It would appear that The Showdown found themselves at a crossroads in the time that has passed since their last record. Unfortunately it would also seem that the devil couldn't come up with an enticing enough offer as this sophomore outing sees them heading in a stripped down, sappier direction. Gone is the the antagonistic heaviness they previously had in place. What is left is an intent paring down to the bands southern metal roots with heavy nods to 80's arena rock, a faint trace of some Skynyrd and rather unfortunately, modern emo radio rock.
Chockfull of songs possessing integral components that wouldn't sound out of place on Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" or Def Leppard's "Pyromania" and "Hysteria"; "Temptation..." is quite the mixed bag. Thankfully a murky southern edge keeps most of the songs from reeking entirely of aqua net, but that's not to say lighter waving isn't the intention of many of these tracks.
The grooves, progressions and choruses tend to mimic that late 80's kick ass and take names spandex-clad thunder and usually only Down-styled breakdowns rope them back in. Surprisingly enough though, most of this effort doesn't come off as nostalgic, but it is definitely an acquired taste. As the album progresses on however, things quickly take a turn for the worse. More and more ballads crop up and nearly all are rather standard-fare, especially with the lack of dynamic range and ability present in the vocals.
As interesting of a concoction as all of this is, it's just not inspiring or memorable. In fact, it's not even a unique one as Eighteen Visions tread a similar direction themselves with their latest self-titled outing - though they admittedly lacked the southern charm that barely keeps this album afloat. Still, as rather unimpressive as this effort often is, at least the band wear their influences on their sleeve, even going so far as to cover Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son".
With some more sonic layering, a broader vocal range and a bit more emotion behind their craft they just might be able to pull this direction off. Points are given for them trying to branch out from the metalcore crowd, but the grievous mistakes they made while doing so prove that sometimes temptation is best left ignored.
(3 / 5)