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Job For A Cowboy - "Sun Eater" (CD)

Job For A Cowboy - "Sun Eater" CD cover image

"Sun Eater" track listing:

1. Eating the Visions of God
2. Sun of Nihility
3. The Stone Cross
4. The Synthetic Sea
5. A Global Shift
6. The Celestial Antidote
7. Encircled by Mirrors
8. Buried Monuments
9. Worming Nightfall

Reviewed by on November 11, 2014

"...first shoot yourself for letting appearances and the opinions of others determine your musical tastes (this is METAL, not pop), but after getting out of the hospital, be sure to then immediately pick up 'Sun Eater."

Let's get something out of the way right off the bat: if this band's name previously turned you off or you stayed away after hearing murmurings of the group's non-kvlt nature, first shoot yourself for letting appearances and the opinions of others determine your musical tastes (this is METAL, not pop), but after getting out of the hospital, be sure to then immediately pick up “Sun Eater.”

Bands like Job For A Cowboy and Abigail Williams have been “typecast,” so to speak, based off early releases that sound nothing at all like later material, and that will probably continue with “Sun Eater,” which sounds like a completely different band. There is a satisfying range of genre influences present on the album (from the soaring guitars on “Buried Monuments” to the suddenly slower pacing of ending track “Worming Nightfall”), but if one style dominates the disc, it's technical death metal.

As you'd expect from the tech death tag, “Sun Eater” has a very strong bass presence from beginning to end, but the album overall is more accessible than the dense technicality of staple bands like Obscura. While there are a few minor exceptions as the album progresses, for the most part the tracks are actually significantly less repetitive than what you might hear from the overly complex tech-death bands at the top tier of the genre.

On the vocal front, there's all brutal death growls and screams here and no clean singing. The vocals may take a few spins to get used to though, as they have a sort of odd “moist” quality, like there's too much demonic ichor (OK, more likely just saliva) dripping from the front man's mouth. With a tech-death release the instruments are usually the stars of the show, and that's frequently the case here, with the guitar soloing on “Eating The Visions Of God” alone the worth the price of admission.

Although it probably shouldn't be called a full-on “prog metal” album, there is definitely a progressive tone to the way certain segments are played, especially when dropping into more atmospheric and ethereal sections that prop up the brutal parts. The atmospheric intro to “Sun Of Nihility” is one such place that gets the idea across well without resorting to synths, instead utilizing all guitar and drum taps. In a lot of ways, “Sun Eater” has clear parallels with Fallujah's knockout release “The Flesh Prevails,” with the mix of extreme death metal, technicality, and progressive undertones. Anyone who loved that album or just digs tech-death in general should be right at home with “Sun Eater.”

Highs: Technicality married to brutality with just a hint of prog underneath to keep things flowing smoothly.

Lows: Not many: the vocals take a bit of getting used to, and there are a few minor instances of repetition.

Bottom line: Job For A Cowboy just released one of the top technical death metal albums of the year.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)