REVIEW: Job For A Cowboy – ‘Sun Eater’

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Artist: Job For A Cowboy
Album: Sun Eater
Label: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Death metal

Today could very well be the last day a Job For A Cowboy review needs to be prefaced with a gentle reminder that their deathcore days are behind them. Unbeknownst to many metal listeners, the Arizonan outfit have released three full-length efforts better categorized as death metal to date, with each release slowly but surely building upon the last. Sun Eater, their fourth full-length entry, has shed the baby step progression in favor of a radical transition into pure death metal, in the process creating the potential to place Job For A Cowboy amongst the best of the modern death metal scene while ensuring the fading echo of pig squeals has permanently been silenced.

Kicking off the record with a wonderfully ’90s song title, “Eating the Visions of God,” visions of yesteryear are immediately conjured with highly audible, funky bass guitar reminiscent of Cynic spread throughout the track behind a technical yet heavy cut. One of the song’s standout features that can be found throughout Sun Eater as a whole is its phenomenal guitar work; painting an absolutely apocalyptic soundscape, it is impossible to ignore whether being heard during a fiery guitar solo or while layered amongst a strong instrumental section, and of course, frontman Jonny Davy’s gargantuan vocals that enter menacing guttural territory just as much as they pierce the air with shrieking highs.

The opening track is a six-minute technical death metal escapade, yet it somehow functions as an introduction to Sun Eater‘s vast musical flairs rather than its internal magnum opus. Progressively evolving into an even heavier beast, the record becomes instrumentally bludgeoning on tracks such as “The Celestial Sea” that sprawl across multiple types of sonic territory. This notion does not mean the record is one massive wall of quick and heavy sounds, though, as a wide variety of techniques are utilized to change up the tempo on a whim such as transitioning from one verse to another by slowing down into minimal percussion tapping and a few open bass lines before moving on in a calculated nature.

Much of Sun Eater‘s upside stems from an absolutely professional production job. With a natural approach, each instrumental and vocal contribution is allowed the proper space to breathe and maintain its own space while still resting nicely next to its counterparts, thus ensuring a classic death metal atmosphere. Of course, Sun Eater is a 21st century release, so occasional production flairs such as the immaculate layering of the guitar riffs fluctuating and glitching on top of one another during “The Synthetic Sea” provides a welcomed addition of progressive musical thought.

By the time the record’s last six-minute epic, “Worming Nightfall,” comes to a close, there is no doubt Job For A Cowboy have made their case to enter the discussion of the modern death metal scene’s finest. The faint pig squeals that once permeated our ears have finally been put to rest.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by Michael Giegerich (Follow him on Twitter)

Mike Giegerich

Mike Giegerich is a freelance journalist with an affinity for the hip-hop scene. His top-five favorite records of all time are Future's last five releases. Feel free to blow up his mentions on Twitter.
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