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Job For A Cowboy - Moon Healer review

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Band: Job For A Cowboy
Album: Moon Healer
Style: Death metal
Release date: February 2024

01. Beyond The Chemical Doorway
02. Etched In Oblivion
03. Grinding Wheels Of Ophanim
04. The Sun Gave Me Ashes So I Sought Out The Moon
05. Into The Crystalline Crypts
06. A Sorrow-Filled Moon
07. The Agony Seeping Storm
08. The Forever Rot

It would perhaps surprise certain users to see their Auntie Sahar (formerly known as “Apothecary”) reviewing an album of this nature. Yet would you all dare to believe that, prior to my coronation as Metal Storm Drone Empress in the 2010s, I was a thrash / tech death fiend in the late 2000s?

The explosion of emo and rave – influenced metalcore bands (which subsequently spawned an offshoot of screamo – esque deathcore) in the late 2000s was… pretty hit or miss. Arizona’s Job For A Cowboy, however, always stood out as one of the better bands from the period. Much like their contemporaries in The Faceless, the band originally started off as deathcore on their debut, before dropping that sound for a much tighter, highly nuanced brand of technical death metal.

2024’s Moon Healer now sees JFAC returning to reclaim their kingdom after a ten year hiatus, and picking up more or less where their last LP left off, 2014’s Sun Eater. Much like that album, the music herein is not “tech death” in the sense of old school pioneers like Death, Atheist, etc. It’s the more intricate, polyrhythmic brand that emerged further down the line in the late 2000s, taking more of a cue from prog metal, djent, and jazz fusion. At times this brand of tech death does indeed threaten to become overly wanky and have a certain air of pomp and arrogance about it, but thankfully this isn’t really a mood that’s conveyed that strongly (if at all) on Moon Healer.

Indeed, it’s not so much that Job For A Cowboy are really doing much all that different on Moon Healer that helps to sell the album. It’s the fact that, they almost appear to be doing it (dare I say?) better than they perhaps ever did (just give that second track, “Etched In Oblivion,” a whirl). Front man Jonny Davy’s vocals are as on point as ever. The pig squeal, screamo – ish days are long behind him, but the guy still belts out some pretty powerful grunts that would probably satisfy even the darkest Orc in Mordor. The guitar riffage is intricate, but has an underlying sense of groove and punch to it as well (think Converge or Botch) that keeps the music from descending into a total “look Mommy, I've got a 7 string!” - esque wankfest. And if any one member has really “stolen the show” as it were on Moon Healer, it’s definitely bassist Nick Schendzielos.This guy easily sounds like a bassist who originally came from a jazz background and then jumped to metal. Holy Hell, is that a fretless he’s going at there? Well, it sounds like it, but even if not, his lines are fat, audible, and incredibly smooth and bouncy throughout. “Into The Crystalline Crypts” is a definite highlight as far as his skills are concerned.

It almost feels a bit challenging to pinpoint exactly when Moon Healer was recorded. Considering its similarity in title to Sun Eater, one almost becomes tempted to assume that JFAC were merely sitting on this record as the follow – up to their 2014 effort, and only just dropped it now. Whatever the case, it is an extremely worthy successor and continuation of all the threads they last left dangling ten years ago, an achievement that not many bands can pull off without turning into absolute laughingstocks. A triumph for groovier, more bass – heavy tech death for sure, and thus far probably my Biggest Surprise yet for 2024.

10th Grade Nostalgia got me actin unwise!

Written on 22.04.2024 by Metal Storm’s own Babalao. Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 90 users
22.04.2024 - 22:13
Liking what I'm hearing. When I first heard these guys, last thing I was expecting was tech death. With a band name like that, I was expecting generic country music like I'm sure most people did. It's even funnier looking at the song titles and how much they don't correspond with the band name.
23.04.2024 - 00:40
Rating: 8
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Written by Metal Spartan 78 on 22.04.2024 at 22:13

With a band name like that, I was expecting generic country music like I'm sure most people did. It's even funnier looking at the song titles and how much they don't correspond with the band name.

On their first album, if memory serves, they kinda went at that a little bit, but only slightly so. It wasn’t full on country music but that was back when Jonny would still do the pig squeals, the songs had some references to the Southwest, and of course the album cover has that dude in the business suit with a cow skull for a head. I think it was kinda just the band taking the piss at being from Arizona lol
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

23.04.2024 - 01:23
Rating: 8
Thrash Talker
Great review and goddamn aren't you right about that bass! It is fucking good. Superb album.
- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
23.04.2024 - 02:27
A Real Mönkey
Deadass acting unwise for great tech death.
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire

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