Job For A Cowboy's Sun Eater: Album Review

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Say what you will about them, but Job for a Cowboy has always been a forward-thinking band. ??

Pioneers of the ill-fated "deathcore" scene, JFAC jumped ship before it was even sinking. Starting with 2007's Genesis, they eschewed the breakdowns and "pig squeals" entirely, making for a competent, but forgettable technical death metal album.??

The problem with that was that the band was simply trading stale sound A for stale sound B. Moreover, for every fan they lost by moving away from the "core"-isms, they didn't necessarily gain a fan of technical death metal, a genre in which elitism is king and devotees of which wouldn't be caught dead listening to Job for a f*cking Cowboy.

??Had Sun Eater been their "transformative" album, JFAC would probably have been quickly forgiven for their initial pandering to the scene crowd, because Sun Eater is a damn good album and steers clear of everything that makes good technical death metal albums tiring.?

Sun Eater isn't reliant on the constant blast beats and sweep picking of run-of-the-mill TDM. While every member of the band is technically proficient (not really worth mentioning in a TDM review, but I digress), they're not aping for space to show off how good they are. The album's embrace of restraint makes its *wow* moments so much more impressive.??

Opener "Eating the Visions of God" makes use of a doomy, breathy template.

While most TDM albums come crashing (blasting) out of the gate, "Eating the Visions of God" doesn't even hit us with a single blast beat the entire way through and features a shreddy guitar solo that's only a taste of what's to come.?? After that, we're treated to a seamless transition to "Sun of Nihility," a track that your reviewer lacks the official musical capacity to describe as "polyrhythmic" or "jazzy," but at the very least gives off the impression of being polyrhythmic/jazzy.

??Further highlights "Encircled By Mirrors" and "Buried Monuments" make full use of lead guitarists Tony Sannicandro's talents, whose under deployment might be Sun Eater's biggest flaw.

The latter of the two tracks shows a slight flirtation with melodic death metal, further proof that JFAC has gotten pretty good at not being boring anymore.