SHOW-YA – Showdown

SHOW-YA - Showdown
  • 7/10
    SHOW-YA - Showdown - 7/10


Record label: Metalville
Release date: August 30, 2021

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2021 is a bit of a nostalgic year for Rock and Metal fans. It was only in late October when Metallica officially turned 40. Red Hot Chili Peppers were founded around the same time. Looks like many legendary acts are turning forty this year. There is also one less known – but definitely no less awesome – band all the way from Japan that has been around for four decades too. It consists of five ladies and whoever thinks ladies don’t know how to kick butts… well, they can now see for themselves how wrong they are. But getting back to the album, it is not known whether the ladies from SHOW-YA got to party hard to celebrate that anniversary, but one thing that is for a fact is that they released a brand new album in the Summer of 2021. Is there a better way to celebrate than releasing a record? Bay Area Thrash Metal musicians from the 80s might beg to differ, but the ladies from SHOW-YA do not play Thrash therefore they could get away without consuming a sea of booze. What they have done instead sure is worthwhile… and it’s called Showdown.

The album starts off and the mixture of Heavy and Power Metal is kicking through the ears of anyone who decides to have a listen to it. Not only do these girls know how to create powerful music, but it is not even one minute through the first track “EYE to EYE” to be able to come at one important conclusion: some really big Power Metal bands could learn a lot from SHOW-YA, as far as general awesomeness is concerned. The production is also spot-on and that can be heard all through the album. SHOW-YA really do like their synths. Despite no extreme complexity, there are some similarities to Dream Theater here, at least in the second song titled “NEVER”. A lot of kicking is to be experienced while one is listening to Showdown.

There are some women who are considered the absolute goddesses or amazons of the Metal culture. The number one is probably Lita Ford who once said that she wears her balls on her chest. If somehow it is not Lita Ford… then it should be Doro Pesch. And she is actually to be heard on the third track called “HEAVY METAL FEMINITY”. Of course someone like her would have to be featured on a track with such a title. Be prepared for some quality kicking here, especially as the following tracks are way more chilled… but nothing lasts forever. Apparently many people in Japan believe in the power of numerology. For instance, the number four is believed to bring bad luck. But number seven is anything but that, and that appears to be the case here, too: the seventh track titled “THUNDER” is probably the best one on this album. There is so much energy in it it would probably bring a broad grin of satisfaction to any Metal fan’s face… and that means even a hungover person from the very northern part of the Nordic countries. They would appreciate it for sure. This song is amazing from 0:00 to 3:55 and the short breakdown with guitars being cut out, a bit like the intro for Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin'”… this is the best song here, no doubt.

Overall, Showdown is rather full of contrasts, be it about specific songs (like the track number 8 “HOLD ME” where the crudeness of 80s Heavy/Speed Metal meets the high-pitch synth strings, or the album in general, having really kicking compositions next to fairly understated ones. Anyone familiar with “Midnight” off Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 2002 release By The Way will notice similarities between that song and the 9th track off Showdown titled “DON’T RUNAWAY”. No, it is not like SHOW-YA copy the Californian quartet in any way, it is just that nocturnal, dream-like feeling both of the listed songs just happen to have. Even if some of the songs may sound less exciting than others, listening to Showdown is definitely worth it.

To sum things up, this album has got everything a decent album needs: solid rhythm section, great solos (some of which are really ambient), bass that can be actually heard (because bass is really important) and contrasts that make it even more exciting. Dreamlike songs next to ones that can get someone who’s just passed out on their feet? Yes, contrasts like that are great. So if anyone still thinks that Babymetal is all Japan has to offer in terms of Metal, they should re-read this review… and mostly, they should give Showdown a listen. Their views may change quite dramatically.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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