There are some albums that just put a smile on your face as soon as you toss them on. One such album is Mega Colossus’ Showdown. If you like classic metal, especially metal heavily inspired by the mighty Iron Maiden, then look no further. Mega Colossus hits it out of the park with riff after riff and hook after hook in what is another strong classic metal release for 2024.
One of the most important, if not the most important, ingredient for metal is appealing guitar work. Mega Colossus brings this quality in spades. The guitars are consistently excellent, hitting the listener with one great riff after another and one great melodic guitar lick after another. The solos are also worthy of note, as they are always played to fit the song rather than to simply demonstrate mastery over the instrument. The rhythm section also brings their A-game, with great drum and bass work that keeps things engaging. The vocals are perhaps the only element that one can critique, but such a critique is minor. The fact is that the vocals are well-performed and delivered with an appropriate emphasis depending on the music. The only real critique is that the vocals are not exceptional, such as one might find with a more powerhouse vocalist. Nevertheless, this quality is not much of a drawback as the vocals fit the music fine and are delivered well. The production is also worthy of note, being crisp and clear without sounding too digital or sterile.
The album kicks off with “Fortune and Glory,” and what a way to start the record! The song is Maiden-ish (a good thing), and features great lead work, a compelling prechorus, and a catchy chorus. The riff in the bridge is excellent and we are treated to a melodic lead break, followed by a softer vocal section. The song references Indiana Jones and is a fun way to begin this album.
“Outrun Infinity” follows and kicks off with a killer, speedy riff. We’re also treated to melodic guitar leads, strong vocal lines, an excellent solo, good use of rhythmic variation, and killer riffs throughout the song. The only critique is that the vocals sound borderline strained at a few points during the chorus, but overall this is another excellent tune from a band firing on all cylinders.
“Grab the Sun” takes things darker and heavier. There are some fun, galloping rhythms used in this tune. Great riffs abound, some of which are almost thrashy in quality. The prechorus is wonderfully melodic and the chorus is nice and forceful. The vocals work really well on the chorus, giving it just the right amount of emphasis. The bridge features a nice melody and the song softens as it nears the end. This song is easily an album highlight and perhaps the best demonstration of Mega Colossus’ grasp of songwriting dynamics.
A Maiden-esque riff gives life to the title track. The song is melodic and hooky and is sure to stick in your head. The bridge has a moodier texture that works quite well. The solo is excellent and very tasteful.
The listener is immediately hooked as “Wicked Road” kicks off with a beautiful chorus filled with excellent, but not overdone, harmonies. The whole song is probably the most melodic on the album and features lovely, evocative lyrics. This song is one of my favorites on an already fantastic release.
The final song is “Take to the Skies.” While it’s not quite as excellent as the preceding three tracks to this listener, it is still another winner. There is an excellent riff that reminds me a bit of Maiden’s “Wasted Years,” which is quite the compliment. The chorus is catchy. One aspect of the song that sticks out is another fantastic solo. It’s so nice to hear a metal band that knows how to play tasteful, yet shredding solos, and these solos elevate the material here—material that is strong to begin with!
With only six tracks, Mega Colossus should be lauded for leaving the listener wanting more. It’s hard to state just what element of their sound works the best since everything is pretty much in place, but in my view the MVPs here are the songwriting and the guitar work. The songwriting is very dynamic and the listener never gets bored. Furthermore, the songs are also hooky and memorable. The guitar work is quite busy, but in a compelling, tasteful way. There are so many great riffs, great licks, and great solos present that it’s hard to be effusive enough regarding the guitar playing. Most bands would kill to have a third of the riffs present here. Showdown is a top-notch metal album and deserves to be heard by the widest audience possible.
Pre order the album here: https://propermusic.com/products/megacolossus-showdown
- Fortune and Glory
- Outrun Infinity
- Grab the Sun
- Wicked Road
- Take to the Skies
Sean Buchanan – Vocals
Bill Fischer – Guitar/Vocals
Chris Millard – Guitar/Vocals
Anthony Micale – Bass
Doza Mendoza – Drums
…and the Rift of the Pan-Dimensional Undergods (2008)
Drunk on Blood EP (2009)
…and the Sepulcher of the Mirror Warlocks EP (2012)
V EP (2019)
Showdown (2024, Cruz Del Sur Music SRL)