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REVIEW: Job For A Cowboy: Sun Eater

From the band that made it socially acceptable to pig squeal in metal, comes the fourth full-length to this epic saga. Let’s just point out for a minute here...

From the band that made it socially acceptable to pig squeal in metal, comes the fourth full-length to this epic saga. Let’s just point out for a minute here that it’s been almost 10 years since the release of their debut EP Doom and these guys have definitely still got it. What ‘it’ is however is all to do with how heavy you can handle your metal. Personally, ‘it’ would be phlegm spewing, guttural vocals, insane bass licks, borderline techy guitars and furious beats that hold both groove and technique in one. Sun Eater is definitely set to excite and arouse your eardrums.

With the 6-minute leviathan that is Eating The Visions Of God, we’re introduced to a sinister guitar intro followed by a purely demonic growl from Jonny Davy with the rest of the band following suit. Job For A Cowboy have always sparked some intrigue within myself with their song titles and this album doesn’t seem to disappoint with names such as the former, The Stone Cross and Buried Monuments conjuring up images of ancient times and a much more primitive approach to metal. I wouldn’t say this sounds like cavemen playing their instruments for the first time but there’s a much more animalistic and instinctive approach to this album than what’s come before. As talented as each member may be, everything seems a lot more mature in its delivery, which is a great sign for a band still going after 10 years.

Sun Of Nihility shows more proof that the individual musicians on this record have so much talent. The bass riffs are mixed unusually high for a record of this day and age, which can only be assumed, has been done for a reason. And this reason is because bassist, Nick Schendzielos is truly mind-blowing to listen to. The intro wouldn’t be too far off listening to most prog bands but it fits with JFAC’s development into becoming veterans of the death metal scene. Once the vocals kick in it just smacks you in the face with no apology. The guitars are machine-gun quick but leave so much room to pick up on their nuances as opposed to a lot of other death metal bands nowadays that think it’s a race to see how fast you can pick. The guitar solo is precise and methodical sadly and there seems to be a lack of feeling within this aspect of the song. Interesting to listen to but not necessarily solo of the year, although the interplay with the drums are interesting to say the least.

I would recommend if you’re a fan of early JFAC to listen to A Global Shift. It feels like a lost track from their early work with its speed, ferocity and relentless double kick. The standout track for me would have to be Buried Monuments with a stunning dual guitar solo that emanates almost an Avenged Sevenfold sound but with its signature JFAC stamp.

The only issue with Sun Eater is I would personally find it hard to recommend to someone who hasn’t heard of JFAC already. It’s definitely accessible but honestly, it’s not exactly pushing any boundaries. Yes as musicians, these guys are way ahead of the competition but at the same time that presents an issue. There are moments on this record when it feels like each member is trying to outdo the other in their performance, which stops it from sounding like a band and rather a backing band with a soloist on top. This is a reoccurring problem with the bass guitar throughout. Apart from that, JFAC fans will not be disappointed. This is a band who haven’t strayed too far from their roots, have written an album that could easily be played with many other death metal bands right now and are just great at what they do.

Rating: 7.5/10 

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