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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.