Job For A Cowboy

Sun Eater

Written by: EL on 20/11/2014 18:57:25

Almost two and a half years after their last release, Job For A Cowboy has come rocketing back into orbit with their fourth studio album "Sun Eater". Given that since their formation in 2003, Job For A Cowboy have kept themselves under the label of an extremely heavy death metal band, "Sun Eater" quite surprisingly now separates itself from this tag as they progress into a more technical and well-structured sound.

This being their fourth studio album, it is evident that a far more thorough production process has been applied to the making of this album. The pacing is better, their talent as musicians shines through more, as everything is far more intricate and complicated. Though sticking to their identifiable lung-busting, heavy sounds they appear to have evolved a lot in the past few years. Given that drummer Jon Rice departed from the band just before recording began the enormous task of taking over was handed to fellow friend and drummer Danny Walker. This in turn left only one founding member of JFAC in the mix, vocalist Jonny Davy.

“Eating the Visions of God” starts the album off with what can only be described as a purely aggressive and ferocious track but does not forsake musicality for solely bone grinding noise. “Sun of Nihility” starts off with what sounds like an odd, Mario 64 dungeon themed, intro. It’s quite slowly paced and to me, appears quite messy and badly put together. There’s no consistent rhythm or anything that immediately grips my attention. Having said that, the guitar riff in the middle is absolutely brilliant and shifts my original perception of the track. “The Stone Cross” boldly wades in with an insane amount of layers all from out of sync, totally random bass lines and guitar riffs, to choppy harsh vocals and serious drumming. It takes a number of listens to fully dissect this track as there is just so much going on it’s hard to piece it apart in one sitting.

“The Synthetic Sea” covers more recognisable ground with JFAC. It’s a volcano of heaviness. It starts off with an intricate guitar solo, which opens up the gates of thunder and draws out a need to get moving. This track best represents JFAC in a nutshell. It’s catchy; it’s mechanically perfect and really sets itself apart from the preceding tracks. Shifting up a gear in pacing is “The Global Shift” (pardon the incredible pun, I couldn’t help myself). Though the speed has changed dramatically this track leaves little to the imagination and is unmemorable to say the least, as your mind gets lost in the excessive use of blast beats. “The Celestial Antidote” brings us back to a more collaborative and technically sound pattern. The two and fro between the guitar and bass and the vocal highs and lows makes for a nice change and I see myself nodding my head furiously to the intertwining of guitar riffs and bass lines. “Encircled by Mirrors” draws us back into the furious blast beats and ladder of vocals. “Buried Monuments” captures my attention again which has been wandering ever since the album started. It is overall of course a monstrous song but the quieter, softer parts in between are what really take this track up to one of the best tracks of the album. The guitar solos and riffs are beautifully crafted, sinister and haunting. I can really get into this song because it makes musical sense. It is more than a musical mish mash of hatred and despair.

Finishing off the album is “Worming Nightfall”, which is a fitting choice for a closing song, as at this point I feel mentally exhausted from the torrents of sound that has pummelled my eardrums for the past 40 minutes. It’s a pity that this song was placed last as it quite easily is one of the best tracks off the album but by now my attention has wandered and I don’t feel in any way connected to the music. Having said that the sheer monstrous and demonic sounds that billow from my speakers in this final hurdle are quite spectacular. It’s slow, it’s mean, and it’s downright murderous personality seeps creativity and meaning.

Overall I wasn’t 100% convinced by “Sun Eater”. It’s good to see that Job For A Cowboy are actively trying to expand their sound and their image as musicians and have a lot to show for it in terms of layering and more melodic interceptions but after 46 minutes I was ready to shut the speakers off and delve into something that didn’t make me feel like I was dragging my head along a jagged footpath. The mixing on the album was by far the best they’ve ever had so I cannot fault them for that but the overall feeling of this album for me is that they should be doing better. I can see their evolution as a band quite clearly and I’m still holding out for that career-defining album from them.

6

Download: Worming Nightfall, The Synthetic Sea
For The Fans Of: Suicide Silence, Thy Art Is Murder, Black Tongue
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 11.11.2014
Metal Blade Records


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