know what to expect. Then the motorcycle with that chugging Pantera-esque riff came in, and I was hooked. Very strong opener, and the album doesn't let up. Definitely recommend this to Showdown fans or anyone who likes metal with a little southern sizzle.
    I listened the eff outta Temptation Come My Way. Really wished they would keep embracing the southern souns more. I think that's where they really strive the most IMO.