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Hay guise, are we death metal yet? - 42%

MasterTherion, July 4th, 2011

Job for a Cowboy is one of the most controversial acts in the death metal music scene, due in no small part to the fact that JFAC started off as a deathcore band and gradually moved towards technical death metal, brining loads of metalcore scene kids with them into the extreme metal scene.

In the band's previous album, they began to move away from the deathcore genre and towards a more straightforward death metal sound, a move which they continue here, but do not complete. This album is another step in the right direction for the band, but still falls flat in many areas.

The band's deathcore roots are still noticable in many of the album's tracks, a couple of which even include the occasional breakdown. The songwriting is tired and formulaic, but worst of all, the vast majority of the songs on the album sound ridiculously dissonant and random. The songs are brutal at times, but even the most brutal of extreme metal bands have at least some sort of melody to them. The concept seems lost on JFAC.

It's not all bad, however. The album's second track, "Summon the Hounds", comes off as quite intense, throwing randomness and dissonance to the side for a moment and showing us that this band does have potential. The tracks "Lords of Chaos" and "Constitutional Masturbation" also have their moments, though they still don't qualify as good.

Job for a Cowboy has also noticeably spent more time on their lyrics and concept than on previous releases, bringing a heavily political focus to this one, not to mention much more poetic lyrics. That's refreshing, but it doesn't make up for the ho-hum music that's plastered all over the songs soundwise.

I'm the last metalhead who would ever condemn an album just for being mainstream. I will, however, condemn an abum for being mediocre, and that's exactly what this album is. It's not a steaming pile of shit like Job for a Cowboy's debut EP, but it still won't please anyone outside of the deathcore circle. The only real takeaway from this album (besides the two or three tracks mentioned above) is the fact that this band is improving, and may release something that's worth hearing in the near future. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.