Normally, I find the terms "Christian" and "Metal" so mutually exclusive that I generally run from just about any band that uses both words in describing its music.
Yet the generically named The Showdown are definitely a metal band (with southern rock roots) with lyrics that speak of certain themes (journeys, confrontation with evil, etc.) that are commonly associated with various religions. Hailing from Elizabethton, Tennessee, this solemn quartet has the good sense to bring to bear influences that reflect its region.
But beyond all that, they simply rock. Dispensing with any silly preaching or slickness that inflicts many Christian bands, The Showdown has found a way to stay pious while still rocking ferociously. The band's 2008 effort, Back Breaker, is a Neanderthal of a record featuring riffs piled upon riffs that somehow manages to stay cohesive even as "singer" David Burton verges dangerously close to metal of the awful scream-core variety.
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Opening up tonight is Armana Reign, a thematically like-minded outfit from Indianapolis. Though not as visceral as The Showdown, Armana Reign's melodic brand of metal should warm up a hopefully large Monday evening crowd looking for some sort of musical salvation.