Review: Job for a Cowboy – Sun Eater

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The evolution of this band has blown me away.

Back when I was in high school there was this one kid (for the sake of this review we will refer to this kid as Jimbo). Jimbo was a nerd in every sense of the word, but he also wanted to hang with the cool kids. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to him that the cool kids were just a bunch of spoiled rotten brats whose parents gave them everything they wanted. Seriously, kids at my school had Porsches after they got their license. They probably crashed them just as soon. Anyway I digress. These so called “cool kids” found it amusing to pick on Jimbo almost every solitary second they could. All the poor kid wanted was to fit in and be a part of something. Sadly, all those idiots wanted was to make Jimbo unhappy. One summer all that changed. I don’t know if Jimbo wanted to do more to fit it or if he just had finally said “fuck it” but the dude came back next semester TOTALLY RIPPED and athletic as heck. Dude was making all the popular girls swoon and all the guys wanted to be his friends. This is my favorite part. Jimbo turned down EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM and instead he made friends with all the other nerds and shy kids that he used to be just like and they all picked on the cool kids. It was a new Jimbo, he had finally found himself.

Similar to Jimbo, Job For a Cowboy have finally found themselves. No longer will they have to walk in the shadow of that one deathcore album. No longer will they be labeled generic death metal. They have shown the other bands that live in the shadow of a deathcore past that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sun Eater shows us the beginning of a new JFAC.

If you had came to me and said “Hey Jack I’m from the future and I am here to tell you that JFAC’s new album will be in your top ten albums at the end of the year,” I would have laughed you off the face of the planet, around the sun, and back into the interrogation room so that I could strap you down and laugh some more. I mean come on, how could JFAC release something that was capable of competing with the likes of Allegaeon, Archspire, Misery Index, Vader, Artificial Brain, Inanimate Existence, Alterbeast, Mastodon, Black Crown Initiate, Ne Obilviscaris, Revocation, and the list goes on as I’m sure you all know. Now, to clarify, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy Job For a Cowboy. I had most of their albums and I had heard most of their songs several times or more. The thing is, until Sun Eater, JFAC was just one of those generic death metal bands that made it’s way on to my playlist. It wasn’t something I would skip if it came on shuffle, but at the same time I wasn’t going to go looking for a JFAC song to listen to when I had other bands to choose from.

Then one day I was browsing Reddit and I saw a post about a leaked snippet of a JFAC song that had some of that oh so sexy bass in it. It disappeared pretty quickly, but not before I was able to show our boy Randall Thor. We both agreed that JFAC must have been listening to Obscura. I thought to myself how ridiculous of a statement that was, comparing JFAC to Obscura. I could just hear the “leave the hall” chants from the Masterlord. Then came that one day that would forever change my view of this band. The day the released their first single “Sun of Nihility,” everything changed. JFAC had written a unique, structured monster of a song and I couldn’t believe my ears. That bass, oh man that bass was something else. Was? No, IS. I really just cannot get enough of that bass.

I could go on about how awesome the bass sounds but I won’t because you can just listen and hear how great it sounds. “Ok so what they added fancy bass, doesn’t do much on its own,” you might say. This is true if it was just the bass, but it isn’t. There is so much more to this album than  what initially greets the ear. As I write this I am still discovering all the little intricacies in this album. Unlike their previous output, everything doesn’t sound the same. Each song has it’s own unique identity.

It starts with “Eating the Visions of God” which then fades fucking perfectly into “Sun of Nihility.” These two tracks are somewhat slow but I’ll be damned if they aren’t menacing. Menacing may be the wrong word. Foreboding perhaps? These two songs in all their glory serve as a sort of appetizer, a foreshadowing of what’s to come. Just about the time the two opening tracks have lured you into some sort of aural trance “The Stone Cross” starts. It’s is similar to the first two songs, but at the same time somehow more intense. It’s almost as if JFAC wanted to slowly but surely prepare you for what is to come. “The Synthetic Sea” is up next, it has a similar feel to the previous song but is a bit faster and arguably more melodic. It’s a sort of precursor to the insanity that awaits your ears. Soon enough though, you realize that the entire first half of the album is a precursor. Almost like an oven that has to pre-heat before it is ready to cook. The song “Global Shift” is the signal that things are about to, for lack of a better word, shift. It’s much faster and more technical, and the vocals seem more menacing. Disclaimer: from here on out the album will melt your fucking face off. Songs like the “Celestial Antidote” and “Encircled by Mirrors” will take you on a journey shaking the earth around you with their blast beats while the bass weaves in and out of your consciousness outdone only by the solos that will weave in and out of your ears like demented serpents that can’t make up their mind which direction to go. “Buried by Monuments” is next and it is another one of those somewhat slow and melodic tracks that still creates a sort of tangible intensity. And it has a pretty fuckin’ sweet solo to boot. Perhaps you still have some of your face left? Maybe, just maybe you need a bit more to send your brain into lockdown? Enter the album’s closing track, “Worming Nightfall.” This track combines everything that the previous songs of the album has featured into one titan of a track, and serves as a sort of devastating grand finale of sorts. Believe me when I say, this is an incredibly epic sendoff for an even more epic album.

Sun Eater has top notch production, amazing drums, great vocals, sweet riffs, DAT BASS THO, and solos that will make your head spin. The album art is awful, though. JFAC couldn’t hire Par Olafsson like everyone else did this year? Regardless, the art has no bearing on the sound of the album. I really have nothing to complain about with this album musically. This is the biggest surprise of the year for me and one of the most successful style changes between albums that I have ever witnessed. On second thought, I have one complaint, and only one: I have to wait for more.

NO FLUSH

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  • Meehoineyhoin666Riot

    Solid review. Makes me want to check this thing out, or at least a song or two, because, I have not.

  • I have never been a fan of JFACB. I always thought the drummer should have played 1/10 the number of fills per song. However, the new tracks seem less “busy” to me.

    Anybody been digging the Devin Townsend? Fallout is my favorite from the new release. Check it out yo’s

    GL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92_8eyfXjUQ

    • Kim Jong Un’s Anal Rampage

      Loving it, definite!

  • Tyree

    • Nine Inch Males

      It looks like something out of a 90s RTS game.

    • Artist dude needs a friend to tell him when to stop.

      • Lacertilian

        I don’t mind it.
        (I would say I liked it but I’m afraid of the hateflow that may end up in a lockering of sorts)

    • I feel like I would enjoy the art whilst bugging jumblies on acid.

    • IronLawnmower

      Yeah. It’s got nothing on this.

      http://youtu.be/65v4UKp3sPk

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Too glossy, too gay, too shitty.

  • Not a fan of some of those vocals.

    • Ferris Mueller

      Me either, though it’s not terrible and might grow on me from track to track. I haven’t listened to these guys since Ruination first came out. Wonder if they’re still doing that squawk shtick; hopefully they’ve progressed past that.

  • IronLawnmower

    Yeah but is it stewert HK lar love grade?

    http://youtu.be/65v4UKp3sPk

    • This is great, ha

      GL

      • IronLawnmower

        Single of the year

    • This made me physiologically uncomfortable.

      • IronLawnmower

        Move over Vomir. There’s a new terror in town.

  • Kim Jong Un’s Anal Rampage

    Yep! I remember seeing them with Gojira and Behemoth years and years ago, and absolutely fucking hated them (and everyone else over 15 or 16 simply left after Gojira were done). The new stuff, though I was still carrying the memory of how awful they were, is light years ahead of their deathcore shit.

  • The first 12 minutes are worth the price of admission.

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    Besides the three last songs (and maybe that bass) I like this album far less than the review, even if I feel I should like it. I don’t. A nice, good article nonetheless.

  • I think the moral of this whole review is that it’s important to get wicked swole.

  • Thanks for the shout out broseph, stay wrapped in the void https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANOIH0jZC_w

    • VV.

      These dudes are gonzo in the best possible way.

    • holy shit this is nuts!

      • I just saw them live in DeLand, and shared a cigar with Randy (vocals/guitars)

        • Tyree

          That’s disgusting.

          • Sounds like jealousy?

          • Tyree

            Wet and soggy jealousy.

          • It did rain out a few bands. Orbweaver were one of the few bands there that didn’t get all diva and leave when they couldn’t go on at their original time slot.

      • thexenosapien

        The band First fragment just got signed to Unique Leader

        • Yea I saw that lol. Great addition to their roster.

    • Thanks to you, I am now fully torqued while sitting at my desk at work.

    • thexenosapien

      sounds like the vocalist from the first gigan album

  • TIL Meghan Trainor

    • I’ve decided to start inserting that whenever someone gives me a post with the words “dat bass” in it. I see “dat bass” a lot.

      • Lol I was wondering about that tag.

      • Joe,

        I almost made a video of me practicing my improv while listening to Shake it Off. Almost.

        GL

        • You do improv? How long you been at it?

          • Well, I guess about 4 years. I love just turning on stations/tunes/cds and soloing along.

            Also in last nights rotation was Brand New’s You Favorite Weapon.

            Fun fun fun

            GL

          • VV.

            Wow, I didn’t read that correctly. For some reason I thought you were doing improv comedy.

          • HA, same!

      • uh-oh, i’m guilty of that too with my recent submission!

        • ; )

        • VV.

          He knows.

          • how do you know he knows? are you two in the drift???

          • The Toilet Trinity knows all.

          • triple arm technique… very effective!

          • VV.

            We are but one mind sharing three bodies.

          • JWG

            I suspect that’s the way most TovH ‘slash’ fan-fiction would start.

          • VV.

            Our community is established enough to start generating its own fan fiction?

          • JWG

            …Okay, maybe not.

            The one thing going against us is that prolific fan-fiction usually requires a disproportionately female audience (with *possible* exception of Bronies).

          • He doesn’t come around much anymore but Paris Hilton is probably the best fan fiction writer on these here internets.

      • Tyree

        I’m not sure who dose that song now that is on the radio all the fucking time now, but I hate it.

        • VV.

          Meghan Trainor, dude. I support her message of body positivity, but she shouldn’t knock skinny bitches in the same breath. It takes all kinds, Tyree.

          • Tyree

            I know nothing ov her. The song is just annoying to me and it seems to be playing every where I’m at.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            ‘Tis the first I hear of her

          • Tyree

            Most ov the time I find out about pop culture at my work office from a group ov technical support woman across from my cubical. They discuss pop culture all day long and I have no choice but to hear about it. Most times I’ll hear a song some where and will have no idea who it is until I hear about it here at the office.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            A part of me wants to be sorry for you.

          • Tyree

            No need to feel sorry. “Life sucks and then you die.”

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Well, I have to admit it is a part I am not especially fond of.
            (Skinless FTW)

      • to be honest.. i would listen to the record for DAT BASS, MI MADRE! IT’S MASSIVE 😛

  • NefariousDude

    i always thought jfac was good but not great. I think this album is great, but not amazing. #firstworldproblems

    • VV.

      Maybe It’s because I listened to it while working on some research stuff, but it sort of lost my attention around the halfway point. Enjoyed the first few tracks, though.

      • NefariousDude

        the whole album sounds like the same song. That song just happens to be really good haha. I’ve put the album on my “book of the new sun” playlist I’m jamming today to go with my reading. Other artists on the playlist: vaura, horrendous, lord mantis, BAN, aosoth, Nero di matte. I LIKE READING AND METAL OK??

        • VV.

          I too enjoy reading and metal. Also, Vaura are criminally underrated.

          • NefariousDude

            The backs of cereal boxes don’t count dub. But yes vauras 2 albums are pretty much flawless. The toilet should cover them if the opportunity arises.

          • Sounds like SOMEBODY is volunteering his services!

          • NefariousDude

            I’m prepared make a blood oath. (Blood in blood out)

          • For real though, if you want to write something just hit me up. If you’ve got a good handle on sentence construction you’ll be my bff.

          • NefariousDude

            Awesome man I appreciate the offer. I’ll stew on some topics today. If I’m not dead after work I can email you some to see what you think.

          • VV.

            🙁

          • I went to high school with the drummer.
            #DepFax

        • Listening and reading at the same time?????

          Sounds like a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz recommendation or some shit. I dont mean that in a bad way. It just sounds overwhelming!

          GL

          • Don’t know about reading, but I always have music going when I game, almost never listen to videogame soundtracks.

          • VV.

            Saints Row III had a killer soundtrack.

          • Saints Row 3 had black veil brides. that was enough for me to stop listening to the radio in that game.

          • VV.

            It also had Mastodon, Opeth, Sleigh Bells, and a ton of killer hip hop .

          • Really? Interesting. I remember sleeping dogs had a great soundtrack as well.

          • VV.

            Oh, and Amon Amarth.

          • Xan

            If it’s a game with a story I don’t care about, I listen to podcasts or metal. When playing games with awesome stories (playing through Dragon Age now) I just leave the game music on. Extremely atmospheric games like Metro 2033 are games where I also leave the music on as metal tends to ruin the atmosphere.

          • Xan

            I can’t read without music. My brain starts thinking about random shit. There are certain genres I can’t listen to while reading. Doom and atmospheric metal are the best for me because they are fairly monotonous.

          • NefariousDude

            Getting hammered and reading fine literature is an American pastime in some parallel universe or another

          • NefariousDude

            Seriously tho dat vaura. Best reading music for most fantasy novels

    • Nefariously said, Dude!

    • It takes a lot of listens to really start to like it, I wasn’t amazed by it until around the 5th listen or so. There’s just so much going on in the songs.

      • i feel like that happens with all JFAC albums. they’re just not catchy enough to stick at first.

        • With their previous albums yea, this is definitely catchy, but like i mentioned there’s so many little intricacies and things going on all at the same time that it’s hard to absorb it all right away.

      • NefariousDude

        Tonight I’ll listen to it in full and spark up a bowl while I stare at the sun… The midnight sun

  • JWG

    I kind of want to camp out at HMV and watch all the mallrat-hipster-bros buying JFAC based on reputation, not knowing what they’ve got themselves into.

    Sadly I can’t follow them all home to observe their inevitable freak-out.

    • “WHERE ARE THE BREAKDOWNS!!???”

      • Xan

        “I SIMPLY MUST HAVE A MOMENTUM KILLING VOID IN THE MIDDLE OF MY SONG!!!”

        • I never understood how breakdowns were vindicated heavy since to me it always sounded like bands just not playing for a few seconds.

          Edit: considered, fucking auto incorrect

          • Max

            I basically consider break-downs to be a remnant of the age when death metal bands had to build them into their songs so the drummer would have time to recuperate. That’s basically what a lot of death metal songs were, back then – two grindcore songs joined together by a slow part.

            That all changed when the likes of Jan Axel Blomberg demonstrated that it was possible to sustain a blast beat for more than three or four minutes. At that point breakdowns became the preserve of hardcore bands like Earth Crisis who favoured the death metal sound but weren’t as capable of the physical demands. That’s really the genesis of deathcore right there, according to my half-assed music history lesson.

          • VV.

            So Deathcore is where second-string drummers end up? Interesting theory.

    • JWG

      …So, I did in fact go to HMV and get it. The clerk said he was intrigued by things he’d heard about it, to which I responded that a few reviews (one in particular) had definitely swayed me toward it being the first (and maybe not only) JFAC album I’d ever even consider buying.

      I mentioned the Gorguts comparison. I noted dat bass. I said based on the leaked tracks I’d heard it was an impressive tech-death turn for what I and many others had written off as a generic deathcore band. He said I’d sold him on it.

      …then proceeded to try to sell me on an upcoming release by a band whose name I forget based on a comparison to Rings of Saturn. -_-

  • Mother Shabubu III

    Thank you Bass God

  • Stockhausen

    In addition to being a nutsando bass player, Nick Schendzielos is a super rad dude. I’m really glad he shines on this album more than before, but I’m really not digging the guitar leveling. Especially considering how much they switch between clean and distortion. Excellent songwriting though, I’m definitely picking this up.

  • Howard Dean

    This is the second best album released this year named Sun Eater.
    #DeanFacts

    • Howard Dean

      Also: I went to school with a Jimbo, too. ‘cept the Jimbo I knew was legitimately low functioning and proved easy prey for those low flying bully buzzards. He ended up moving and possibly became institutionalized. After he moved, people started calling this other kid Jimbo to replace him–his name wasn’t even James. He was picked solely for his ineptitude.

      School is a barrier reef of tiger sharks and blood pools.

  • Lacertilian

    When I first heard Sun Of Nihility I immediately got a Psycroptic-vibe.
    After hearing the rest of the album I was amazed.
    This shit rips.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Guess my corner is gonna be lonely. Y’know, the one where all the cool kids go that don’t hate this album art. Burtiful colours an’ all.

    Listened to a stream of this album and wasn’t impressed, however this review makes me want to give it another spin and more detailed listen.