Review Summary: It might do nothing explicitly wrong, but its downfall is that it also fails to do anything right.
It would be heresy to even suggest that Arizona metal act Job For A Cowboy
have not made progress since their inception. They have come a long way from their classically generic chug-a-chug bree-bree deathcore roots, even going as far as releasing a relatively decent, if not generic, death metal album in the form of Ruination
. They are no longer the same band that crafted the Doom
EP, and their latest effort is an attempt by the band to remind the metal community of this fact. In Gloom
's 15 minute runtime, Job For A Cowboy
seeks to impress, and they succeed in some areas. Killer riffs are scattered throughout, the guitar work is respectably technical, and the bass is impressive. The band's drummer, Jon Rice, might be the most impressive aspect of this release. He has his moments of blazingly fast double-kick action, his fills slay dragons, and his work serves to inject a bit of interest even into the EP's most dull moments.
It may all look good on paper, and Job For A Cowboy
are lacking neither technicality nor musical prowess. However, they also fail miserably at putting anything into Gloom
that would make it more than an average listen. No matter how many sweeps, double bass lines, or The Black Dahlia Murder
-tinged riffs they may throw into the EP's four tracks, they cannot rectify the simple laziness and lack of creativity displayed here. First, there is the problem of originality: we have heard 90% of the material on Job For A Cowboy
's latest release pulled off by other acts to a higher degree of success many times before. Derivative music is not inherently evil, for while it may lack original thought it can easily remain enjoyable material, and this is where the next problem with Gloom
comes into the equation. Job For A Cowboy
, while having no shortage of shred riffs, seem to be clueless as to how to arrange them in a way that makes for enjoyable death metal. Every one of Gloom
's four songs sounds exactly
the same as the last, and this issue resides on two levels. Not only do they sound identical, but the one song that is copied four times is not actually an interesting song. Job For A Cowboy
may have ventured a long way from their mindless deathcore roots, but their death metal reincarnation is, in the end, really not much more interesting than the first iteration that reared its ugly head with Doom
. They will never prosper until they realize that songwriting ability is just as important, if not more so, than technical skill. Until next time, boys.