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Job for a Cowboy has completely left deathcore behind and has confronted full-on pure, raw 100% death metal with this release. Genesis really was an ordeal for the fans of Job for a Cowboy and I can remember it like it was yesterday. It truly divided the fans they had or otherwise left their young metalcore fans that still decided to support the band, shift into purist extreme metal heads. It also left a load of -core kids and metalheads very pissed off at it happening too.
-Core kids were left upset seeing their favorite band leaving behind breakdowns, pinch harmonics, pig squeals and dumb emo haircuts in the dust while it left metalheads angry at seeing a deathcore band completely evolving into death metal.
Well sorry to say guys, but tough shit for both of you. The matter of these happenings also displays that this death metal opus really is a hate-it-or-love-it album and if you aren't so concerned or care about the past history of this band (as I would prefer you to as the band would most likely feel the same) you'd be in for an outstanding record by this Glendale, Arizona five-piece.
Basically this album carries (or in some cases relies) on being technical. Many of the riffs are very, very structured on being as wankery as they can without sounding too out-of-key within the process. The bass guitar is audible in most of the music and is somewhat impressive on what Brent Riggs can do with just his fingers. He slaps, pops and grooves away while the band's two guitarists take the lead. His bass work is in some cases mediocre but overall I just give him praise in the least that I can hear him on this record which isn't a usual thing in all of today's death metal. He even has some of his own bass breaks where the music stops for a brief second, giving him the spotlight such as in "Bearing the Serpent's Lamb".
Vocals have changed since Doom. Davy's deathcore voice that he possessed on the EP may still retain the same growling technique he had (with no noticeable improvement there) but his screams have been reduced by almost tenfold (since this is death metal after all, not deathcore anymore) but when he does scream, it sounds not near as exaggerated or overdone as it was on Doom. Also his lyrics on this release takes a turn for speaking of dark issues within politics and of course the dreaded VeriChip ("suppressing technology" indeed).
As for drumming, Eliot Sellers has improved DRASTICALLY since his poor performance on Doom. His pathetic excuses for blast beats on that release have now been replaced with matured and varied playing styles with double bass kicks that come in like a charm. He also has a few very interesting tools at his disposal that he unleashes on a few of the songs if you pay close enough attention (get a load of the typewriter-sounding "ding" sounds he makes with his ride symbol during "Embedded").
All in all, Genesis is an amazing death metal record and was even awarded the best selling debut metal album since Slipknot's debut album (from 1999) and I can honestly say, I'm not so surprised. One of the best smashing extreme metal pieces of 2007 all coming from a band that once would have been left behind forgotten in the reign of deathcore clones if they did not change their style (which thankfully was done). From this album forward, may Job for a Cowboy reign as Job for a CowMAN.
After riding high on a mass wave of fan buzz, Metal Blade was fairly quick to snap up the young Job for a Cowboy, one of the primary, emergent forces in what many dreaded to label 'deathcore', or what I might deign to label 'death metal with breakdowns performed by mostly guys with very short hair and cool tattoos'. If the countless hundreds of promos or suggestions I've been receiving in the past 4 years are any indication, this was no drop in the pan, and there was no finite end in sight to the flood. Within months, every kid with a guitar and access to the 'thrash' and 'metal' download content for Rock Band or Guitar Hero was starting up his deathcore band, most of which adopted similar silly phrased names as the old 90s melodic hardcore/metal/emo crossover bands were using.
However, something in the dry Arizona air must have taken hold on the resolution and spines of Job for a Cowboy, because their debut full-length Genesis arrived as a stark evolution on the unmemorable rabble of the Doom EP in 2005. No, stylistically, they have not morphed 100% into some pure death metal entity. What they have done here is learned to actually pen a pretty good song. Not only do they incorporate a lot more straight brutal death metal, and set up the vocals better against the weaving bombast of the guitars and drums, but they actually manage to manufacture breakdowns that are simply superior to those of their formative years. Sure, they happen, but the band ensures that something entertaining will always be happening for those of us who prefer the more graceful acrobatic events to the brute shotput of the slam dancing anthems. And they clean up tidily, with 10 tracks in just 30 minutes, leaving no time for the listener to grow bored, simply to wonder what it was that just spun your head about 360 degrees on your neck. Oh yeah, and the cover art also kicks ass...how about that.
"Bearing the Serpent's Lamb" opens with a steady, snaking groove that fires up an amalgamation of later Suffocation and Pestilence, before embarking on a forward termination of complex thrashing carried out by each guitar in violent cooperation. And to boot...there is no childish, horrid breakdown in sight. The groove at 1:30 succeeds in part because of the vocals grabbing the attention, and the busier rhythm of the guitar. And "Reduced to Mere Filth" continues the pacing, with a staggering array of death/thrash over a turbulent, Elliot Sellers battery. "Altered from Catechization" once again drops the frontal thrash hammer, soon evicted for some tank tread, grinding drum rolls over which the guitars never cease to amuse. This is a longer track for the album, at over 4 minutes, but despite the more prolonged, slower grooving sections, it manages to retain its edge. "Upheaval" is the first of two ambient/industrial pieces on the album, and it haunts with some choral samples, synths, and noises before the band erupts back into the milieu with "Embedded", a herald of modern devastation. There is a point in which this song teases you that it's going to involves one of the band's older, shittier breakdowns, but they are quick to relent with a brick wall of tumbling death.
Surprisingly, Job for a Cowboy have nothing waiting in the deeper wings of the album save more of their impressive, evolutionary juggernaut force. "Strings of Hypocrisy" weaves a subtle atmospheric line into the mathematical precision which also gives it the surgical feel of a lot of modern US tech death bands. "Martyrdom Unsealed" is likewise sickening, in particular I like that grooving rhythm at the :30 mark before it transforms into the gloomy octave chords. The breakdowns later in the song playout in a very similar manner to what Poland's Decapitated were writing on their first two albums. "Blasphemy" is the other ambient interlude, and it's quite ominous as it flows into the slow crashing of "The Divine Falsehood", which puts a mystic spin on the old formula due to its simplicity and the insertion of far more atmosphere than we've heard on any track up to this point. It doesn't change much in the 'epic' length of 4:30 minutes, but the band does subtly integrate further atmosphere as orchestral synths begin to swell just behind the churning guitars. "Coalescing Prophecy" brings our heads down from the clouds and just kicks them in with its blunt action, but aside from the tech thrashing explosions, it is probably the most typical and dull track on the album. Not a total waste, mind you, but some of the breakdowns have seen better days.
In all, I was quite pleased with what I had heard here. I'm not going to sit here and gab about whether or not this band has 'legitimized' itself through its Genesis. You can either judge the record for what it is, or bellyache about what it's not. What I'm hearing here is a death metal record, with a trace of the band's thundering boyhood breakdown savvy that just won't completely die. But the forefront here is a blast of powerful, energetic modern death metal with some nice riffing that compares favorable to a lot of the brutal young acts that have been popping up these past few years in the tech death spectrum. So give it a chance. It's hardly an immortal effort, but Job for a Cowboy has regrouped, written songs with an actual direction, and beaten the disbelief out this old codger. Congratulations.
Highlights: Bearing the Serpent's Lamb, Strings of Hypocrisy, The Divine Falsehood
Improvement is a relative term, and when someone states that this album is an improvement on the last one they are correct, but that is not necessarily a strong case for purchasing this considering how bad its predecessor actually was. It is well established that the style this band sort of pioneered has been a force in the musical mainstream, which makes this seeming departure from it a little curious. Does this move away from the grindcore side of their hybrid stylistic misconception amount to them admitting that their last release was terrible? Probably not, but this embracement of a more consistent formula that somewhat resembles death metal has not done a hell of a lot to improve their problems.
Everything present on “Genesis” is an attempt at stylistic consistency. The riff and sectional construction approach has moved away from an overtly fragmented character into something that resembles coherence, but unfortunately the band still can’t resist the urge to throw in unnecessary time/feel changes that disrupt the flow of the song. The drum approach is mostly where the disjointedness of their sound has endured, as the fills are pointless, the changeups are extremely numerous, and no discernable beat emerges. Any sense of continuity that might appear in the arrangement is largely dependent on the riffs, which still avoid anything memorable, and occasionally revert back to the meandering that typifies previous works.
The band has also elected to employ guitar solos for the first time, which was a very huge mistake given their inability to even create solid guitar riffs. All of them are extremely short in length, which in itself isn’t necessarily bad, but they don’t have any punch to them at all. You don’t hear the solos and say “wow that was impressive” or “this makes me want to listen to 2 minutes of disjointed musical nonsense just so I can experience it again”. There isn’t any real methodology or stylistic individuality to any of these leads, nor do they attempt to intermingle with the music around them. They are simply there, in the most generic fashion, acting as yet another musically directionless piece of window dressing on top of a cesspool of dry riffs and drum showboating.
The vocal approach is where most of the actual improvement has emerged. Instead of simply piling on more over-varied vocal impersonations of multiple extreme styles, most of what is heard on here is passable though unspectacular George Fisher style death grunts. Occasionally some half assed primal screams work their way in, but most of the time they tend to work with the primary grunts rather than fight them for prominence. While not something that could be called a highlight of the album, it definitely cuts down on the otherwise offensive and pointless technical wanking present everywhere else and anchors the sound into something that could be called loosely regulated.
From start to finish, there is only one song on this thankfully short album that really qualifies as good, and that is “The Divine Falsehood”. It is probably the only full length song that doesn’t have a guitar solo, which is a positive considering the band can not write them well, and is also completely devoid of the thematic meandering and drum diarrhea that everything else the band has ever released is perpetually soaked in. It mostly resembles a decent Dimmu Borgir song (without the shrieks) with a little bit of a doom element to it. The vocal delivery is adequate and the drums completely avoid doing fills every 3 seconds or bouncing back between triple and double feel every 8 seconds. If the band wrote plainer music like this and didn’t consistently try so hard to be ridiculously extreme sounding and technical, they could be considered listenable.
As far as death metal albums go, be it technical or brutal, this is about as poor as it can get without morphing into the hideous deathcore sub-genre/monstrosity that is still guising as extreme metal. Although a pretty short listen, the highly compressed amount of unmemorable ideas makes it seem a lot longer. Being as I’m not one to endorse blowing $15 of your hard earned money on a crappy album that barely breaks 30 minutes; this can not be recommended to someone who is actually predisposed to liking the elements at work on here. It is uncertain what the future will hold for death metal, but a better future would be one with this band ceasing to exist.
Doom was a live album in the worst possible sense, which is why I was surprised to find that Genesis actually made attempts towards making an album that is enjoyable to listen to in the comfort of your own home rather then having to see them once a year in a live setting since not only is the production awesome but many parts of Doom that simply didn't translate well to a recording have been fixed. However, Genesis has several problems of its own despite being a step in the right direction.
The biggest issues that people had with Doom were fixed with Genesis which shows that the band is capable of listening to constructive criticism and reacting accordingly. Gone are the crappy pig squeals that brought down Doom. That is very much a good thing as they were incredibly annoying despite the fact that Jonny Davy is an otherwise good vocalist. The result is a much more straightforward and far less annoying album that is mostly brought down by "Reign in Blood Syndrome" as the tracks all sound more or less alike and focus on being brutal and aggressive rather than concentrating on songwriting and the album suffers from that despite accomplishing what it clearly set out to do.
That brings me to Genesis' other faults. Namely the fact that Jonny may no longer be randomly playing around with his voice as much as he used to be, but he comes across as boring since he isn't using his scream as much as he used to and he has always had one hell of a scream. The fact that he mostly uses one type of grunt as well also makes his delivery monotonous and helps to meld all of the tracks together. Varying his vocal delivery while avoiding the pig squeals would have really brought the score up, but sadly he seems to be playing too conservatively.
As for the guitars, they just disappoint. Some of the riffs can be technical but they usually bore me. Breaking up the monotony are some solos and breakdowns but both are usually so brief that it takes a few listens to notice that either are present. In fact, I'm not even sure that some tracks have either and while Reduced to Mere Filth has both, both the solo and breakdown are over way too fast to really grab my attention. The solos just sound incomplete and seem to end right when they're picking up momentum and while the solos in Embedded and Martyrdom Unsealed and the breakdown in Coalescing Prophecy do grab my attention, they're the exceptions to the rule on this album. Ravi is showing improvement but at the same time he isn't really pushing himself as far as he can, despite showing that he is capable of so much more than he's displaying.
At the same time, this album can be display some well crafted songs like Embedded and The Divine Falsehood with the latter being good by any band's standards, which just makes the rest of this album that much more disappointing. At the same time, Job for a Cowboy is one of the best live acts around today so if you're going to waste any money on this band, please spend it on a concert ticket and just download this album for free rather than wasting your money and shelf space on it unless you really like Slayer's Reign in Blood. I expect great things from this band in the future but I still feel that they were signed too early into their career and are still developing musically.
As just about everyone on this site knows Job For A Cowboy are a band loved by scene kids thanks to the release of their insanely awful 'Doom' EP but what you may not know is that this band have grown up a great deal since their early days and are now genuine death metal. God only knows what sparked the change in their music but we can safely say it was for the best. But is this switch of genre enough to make this band enjoyable?
Well yes this album is more enjoyable than the deathcore rubbish they used to do, so we can be thankful for that, but the problem with 'Genesis' is that although a vast improvement has been made to the band’s sound it still is far from great. This
album is only really amazing if you stack it up with the bands previous releases but to be honest most music is better than 'Doom' so it's really not saying much. Everything about this album feels lackluster from the riffs to the vocals it just doesn't impress.
Musically speaking this album is pretty basic death metal. Some tremolo picking here and some slightly melodic solos there is not enough to make something that stands out from the crowded genre of death metal. The musicianship has definitely improved from the 'Doom' era and its obvious from the get go. The drums are much more enjoyable and the guitar work is much more thought out than all the tracks on the EP put together. This album is a completely different experience from the EP as 'Genesis' doesn't sound half-arsed. The band now sound as though they can be taken seriously as proper metal. Basically Job For A Cowboy no longer come off as music that will fade out in a few years along with all the other deathcore bands.
Vocally there has been a massive improvement due to the noticeable ditching of the annoying and laughable pig squeals. Don't get me wrong some bands can pull pig squeals off but Job For A Cowboy were never able to do this so it’s clearly for the best they left them out of this release. Unfortunately though this albums vocal work is pretty dull and if you listen to a good amount of death metal then you will have heard it all before.
In conclusion 'Genesis' is most certainly better than the previous effort from Job For A Cowboy but that’s about the most positive thing I can say on it. There is nothing that makes this album stick out and it's just incredibly dull. Whilst writing this review I was listening to the album again and after just the 1st track I was bored. What that says to me is that you shouldn't waste your time with lackluster bands that are uninteresting when there are bands much more worthy of your time. Job For A Cowboy may improve further now they have ditched the deathcore genre but this album is average death metal.
Finally I would like to add that I respect this band for changing from marketable trash to real metal as many bands do the exact opposite, I'm sure anyone reading this can think of at least one example without me naming names, but that said a new found respect for Job For A Cowboy couldn't get them anything higher than a 50 rating.
Nice try but no cigar lads.
Job For A Cowboy is one of my favorite bands. I have seen them a couple of times, and they are always awesome. This is the follow up to their Doom E.P. which is also amazing, but this album is much more technical and death metal. The Doom E.P. was more deathcore, still good, but this sounds more death metal influenced.
The drums on this album are great. There arent any mistakes or mess ups. They are perfect. The variety and complexity form together to create an amazing album. The drums on Genesis are much better than on the Doom E.P. The doulbe bass is five times faster, and the blast beats are more precise.
The guitars are great also, but the solos are lacking compared to the Doom E.P. The riffs have become more complicated, but the solos are just not as good. They are also only like 10 seconds long. The bass still has the slide up and down thing, which is cool.
With a change of vocalist, it is always hard to bring in a new style and still sound some what the same, but JFAC did it well. There are no pig vocals on this album, and there are only a few times when the high voice is going by itself, but the vocals are still amazing. He sounds like he was born to do this. Job For A Cowboy is a great band. This gets a 95 from me. It would have gotten 100, but they could have done without the two ambient tracks, and the solos could have been better and longer.
The reputation Job For A Cowboy have managed to garner in record-breaking time is one that many a metalhead has frothed about. Not without reason either – metal is a culture of deeply held beliefs and values, and few of its most passionate participants are likely to take kindly to having the most sacred death metal plundered by scenesters with pigeon shite haircuts labouring under the delusion that a windmill is something you do with your limbs.
Certainly, JFAC’s so-called ilk such as the abysmal Waking The Cadaver and the truly disgraceful Bring Me A Buttplug (see what I did there?) have gone some way to tarnishing any credibility or respect this new surge of bands might have garnered with warriors of true steel. Your humble reviewer has heard these bands, loathes these bands, and was all too ready to believe that Job For A Cowboy, a band lumped into this foul grouping, were no better than the dross surrounding them.
So what a pleasant surprise it was when, during an uncertain listen after recommendations from some of the grimiest, old-school death heads around, this album revealed itself to be a somewhat gratifying experience. Indisputably, this is a million miles from the modern classic it is inexplicably toted as, but nonetheless provides you with something to blast away half an hour with.
‘Genesis’ is a record that avoids the perennial deathcore overreliance on muted E-string chugging and dreaded breakdowns, electing wisely to put greater emphasis on speed and riff work rather than relying solely on guitar tone to create heaviness, as many bands are guilty of. Taking the twisting, writhing rhythms of Dying Fetus, the maniacal pace of Behemoth, and vocal and guitar tricks straight from the books of Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse, Job For A Cowboy’s sound is not one that will tick many boxes in the originality stakes but is certainly a sound put together with enough competence and reverence for its influences as to remain an enjoyable proposition.
As songwriters, Job For A Cowboy are guaranteed to divide opinion. Many will appreciate the streamlining and anteing up their sound has undergone in terms of aggression - it is hard to accurately articulate how much of a merciful relief it is to hear breakdowns become conspicuous by their absence. Several songs even manage to work their way into the brain – opener ‘Bearing The Serpents Lamb’ pulls no punches in it’s all out, Suffocation-style assault, and ‘Embedded’ is a memorable face-melter of a track with a superb hyperspeed riff that makes headbanging irresistible. The lyrics to the album are a true highlight – an intelligently written and surprisingly engaging adaptation of key elements of the Book of Revelations that puts to shame plenty of modern death metal lyricism.
That said, the accusations that ‘Genesis’ can become repetitive are not unfounded. The riffs here do ultimately begin to blend into one after a while, with few memorable moments distinguishing one song from another. The introduction of solos is of little note also – short, unremarkable and decidedly lacking in flair, the ‘solos’ are little more than brief melodic pieces that may as well serve as bridges for all the prominence they have in the songs. As many reviewers have previously argued, the albums short run time seems to serve as a negative factor, leaving you with the feeling that the band have not quite delivered all they are capable of – the fact that two of the songs ‘Upheaval’ and ‘Blasphemy’ are little more than dull segues from one song to another is something of an irritant to the listener.
The band as players, despite many shortcomings, have their strong points. Though, as mentioned, memorable solos are unforthcoming, guitarists Ravi Bhadriraju and Bobby Thompson and bassist Brent Riggs are more than capable on their instruments and have clearly allowed their talents to mature somewhat since the abysmal ‘Doom’ EP. Elliott Seller’s satisfying brutal talent for blast beats and double bass maelstroms is one of the high points on the album, but it is vocalist Jonny Davy who impresses the most, with deathcore pig squeals exorcised from his voice box and replaced with a doubtlessly powerful death metal growl. The modern production work serves them well, slick and streamlined but managing to avoid the over-polished feel that blights many modern heavy records.
‘Genesis’ in more succinct terms, is an extraordinarily overhyped album, but Job For A Cowboy’s vile key fanbase should not discourage faithful metalheads from at least bending an ear to some of the charms this album still has to offer. If a modern classic of death metal is what you seek than it’s perhaps wise to start looking elsewhere, but for a powerful, potent fix of brutal death metal, you could do a lot worse than ‘Genesis.’
So after Job For A Cowboy finished the 'Doom' EP, which was pretty mediocre (if wildly popular) deathcore, they decided to drop the metalcore influences almost entirely and go for a pure modern death metal sound, which essentially means that they do their best to make a modern Behemoth album and succeed about halfway. Apparently the band is much better at cloning Behemoth than they are at making deathcore, because 'Genesis' is substantially better than the debut EP in just about every respect. I didn't think that the metalcore influences were a particularly bad thing on their own, but they were shoehorned into what were fairly standard, moderately technical death metal. It's good to see them just go for the latter, where their strengths lie.
'Genesis' literally is just 'Demigod'-era Behemoth with a tech death flair, meaning that there are occasionally notes above the ninth fret on guitar. They're few and far between though, and most of it is bombastic, crushing guitar riffs in the latter-era Behemoth style with a similarly dogmatic drum performance. The vocals are obviously not Nergal's double-tracked monstrosities, but more of a growling shout, probably the biggest reference to their -core roots. Songs like 'Embedded' are the clearest Behemoth worship, sounding essentially exactly like the Polish band in nearly every department. There are occasional parts that don't sound like newer Behemoth (which instead sound like mid-era Behemoth), but this is for all intents and purposes a complete clone.
Fortunately, Behemoth is a good band to clone! Everyone likes new Behemoth, including me, so 'Genesis' is a fun listen for those who liked 'Demigod' but wished it could be a teensy bit less bombastic all the time. So what you have here is a more measured, reasonable version of new Behemoth with shouty vocals. Ignore the name on the cover and this is a pretty basic and effective modern death metal album. It has really good, clear, heavy production. There's lots of epic, soaring (in a thunderous, Panzer sort of way) riffs, and hugely triggered drumming, and the vocals are suitably dogmatic to tie it all together. Fascinating? Most certainly not. Enjoyable? Yes, yes it is.
Upon hearing that Job for a Cowboy was preparing to put out their first full-length album, I was somewhat eager to hear how this band would evolve. After their somewhat entertaining (even if it was just an average novelty release) Metalcore-ish Death Metal EP, Doom, a lot of people, myself included, were awaiting this band’s debut. Upon first listen, a few things are obvious:
A) It is certainly Death Metal-any Metalcore they had going on their previous release is all but made away with.
B) For better or for worse, there are no more pig squeals.
C) A lot more melody is subtly thrown into the mix.
Even though Job for a Cowboy grew out of the Deathcore trend, there really isn’t much separating this album from many of the other modern Death Metal releases. While this album shows growth on the band members’ part, there isn’t anything terribly creative or original on this album. To boot, the band often fails to differentiate between tracks, leaving many of them hard to remember even after a few listens.
Genesis is one of those albums that just gets more and more boring the more you listen to it. Many of the rhythms, while brutal, are awfully recycled and generic, often times degrading to E-String whoring to make one riff different from another. This tends to give each song roughly the same texture and feeling as the last, making the album, for the most part, very one-dimensional. More often than not, the drumming saves the tracks from all sounding exactly the same, as Elliot Sellers (who, to my understanding, played drums on this album shortly before he quit the band) does have a highly diverse arsenal of talents behind the kit.
While Genesis does offer some more technical and melodic moments, halfway through the album you find yourself thinking Didn’t I hear that lead on Track X? Many of the leads, if not close to being exactly the same, are the same flurry of notes in a different order. This, again, doesn’t help the fact that the album is already very one-dimensional. The solos, when used, do help to pull some of the tracks out of the mire and into “just another Death Metal song” territory. While not all that technical, they lend a helping hand to the flow of the songs they're used in and take away from the aforementioned one-dimensionality.
There are, however, a couple tracks that show more promise than the rest of the album. Embedded is a song that starts brutal, climbs down into mid-tempo territory and closes with a few bars of startlingly calming and melodic riffs with a well-crafted solo mixed in. The gloomy, doomy The Divine Falsehood, while not the best song of its type, shows that the band is at least trying to switch it up, as it is drastically different from the rest of the songs and offers a much-needed shift in gears.
The highlight of this album, really, is the lyrics. Genesis is a concept album covering the occurrence of the events as predicted in the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Naturally, they are a modern interpretation of the story, so there is a lot of lyrical content that covers technology and world government and how the Anti-Christ used them to make Earth the domain of Satan. Even if this sounds like a lame topic for an album, I recommend you at least give them a read, and if you have the album, to read along as you play the album to capture the full effect of them. Many-a-metalhead will tell you that you shouldn’t judge a metal band by their lyrics, but when they’re as good as this, they really deserve to be mentioned.
The vocals are another highlight. While many of Job for a Cowboy’s scenester fans were put off by Jonny Davy’s eschewing of the pig squeals that helped to popularize the band, he is much better off sticking with his staccato growling and shrieking that he has all but mastered on this record.
Job for a Cowboy certainly has potential, and Genesis’ best moments show it well. However, a few solid moments aren’t going to save a record littered with completely forgettable and uncreative moments from being mediocre. This album is average, not in every aspect, but there are certainly enough less-than average moments that would warrant such a rating when coupled with its good parts.
-No more metalcore
-Very, very short (Although, some haters might see this as a pro)
-Feels very recycled towards the middle-end
Originally written by me for http://www.sputnikmusic.com
Many know Job for a Cowboy as Job for a SceneBoy, Coreboy, ShitBoy, etc. The band is generally hated in the metal community, and generally loved in the HxC community. But I don’t see what the problem is with them now. The band totally changed their approach to music. They released their EP it seems to get attention fast from people, but then quickly changed their style to what they truthfully love. I am rewriting a past review of this album where I gave it a 90%, that was probably more out of anger than love for the album. I still thoroughly enjoy the album but after my anger has calmed I listened more closely to what was going on and lowered the grade a bit.
I will say that I was genuinely surprised when the first song started. I was all prepared for an over-cheesy breakdown, ready for some pig squeals and bree bree’s, or a massive bass drop, but none of them happened. Well I guess I am still sort of pissed off a bit at how people perceive this album, or maybe it’s because I am currently listening to the album; either way the album makes me angry and wanting more.
Since I am a sucker for clear production that got me right off the bat. There are pointless spots in the album though, also known as interludes, but these interludes do not go with the music and are not even cool. The one interlude is called Blasphemy, and that is exactly what it is. The vocals are probably the best part of the album for me. They are completely monotone, with the exception of the other vocalist who chimes in once in a while. The vocals are good because I can actually tell what the hell he is saying and it still sounds evil; such is the problem with many death metal bands.
The instrumentals are finely crafted. There are several parts within the album that I can pick out where the same riff is played or the same drum pattern is played. That I will say is a major flaw, but the musicians are talented and I think they will just keep making better music than they are right now. Maybe they won’t though because they are already stealing music from themselves maybe they have run out of ideas and will have to rip off other bands, well we won’t know until the next album. Anyways they throw a couple mediocre solos in the album, short and boring, so don’t be excited that they implemented solos. The drums seem to be double bass up the ass, a lot of filler; but they are finely triggered. The drummer is good though, he just needs to find out that he can play other things. The bass is finely played, nothing special but there are little parts where it sounds cool and that’s about it, no bass solos here. They still need the random ass bass line in one of their songs that every death metal band needs to accomplish before the end of their career.
The weaker points in the album are easily the boring ass pointless interlude parts, then the failure of an attempt at an epic track The Divine Falsehood and then the following track Coalescing Prophecy, which does contain the cheesy breakdown. I can see the reasoning behind the album being boring and generic. Highlights would have to be Bearing the Serpant's Lamb. Altered From Catechization, and Martyrdom Unsealed. The first two mentioned are just great death metal tracks and stick in the mind very well. The last one just seems like a balls out attempt for headbanging, slow chunky riffs with fast drums make this song a catchy and fun, but it also has one of the foiled attempts at a good solo.
If you are a fan of clear production and finely crafted death metal, a fan of non-gimmicks, and a fan of kids just having a shitload of fun doing what they’ve always dreamed of doing pick up Genesis. If not well yea you fail at life.
I am giving this a rating of 10 because at least it's well-produced if nothing else. Production does not always a record make, mind you. That said...
This a totally soulless regurgitation of influences, chief among them any number of Ozzfest stomp rock nonsense bands like Daath and the usual melo-death suspects. The only reason it's getting any notice at all it because it's a Metal Blade product and getting pimped hard by Brian Slagel. Because believe you me, this is not worthy of anything other than ridicule. Their youth shows in their clunky arrangements and overall level of derivativeness. This doesn't flow well at all. The blasting parts especially feel contrived, like they were put there so JFAC could say "See, we're death metal!"
And as others said, yes, the guitarists are a joke. Generic riffing and boring non-solos don't fly in the big leagues. Maybe in the trendy hipster circles where irony rules supreme, but not to us serious metal junkies. Without riffs, you have nothing, and all the triggered drums in the world won't save you there. While the drummer has some skill, take those things off of his kit to see how well he can really hang, is my thought. And yeah, the bass sounds pretty goos when you can hear it, but that doesn't add much of anything.
And the vocals are again totally generic growls and screams delivering some of the lamest lyrics I've yet read. Silly faux-Satanic imagery and apocalyptic imagery are awkwardly juxtaposed into a laughably weak portrait of a baby band not worthy of a record contract. And yet...these boys are CO-HEADLINING with Behemoth in the States this fall? They merit this how, after listening to this joke of an album, is my question.
If you see any redeeming value in this album, then you know nothing of true metal. Avoid! Avoid! And keep your hands clean of this taint in favor of something worthy of your time.
Well, as one of the few people here who actually seem to LIKE Genesis, I thought I'd give it a shot at writing a review for it. I, like many, first heard JFAC through myspace. I heard "Entombment of a Machine" at a friend’s house and loved it, so I downloaded the "Doom EP". And yea, Entombment was about the only song that impressed me. The rest was all fairly standard deathcore (although the vocals are killer). When I heard "Embedded" on the band's myspace, I was blown away by how quickly they had progressed. I waited patiently and when "Genesis" was released, I ended up buying a copy. And to be honest?
I was very...VERY impressed with the band basically abandoning the deathcore title and taking on a more technical/brutal death metal stance. The intro track, "Bearing The Serpent's Lamb" launches straight in and hits you in the face with a completely brutal riff, and the album doesn't let up until the "filler" pieces come in (namely, "Upheaval" and "Blasphemy"). The production has been stepped up on this (kind of obvious really) and every note, every word, every drum hit is clear and clean (for metal).
Both guitarists, Ravi and Bobby, have really stepped up their game on this album so that the riffs are varied, concise, technical, yet catchy and still brutal. The bass isn’t a stand out here, but the fact that he can keep up is not something to be sniffed at. The drumming however, is insane. Elliot Sellers, the band’s ex-drummer, did the recordings and the man is definitely a drummer to be reckoned with. While he may not be on the same level as say… Dave Haley from Psycroptic, or Flo Mounier from Cryptopsy, he is still a beast, blast beating his way through the entire album almost, throwing in fills at random intervals and still keeping the music going. The vocals have been trimmed back a bit since “Doom”, and they aren’t as varied, being limited to a mid-level growl for most of the album, with the occasional scream. Actually, to my ears, the vocals being limited on this album is probably the only “major” flaw. That and how short the album is.
Yes, this album, excluding the filler tracks, is just under 30 minutes long. Which is a tiny bit disappointing really. But, no matter, as this album is still a killer record. Recently I had a chance to see JFAC on tour and they played most of this album live and just nailed it, showing that even at a young age (the average age in the band is 18/19) they can keep up with the pros.
Job For A Cowboy has built a reputation based solely on their MySpace profile and almost effectively creating the deathcore genre, and I hate them for it. For those that are unfamiliar with deathcore, it's basically a genre that takes half-assed death metal, half-assed hardcore, and a pinch of zero-assed metalcore and makes its own blended mess of bastardized death metal. Yes, I'm a purist in its finest form, but there's a good reason for it, I assure you. With the massive success Job For A Cowboy's debut “Doom” EP came lots of rewards for these idiots, which would have been much better suited for bands that actually know how to make interesting music. For some odd reason, we have entered an alternate universe where bad musicians get good rewards, thus getting a Metal Blade contract, while good musicians continue to struggle out of the mud of the underground to barely make ends meet.
I find it hilarious that this band basically invented the deathcore genre, but because even THEY know how bad it is they decided to nearly abandon that sound all-together; the sound that originally got them that Metal Blade contract. The way I like to describe this genre to people who haven't heard it is “it's what the boy bands of metal play”. Yeah, that's right, I called Job For A Cowboy a boy band, because they fundamentally are. They take the really good portions of death metal, watered them the fuck down and distribute the final efforts to the lowest common denominator, nearly entirely dumbing down the original intent of the music. Sound like a boy band? Fucking right it does.
Now, let's start to focus on the music and not on the integrity of the band (or what's left of it anyway). It really saddens me to hear that the musicians are quite capable of creating good music, just like Divine Heresy, but these guys just don't seem to work together very well. It's almost like they had a group think-tank and decided to make this music as predictable as humanly possible and use barely more than two riffs throughout an entire song. The vocals are exactly what you'd expect from Job For A Cowboy: a terrible metalcore-ish growl that is filled laziness and a scream that would make a prepubescent boy blush. The riffs also reek of “Hey guys, let's try to be REALLY technical because people will think we're FUCKIN' AWESOME!”, and they're not even that technical. No matter how much you guys try, you'll never be Gorguts or Anata, sorry. However, the only good riff I heard in this heap of shit is at the very beginning of “Reduced To Mere Filth”, but then is quickly ruined by the incompetent vocalist.
The only high-light of this entire album? The drums. They're triggered as fuck, but this guy actually works with what he is given (even if it is absolute shit) and turns it up a notch. He is the only one who I'll call by his name, which is Jon “The Charn” Rice. Nice job buddy, I hope you can get out of this band and go onto something much more interesting.
Sometimes I think of myself as a public servant, here to protect people from horrific and shitty metal of all kinds, and I'm exercising my right as that public servant to inform all of those who might think they'll enjoy this album that you will not enjoy it. You will listen to thirty minutes of garbage and not remember any of it, and then taking that disc out of your CD player and throwing it like a frisbee into a scene-kid/hipsters black-framed glasses, effectively making him cry like the little girl he really is. Hell, even better would be if you were somehow able to fashion out a bomb out of this album, and detonating it in a giant circle of pitninjas, thus killing every single one of them. If you do that, I'll vote for you during the 2008 Election as President of the United States.
In closing, I would just like to say that Job For A Cowboy and their first full-length “Genesis” should be ignored at all costs. This is a band and an album to try and bring in the really pretentious crowd so they can show their friends how “br00tal” they really are, when in reality a common housefly would make them shit their pants. This is death metal for hipsters, plain and simple.
So Job For a Cowboy are supposed to be the next big thing in extreme metal. I've seen them being sung praises everywhere, and I honestly don't understand how. I read all these message board posts exclaiming the greatness of this band, but I'm sitting here wondering if any of these kids have heard a death metal album in their lives. Their earlier work was probably more passable, but still bad overall, but this record is just the most cookie-cutter death metal album I've heard this year. It's like the band met in a room, started passing around some weed or some alcohol or something, listened to their favorite death metal albums, and just mixed it all together. Not fun.
Don't get me wrong, the music is ok. But it sounds like I've heard it before. Why should I listen to a new band playing this style when I can just listen to the people that started this whole thing? Why should I listen to Job For A Cowboy's pig squeals when I can go back and listen to the countless awful goregrind bands that have been doing pig squeals for decades? Why should this band get my hard earned money when I really don't see what the hell is so special about them? The sad part about this is that extreme metal will probably get a boost in popularity, and people will proclaim JFAC as the band who brought it to the masses. Forget that Cannibal Corpse, as bad as they are, already sold a million copies of a death metal record, forget that Suffocation and Cryptopsy received regular MTV play when their albums were released in the past 2-3 years, forget all that. JFAC brought death metal to you, right?
As far as the music's concerned, this band removed most of the -core influence that so many people bashed to no end. While this is probably a good move financially, their music just isn't the same. At least the band had some air of freshness with their old material, but this doesn't. Gone are most of the breakdowns and the pig squeals have been cut back and replaced with more standard growls and the speed has been bumped up a bit, but in the end, isn't this record redundant? Don't bands like Vital Remains always add more speed and straight-forward vocals in every album? Why do we need this band?
If you like this album, more power to you kids. But I sincerely recommend you take about an hour or two of your time and fully explore the Metal Archives. Not only will you find bands that are better than this, albums that sound more innovative than this, but you'll be able to save those $15 that you were gonna spend on this album, and buy yourself a nice, maybe $10 album online by a good band and then have money left over to buy yourself a soda and some chips or something. Honestly this is how I see this band and album: for little teens that don't understand what death metal was or still is. This is bland music, the type that gets hyped by the media. I'm not suprised at all. But if this review can get one person to actually go ahead and look for better death metal bands, then I did my part. Stay away from this please, you'll thank me later, and so will your bank account.
Like so many other, I purchased Genesis on the hype alone. JFAC are metal's most recent inspirational story, a group of 5 teenagers whose demo on MySpace earned them a record deal with Metal-Blade. Their Doom EP did not impress me, but I assumed a full length released on a reputable label would be a vast improvement.
That's not so much the case.
JFAC have done little to diversify the stagnant DeathCore genre. This band evidently worships Circle of Dead Children, Cannibal Corpse, and Animosity. But whereas each of the aformentioned is impressive in their own right, JFAC is a diluted combination of the three.
Vocally, the pig squeals and grunts are standard fare. The drummer is fast, but plays without any real rythmic sensibility or willingness to embellish the songs. The guitarists are talented, but nevertheless, fail to apply it in their brief lead breaks. This album is a shitstorm of tremolo picking, breakdowns, blastbeats, and Cookie Monster impersonations. And the ambient bits... Bleh.
But really, JFAC are proof a concept more than a cohesive act. I cannot recommend it under any cirucmstances.
After hearing Doom, I was left relatively unimpressed. It was a fairly badly written, irritating mesh of breakdowns, pig squeals and not enough general style to it. So, my first impressions left me kind of... discouraged to getting any more of their albums. After a quick listen to Embedded, I realised that this band was about to rend it's -core influences.
So, what do we have with Genesis, then?
Well, Billy, I'll tell you; We've got relentless Death Metal.
Instrumentally, it has become much better, due to the incredible catchy yet heavy riffs. The drumming is not as good as before, I'll be the first to admit. However, it uses more blast beats and as a whole, does not put a bad impact on the music. In terms of bass, it is more used to give the riffs direction, and it tends to work the majority of the time. Vocally, Jonny has become dramatically better, cutting out the bree bree's and using much more low, death metal growling, with the occasional interjection of a bit of screaming.
The lyrics used are intelligent and very catchy. One feels the need to sing along far too much throughout them. Because the album follows one theme (the anti christ taking over the world via manipulation of conformists and prophecies involving embedding chips into people) it is able to display alot of intelligent language. One protest I might have about the song writing is that the songs are repetitive, rather than having variations on lyrics. In Embedded, for example, the first few lines are repeated quite a few times. In the Divine Falsehood, the verse is repeated four or five times. The same in the majority of tracks. However, I blame this on situation, as, in an interview, Jonny said the songwriting was extremely stressful as they were looking for a new drummer in the process.
Overall, a worth buying album, it sounds like Behemoth mixed with Cannibal Corpse with a little essence of Nile in there.
The Best tracks are: "Bearing the Serpent's Lamb," "Reduced to Mere Filth," & "Embedded."
It's not every day that a band, particularly a young one just finding its legs, takes a hint from its critics and actively works to change its sound for the better. However, Job For A Cowboy have done just that.
Like many people, I was first exposed to this band thanks to the buzz they generated both through Myspace and with their Doom EP. However, I have to admit, I didn't like their stuff at all when I heard it. And yes, my complaints were the same as those of many others who have already discussed this band: the pig squeal vocals didn't take long at all to get on my nerves, and I really felt that the instrumental aspects of the music were just all over the place and lacked any real co-ordination between them. I was about ready to write these guys off as another act heading straight down the highway to obscurity.
Then I saw the video for Embedded.
Immediately I noticed a change in the band's sound, and not an unpleasant one at that. Not only were the breakdowns and pig squeals completely removed, but the band had developed an incredibly tight and co-ordinated sound reminiscent of bands like Dying Fetus. I then decided it was time to give this album a chance. And I was not disappointed.
The entire album is a work of pure, well-structured death metal. Vocalist Johnny Davy covers an impressive range of harsh vocals, moving between the usual low, guttural growls and several high-pitched screams with ease, while guitarists Ravi Bhadriraju and Bobby Thompson chug along with powerful, driving riffs. Extra accolades go out to drummer Jon Rice, who, while using the usual combinations of fast snare hits and constant double-bass, manages to mix these patterns up often and fast enough that the drumming consistently stays interesting. And crisp, clear production on the entire album allows all of these elements to shine through.
That being said, there are a few problems with this album. For starters, with only 10 songs, 2 of which are intros into the next ones, and most of the songs clocking in at under 3 minutes, I personally felt that the album could have used a bit more material. Also, as several reviewers have already stated, the album lacks variety, as most of the songs sound very much alike. And finally, while this doesn't bother me all that much, the band shares a very similar sound with the rest of the current crop of American death metal bands, which will make it very difficult for them to make a name for themselves as they continue on.
Do I think Job For A Cowboy are the next big thing in metal? I'm still undecided on that one. Though if they can continue to refine their sound and maybe start mixing it up here or there on future albums, I have no doubt that these guys can go far. But for now, they've produced a solid album that, while not being very unique, is hard-hitting and great for banging your head to.
Job for a Cowboy's 2005 effort, the 'Doom' EP, was, although being completely slammed across the metal scene and in all of the reviews on this site, one of the better deathcore releases I heard so far, and one of my personal favorite releases in the -core area. While a lot of deathcore bands tried to pretend being death metal, Job for a Cowboy most certainly did not - they played some of the craziest music I ever heard, and they took their style to the absolute end.
But now, in 2007, after being signed to a major metal label, and just before starting to record their debut full-length album, they suddenly decided to change their musical direction. While most bands these days tend to go from the metal camp to a more -core style, Job for a Cowboy did the exact opposite: They went from absolute core to pure death metal, with no -core influence at all. Most people around the metal scene will be happy with this sort of decision, and I would too, but not when the band in question is Job for a Cowboy.
You see, the reason why I liked their "Doom" EP was that it was a completely nutty album. Each and every song on that EP had more groove than an entire album by Funk legend George Clinton, and each and every song was wackier than his hair! "Doom" was all about the groove, the crazy vocals, the heavy breakdowns. Now with "Gensis", they took out the groove, the vocals are limited to one type of growl only (compared to four different types on the previous record), the breakdowns are no more and they basically just lost their uniqueness, and now they sound like every other half-brutal death metal band.
It's not like it's a bad record. It just sounds to me like a step backwards instead of forward. The vocalist sounds like the guy from Beneath the Massacre (in both tone and style), the riffs also kinda sound like BtM, mixed with Decapitated and your random brutal death metal palm mute chugga-chugga riffs. The bass is just there to fill the void, and the drumming consists from a variety of blast beats and fills, but not much more than that. There are even some solos around, and a couple of annoying, pointless and ridiculously long intro tracks.
I'm not saying that going death metal means going backwards. But in this case, I'd much rather have a cool, crazy and unique deathcore record, than yet another solid-though-uninspiring conventional death metal album. And it is a solid record, it's just that there are bands that do this exact same kind of death metal, only better.
Job For A Cowboy isn't the greatest, though I enjoyed the Doom EP for a while. Ill admit that. But the boredom set in and i was left pondering the slams and traces of hardcore wishing that maybe they would take the next step and make something more interesting and 'brutal'. It happened.
This album is a turn in the right direction. Most of the breakdowns have been demolished, replaced with fast double bass and blast beats in the vein of modern brutal death metal. The vocals are pretty much the same, guttural yelling and once in a while someone jumps in with a tasteful high. But the vocals are more well executed, more 'mature' you could say. Same could be said for the guitars. The slams are gone but the blasting riffs are the same, just evolved. The chugging of the previous album is present but more tasteful and not as 'core' sounding. Every now and then the drums get started in what sounds like will turn into the Doom style breakdown but that usually quickly evaporates as it goes back into the death metal style. Its all so enjoyable. But there is a problem that keep the score at 85 and not 95-100...
Each song sounds the same. Well not entirely. But there have been a few times while listening to this album that ill look at the play list and say 'Whens this song end?' only to find out that the song ended three tracks ago and its actually a brand new song that sounds identical to the ones before it. But i guess its not a huge defect. But its enough to keep the score at 85 and not in the 90s.
Pick this album up with a open mind. Ignore the fact that its the same band that popularized deathcore for 5 minutes and just listen. You might take a liking to it ;D.
Coming from the increasingly popular Doom EP that was deathcore for the myspace crowd, many metal heads had already lost any faith in this band. They seem to be the "death metal" for the scene kids and have been disliked by the metal community. While the previous CD was interesting, the core influences truthfully made it not as good. It was one of the few metalcore type albums I liked but I never was able to fully appreciate the album. I hoped and prayed that their LP would be more death metal and to cater to the metal fans. It seems that my wishes has come true. This album is most definitely a death metal album in its purest form.
The first thing to note is what they took away from their style since Doom. There are no 'brees' or pig squealing at all in this album. The vocal style is strictly death growls with some high shrieking in a few parts. There are no breakdowns at all, and none of the riffs are of the metalcore style. This album is simply devoid of any 'core'.
What we have though is a straight forward death metal. The guitarist still have that knack of making interesting riffs. On their Doom EP, some of their shining moments were their good use of sporadic guitar lines and some catchy groove riffs. With the new style of this album, the guitarist have changed with it but still have the riff making ability. Some songs in this album have some really creative guitar pieces in here that simply sound great; Reduced to Mere Filth comes to mind. Many of the songs have a multitude of licks and harmonization pieces that underline and sometimes over line the main riff. A single song can get very complicated at parts which can throttle you in an instant.
At the same time there are some song that are more driven and stick closely to that main theme, like Strings of Hypocrisy. Job for a Cowboy must really want to delve into the death metal style and test around in it. This album seem to be made up of different writing theories and ideas that surround the death metal genre. Every song seems to slightly bend and feel around many styles from other artists so you always are interested,
They have taken the time to have some pretty interesting solos. Well, they are really closer to leads than the solos many are accustomed too. They are generally short and straight forward. But at the same time they sound great and suit the songs here. The solos are very doom metal like; they vary in rhythm and instead of going all over the place, they are closely tied around a central melody and they play around with it. Overall while not very advanced, they are defiantly not useless. Martyrdom Unsealed has a rather interesting one that catches you instantly.
The drummer doesn't do the 'play as fast as he can at a constant rhythm' strategy at all. Instead is does many various of beats and is shifting from one part of the drum to the next. One moment he is double bass-ing with crash, another he does a crazy tom and snare fill to a solid blast beat part. The drummer must be quite skilled and probably gets a real workout playing these songs. This is one of the higher points of the album. At the other end however the bass is just following the guitar. Simple enough and it does give a good drive feel to the riffs.
While I am indeed ecstatic about this album and admire the great improvements, this is not worth a 100. The songs are, while interesting, sound very similar to each other and have little variation to each other. The album as a whole is really short and the songs themselves are a bit on the short side. There are also two filler tracks on here that are just random noises. A good atmosphere but not very necessary. This album doesn't break boundaries by any means and isn't mind blowing.
The band has made a solid approach to the death metal genre and has made a strong album. I am sure that they will make a good death metal album in the future but for the time being we have a good honest attempt at it with some of their interesting ideas brought to the table. Many will not want to get near this because of the Job for a Cowboy name but I recommend giving it a chance because they really have evolved and improved since their EP.
Well let me start off by saying, there are almost no slams [breakdowns] on this album. It's loaded with solos, deathgrowls and pissed off blast beats. This is a good thing, and a bad thing at the same time. Job For A Cowboy developed deathcore and practically started it, they became huge on myspace, got signed to a huge label, and made a pure.. death metal album? I mean, it's a little too progressive for its own good, as well as a little strange and unlikely. This album sounds like a cross between Decapitated and Krisiun, believe it or not.
Another thing that should should be recognized is how the pigsqueals are gone in this album. The record consists of pure death growls, mostly generic and at the same pitch, once again, comparable to Decapitated. There are ambient tracks and pointless noises on some tracks (I still don't realize what the bands hope to accomplish with this) and everything just seems to lean towards a solid death metal record, I mean it's even decently technical. Lots of tremolo riffs, harmonized chunky power chords and lots of palm muting, and once again no slams.
Why isn't this amazing, like it sounds to be? Because this band transferred from deathcore to Death Metal WAY too fast. They don't know how to do death metal that isn't boring and generic yet, and they ended up making GENESIS exactly that, boring and generic. Don't get me wrong, the instruments are solid and the drummer can stop on a dime, it's like he's on drugs. But after a good while, it feels like the record is on repeat because the drumming, gutiar and vocals all sound the same. I can't really tell some of the tracks apart yet, besides Embedded because I heard that first on myspace. I think it's a good record, but it'll get old really fast.
Job for a Cowboy have come a long way since their shitty 2005 EP, however they've changed TOO fast for their own good, and they will lose tonnes of their hardcore fans, and likely gain no death metal fans until they develop enough experience to make a more interesting death metal record, a more mature death metal record that doesn't bore the listener. Until then, this is GENESIS, and I think that one might be pleasantly surprised, if they like cover albums.