Job for a Cowboy
Sun Eater


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ben Kuettel STAFF
November 6th, 2014 | 236 replies


Release Date: 11/11/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Newly inspired and monstrously effective.

Job for a Cowboy has been trying its best to rise out of the deathcore slump it began displaying almost a decade ago. Beginning with the full-length debut album, Genesis in 2007, the musical direction instead began leaning more toward a straightforward death metal sound. Each release since then has featured more complex songwriting, but failed to pack any real punch or contain many memorable moments, despite the immense talent the instrumentalists keenly displayed. While each album could be considered a minor improvement over the last, it was clear the band’s instrumental prowess and schizophrenic song structures deserved more creative songwriting and inspiration in order to stand out from the rest. Sun Eater is the culmination of these efforts, thanks to yet another shift in musical style and a clear concept executed with a singular vision in mind. Tempos have been slowed down, songwriting has found direction, and creativity finally has a purpose.

Album opener “Eating The Visions of God” is a monster of a track that annihilates all preconceived notions of the band’s missteps or misguided songwriting tropes. An arpeggiated clean guitar riff builds to a crushing mid-tempo groove over off kilter drumming. Dissonant chords and searing vocals paint the hellish landscape depicted on the album’s cover. More riffs follow which transition to an incredible drum performance and a blistering guitar solo. Clean guitars duel in an extended outro, leading into “Sun of Nihility.” Perhaps the darkest, catchiest, and doomiest song Job For A Cowboy has penned yet, the tempo is kept at a slow groove throughout, and the beautifully dissonant chorus and technical wizardry carry the song forward. Schizophrenic tempo changes and uneven songwriting that plagued earlier releases is nowhere to be found here. For the first time, the songs sound like they are able to breathe, and truly burn themselves into the listener’s brain.

Jason Suecof’s production gives Sun Eater the apocalyptic and desolate sound it requires, despite the over compression distracting at times. Perhaps the best decision made here was the emphasis on the bass guitar, adding a delicious flavor to the bleak soundscapes with perhaps the best instrumental performance on the album, even being allowed to solo at times. Session drummer Danny Walker keeps up with the at times frantic pace of the album, never settling into one area of the drum kit for more than a few seconds. Frantic blasts are used when needed, though the abundance of slower timed moments allow for percussive creativity and blasting fills. These qualities work especially well in the brooding atmospheres of “The Celestial Antidote” and “Worming Nightfall.”

Never settling into repetitiveness or slacking off at any point, the rhythm section shines the most on Sun Eater despite the abundance of memorable and impressive leads. Searing guitar melodies and shredding solos are in almost every track, and appear at strange and unexpected times for a freer feel than previous outings. Despite the second half of the album blending in more than the first, songs like "Encircled by Mirrors" and "Buried Monuments" still contain enough memorable melodies and leads to remain interesting and varied. Unpredictability is more balanced with the trademark technical sound, but restrained to allow for more creativity, surprises, and experimentation.

How Job For A Cowboy has changed the least involves the use of Jonny Davy’s trademark vocals. While they have been the subject of frequent criticism, his unique range and versatility has been the source of the much needed variety among their previously repetitive sound. However, they also contributed to the band’s overall inconsistency throughout their albums. His performance on Sun Eater can best be described as a commendable improvement. His low growls are highlights on “The Stone Cross” and “A Global Shift,” but his high shrieking and roars are still in abundance, adding to the already epic sound. The lyrics paint an apocalyptic vision of dueling gods among a destroyed world, more evidence of a more ambitious and mature evolution for the band. Effective vocals but mostly inaudible lyrics result in the music often contributing the most to their newly inspired vision.

Job for a Cowboy has never sounded as fierce or as hard hitting as they do on Sun Eater, despite it being their slowest and most atmospheric release yet. The instrumentalists have finally embraced their strengths and honed their instrumental prowess into one of the most unpredictable and ferocious metal albums of the year. They always had it in them, it just took a while for them to find the right sound, and they nailed it perfectly here. Sun Eater is by far the band’s best achievement yet, and fans, as well as previous detractors will be surprisingly treated to one of the most versatile and incredible metal releases of the year.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Stream here: http://metalblade.com/jobforacowboy/



Constructive criticism welcome as always

Digging: Toby Driver - Live at Roulette, March 2017

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review, pos'd, although I mislike that the body and conclusion are one giant paragraph. Can't help but feel that it would read much better if you separated it out.

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks, you must've read when I was still messing with the spacing. It should be fixed now.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh yeah much better. It was just a giant terrifying block of text when I read lol

MotokoKusanagi
November 6th 2014


966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but but this band is supposed to suck im not even gonna give this a chance

Digging: Les Baxter - Jewels of the Sea

Tunaboy45
November 6th 2014


15521 Comments


Great review as always Talons, pos. Need to give this a listen.

cryptside
November 6th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't wait to listen to this, I actually really liked Demonocracy.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Talons did you have trouble finding stuff to put in the "recommending by reviewer" section, because I was really grasping at straws trying to figure that out. I ended up just flipping through old reviews to see what others compared the band too lol

combustion07
November 6th 2014


5587 Comments


Dug the first track they released for this. Good review I'll give this one a listen

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks all, I edited a few things too so it should read better.



@Gameofmetal yeah I did struggle with recs, especially in deciding if I should include any of their previous albums. I heard some Mastodon in this so I just put Blood Mountain and some recent death metal albums.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah interesting choices lol. I recced like TBDM and something else I forgot just to play it safe

beefshoes
November 6th 2014


6849 Comments


A friend of mine sent me a link of this earlier. I'll probably end up checking it out over the weekend.
Good review (pos'd). m/

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@Beef: Thanks! Give this a listen, I think you'll like it



@gameofmetal: TBDM sounds like a decent choice, I'll probably add that and Ruination or maybe Demonocracy

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I picked Ruination because listening back to it again made realize how doomy that one actually sounded and it's their second best full length. Tbh they've always been pretty doomy in sound somehow

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Their EP is called Doom so that makes sense. I like Demonocracy more than most people even though it sounds like a clusterfuck, but it has some great songs, especially at the beginning.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The only song I've really gone back to was Tarnished Gluttony. I definitely don't like it as much as their other stuff.

betray
November 6th 2014


9154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd say Ruination



Nocturnal or Everblack by TBDM



maybe even The Flesh Prevails

Digging: Gucci Mane - Mr. Davis

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cannibal Corpse's A Skeletal Domain and Behemoth's The Satanist were pretty doomy, especially for those bands. There's also a lot of Mastodon influence in this. I still need to hear Fallujah.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Behemoth isn't a bad comparison actually. In regards to TBDM I went with nocturnal.



Still think Fallujah tops pretty much every release I've heard this year.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2014


16491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I've heard a lot of great things about the new Ne Obliviscaris, I really need to hear that too.



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