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(31 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • There’s not a whole lot about this album that hasn’t been done a million times before and a million times better. The songwriting is just lackluster, 2-minute bursts of noise with no real direction or enthusiasm. The vocals are incredibly generic. Not to mention the album is only about as long as an EP, and two of the songs are basically instrumental filler. This band’s really overhyped, and they fail to deliver on this album. If you want death metal done well, stick to things like Vader or Gorguts. Leave this garbage to the scene kids.

    Posted on November 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It’s quite sad when “old” metalheads give new, young and talented bands bad reviews, just because they’re the future of their genre and wiping the floor with the elderly bands. Just beause “Slowly we rot” or “Reign in blood” was the apex of extreme, many, many moons ago, doesn’t mean that type music, to this day, is the only “real” metal. I incidentally own both releases, hell, I own everything that Slayer has ever released, most of Obituary’s, Death’s and Suffocation’s back catalogue, and let me tell you that frankly, they bore me stiff. I was listening to Slayer’s “South of Heaven” yesterday, before listening to Job for a cowboy’s “Genesis”. What a wake up call! The new stuff is so much more intelligent, layered, wicked and ultimately interesting, that I have moved all my golden oldies into a soon to be forgotten shoebox marked, (you guessed it), “golden oldies”.

    Now, onto an actual review of the album.
    It’s Job for a cowboy after all, so depending on your age or the nostalgic juice you drink every morning, you’ll either love it or hate it. I love it, even the instrumental fillers, as it breaks the pace of the album and makes the next onslaught that much more intense. The guys can surely play, as any signed band in this genre should be able to in any case. If you like music like Ion Dissonance, Despised Icon, The Acacia Strain, All Shall Perish, Leng Tch’e, The Black Dahlia murder etc. all, then you probably already know about this band and like their music anyway.
    It’s only the old, grumpy and backward dwelling moaners, still wearing their vintage 80’s Obituary Shirts from THAT day that they saw the band live, that call anything new and interesting (insert genre here)-core. This is NEW death metal, and it’s brutal, technical and most of all, intelligent music.

    Posted on November 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Arizona’s Job For A Cowboy toured relentlessly following the release of their 2006 EP, “Doom,” and in the process, they managed to build up quite a bit of hype over the course of these past several months. Thus, just about every North American metalhead has heard that this band (who are a group of kids that are just old enough to graduate from high school, mind you) managed to land at #54 on the Billboard charts by moving about 13,000 thousand units of their full-length debut, this year’s “Genesis,” in its first week of release. But was it worth the hype?

    “Genesis” is not an innovative album with a lot of breadth to speak of, but it isn’t supposed to be. What the album more-than-succeeds at is being a very intense, technical, terrifically brutal, compact, and all-around impressive effort that metalheads will find difficult to dislike. For one, the musicianship the band displays here is nothing short of excellent. The dual guitar work is relentlessly busy, the drumming is deft and slamming, and the interplay between the three instruments is impossibly tight. Plus, the disc blends together elements of technical death metal, metalcore, grindcore, and even a trace of melodeath, so it should satisfy just about anybody who has a hankering for the heavy stuff. (The final sound is something akin to a cross of Dying Fetus, Suffocation, and Morbid Angel.)

    The only foreseeable area where Job For A Cowboy could improve in the future is variety. Many of the songs on this album blend together, so a few more slow tempos could help to break up the songs’ same-soundingness. That’s certainly not a fatal flaw, though it would have been nice to have a few more standout tracks. “Genesis” is an explosive, disorienting, white-hot maelstrom that refuses to let up for the duration of the disc’s thirty-minute running time, save for two creepy, atmospheric interludes (“Upheaval” and “Blasphemy”), and the slow, ominous ninth track, “The Divine Falsehood,” which is almost straight-up doom metal. The band members work as a lean, mean, well-oiled, skull-crushing machine, as they chock every other song full of rocketing tempos, pummeling, rapid-fire blast beats, and excellent, swirling, inventive, smoke-inducing guitar licks. Sometimes, as with “Altered From Catechization,” a song will have buzzsaw riffs that are so fast and ferocious that they evoke helicopter blades. Then, frontman Johnny Davy adds his visceral (though not overly so) death metal bellows and occasional Deicide-esque shrieks to the mix. And finally, the sound is completed when a handful of quick yet skillful and memorable guitar solos are sprinkled on throughout, lending the slightest bit of melody and harmony to what would otherwise be complete chaos (for example, see the winding, wailing solos that crop up in “Embedded” and “Martyrdom Unsealed.”)

    Ultimately, “Genesis” is nothing the experienced metalhead hasn’t heard before, so whether or not it completely lives up to its own hype is very much up for debate. Regardless, one thing is for certain: This is a very strong and satisfying slab of extreme metal from an unquestionably talented and promising young group that heavy music fans worldwide are advised to always keep an open ear for in the future.

    Posted on November 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Job For A Cowboy burst onto the underground scene with their “Doom” EP (and most notably, the song “Entombment of a Machine”). Their songs were laced with explosive blast beats, harsh vocals, and memorable breakdowns and riffs.

    With their first LP, “Genesis,” the band has attempted to mature and break free from the deathcore genre. This is understandable, as the popularity of JFAC inspired a multitude of terrible bands (just go to any local show and you’ll see 2-3 bands emulating the bree-ing and breakdowns). However, the band was great at what they did, and as Genesis has proven, they should’ve stayed.

    With Genesis, the band has moved in a more death metal direction. As noted, the breakdowns are gone and the bree-ing is gone. What we have is a series of songs that somehow everyone is hailing as amazing.

    I think everyone has fallen in love with the sheer power of JFAC’s EP material and is just very reluctant to realize Genesis is simply a par-for-the-course album at best. Most of the songs are mid-tempo and plod along with very little energy and explosiveness. The drum-work is not as great as people are claiming (their old drummer definitely wins the battle). The guitar work is decent at best; there are very few riffs that stick in your head and the little amount of solo-work is unimpressive and usually adds very little (as in Altered From Catechization). The vocals are strong and confident, despite not being unique.

    The album does have a few bright spots (Martyrdom Unsealed for example being a finely crafted song with good guitar work). However, in the big picture, Genesis is simply a bland attempt at death metal. The CD is definitely brutal, but there are many bands who can deliver brutality as well as fine songwriting (think Morbid Angel).

    For the “-core” fans who haven’t heard real death metal, I guess you can convince yourself to like this. For metalheads who have heard about JFAC and are curious, stay away.

    Posted on November 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Genesis, Job For a Cowboy’s debut full-length, managed to sell about 13,000 units and landed at #54 on the Billboard charts. I’m sure there are a number of metalheads, myself included, that heard that and said, “How?” Starting off as a deathcore band, the band released the Doom EP back in 2005 and made a decent amount of success on websites such as Myspace and YouTube. My only exposure to the band had been with their announcement on this summer’s Sounds of the Underground. Background aside, the question remains, does Genesis live up to the hype it’s receiving?

    I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’ve got to scratch my head and wonder why this band is receiving such praise. Apparently, the Doom EP was full of breakdowns and the standard pig squeal vocals and they ‘matured’ into death metal for their debut. On some levels, the band does deserve some credit for dropping the ‘core’ elements, but this is death metal by numbers. After listening to this a few times, the only words that come to mind are generic and dull. This is death metal that would have been considered stagnant 10 years ago, let alone in 2007. None of the riffs stand out and predictably, the songs blend into each other. The only track that stands apart from the pack is “The Divine Falsehood”, which moves at a slower and epic pace. The remainder of the tracks alternately blast and mid-tempo chug their way through, with barely any remarkable soloing to boot (“Martyrdom Unsealed” being an exception). Add to the fact that there are two throwaway intrumental tracks tossed in lowers the running time to about 26 minutes, which is a tad short, even for death metal.

    Any seasoned death metal veteran will know to shy away from this one, while fans of the Doom EP may find themselves disappointed by the changes made to the band’s sound. Sure, it’s not a bad record, but given the hype preceding it, it just doesn’t hold up to the standards. The notion could be made that JFAC could push some scene hipsters into real death metal, but let’s face it, that rarely occurs. One thing’s for sure, there’s plenty more well-executed and deserving death metal albums worthy of your time than Genesis.

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now