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Unfurling an Enjoyable Grooving Chugfest - 80%

MutantClannfear, April 12th, 2011

The song off of Job for a Cowboy's great '09 album Ruination that's been whored out to everyone, "Unfurling a Darkened Gospel" is some of the best modern death metal I've heard in a long while. Job for a Cowboy are playing a pretty unique style of music nowadays, and this song epitomizes everything they stand for.

The riffs are thick, heavy, and spiced with a bit of groove added to the mix. They're so absolutely massive due to the production job, as the song picks up momentum the riffs have the crushing effect of a bulldozer. The guitars are fast and technical throughout a large part of this mid-paced song, but even on the higher strings they never lose their thick, sludgy production that is definitely the best part about this song as a whole. Hell, there's even a guitar solo halfway through, and though not jaw-dropping or particularly good, it's not terrible either. There's a breakdown at the end of the song, but it's more in the sense that the band simply slows down instead of going into palm-muted drop-A chord chugs, so I doubt those who despise -core will be upset about it.

Job for a Cowboy's vocals are heavily edited in-studio, but I won't crack down on them for that here (let's save that for the live releases, eh?). Nah, lead singer Jonny Davy's growls sound deep and gurgled, but not stupid in any way. Davy's highs take a bit of time before they click, and even then they're not great or anything. They're simply high with the raspy screaming sound taken out, and as a result they sound more like someone shouting on helium than a scream. It's odd and it isn't astounding, but again, they get the job done. As for the drums, they're pretty average throughout the song, but I'd like to draw attention to one part in particular: 2:10-2:42. This is where the distorted, chugging grooves in the song reach their apex, and they're helped by the start-stop blasts of the bass pedals. If the rest of the song is a bulldozer, this section is Optimus Prime dressed as a quarterback charging through New York City.

Although not the greatest song on Ruination, "Unfurling a Darkened Gospel" adequately sums up what the band stands for at this point in their musical career: fast, grooving, semi-technical chugging riffs that are extremely catchy and memorable. Check out this song, if not the whole album.

Unfurling the gospel of the mediocre - 19%

dystopia4, March 31st, 2011

This isn't just bad. It is beyond horrendous. It is beyond me how such a god awful excuse for a band can become so popular. This band brings nothing new to the table, they just play an overdone style incompetently. I guess scene kids don't have any standards because there is absolutely nothing unique that sets this band apart from any other band.

There are two vocal styles that are incorporated into this song. These include a deep growl and high-pitched shriek. The growls sound like the vocalist is gurgling vomit. The high-pitched vocals are slightly better but still aren't anything all that good. The guitar on this song is extremely annoying. It is very distorted, yet does not manage to reach any feeling of heaviness. The slow parts are monotonous, and fast parts are downright annoying. The guitar work is full of boring death metal riffs, some of them even seem not that far of from metalcore. Apparently Job for a Cowboy has a real drummer, but they could have fooled me. I have heard programmed drums that sound 100 times better than this. Variety be damned, he just plays as fast as he can just for the sake of sounding brutal. There are a few brief moments where he does slow down, and it becomes apparent why he likes playing so fast; he can't come up with anything interesting.

Even for a band that caters to scene kids, this is really bad. It is hard to figure out how anybody could see this as original, interesting or even competent. It makes me sad that awful bands like Job for a Cowboy get so much attention, when there are so many amazing underground bands that barely get any recognition.