Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 5/15/2007
Job For A Cowboy
posted on 5/2007 By:
* takes deep breath and prepares for lash overload from the fanboys….*
So, here is the heavily hyped and anticipated debut from the Arizona band that in my opinion, got a record deal by virtue of Spongebob Squarepants and a creative Youtuber, and while this review will have no effect on the apparently record setting Billboard numbers, it may serve to make those yet to buy into the hype a bit wary.
Personally, I have no issue with the current trend of deathcore, other than their idiotic ninja mosher fans; musically, I really like bands like All Shall Perish, Misericordiam, As Blood Runs Black and such, and after hearing Job For A Cowboy’s enjoyable Doom demo/EP I braced for another worthwhile example of the genre, but was left a little disappointed.
In my opinion, parallels can be made between JFAC and Beneath the Massacre; both debuted with critically acclaimed and heavier than thou EP’s, then both got new record deals and delivered full length debut albums that differ a bit from their EP’s, and both focused on a more streamlined, technical death metal approach. The thing is, whereas Beneath the Massacre’s Mechanics of Dysfunction, while a bit robotic and shallow, was still a technical and skillful milestone, Genesis simply lacks the sheer technical ability and brutality that it wants to rely on instead on the usual thunderous breakdowns and pig grunts. The end result is a solid, but hardly breathtaking, standard death metal album.
Yes, the pig grunts, a hallmark of the deathcore, are gone. So are the huge breakdowns, which to be honest were one of the better draws of the Doom EP. Instead, we get pretty consistently paced, well played and well produced death metal, with a slightly technical lean from a band that seems to have suddenly started to take themselves too seriously. The thing is, it’s not even on par with say, The Faceless as far as vicious complexity--it's just sort of modernized Floridian death metal that reminds me a bit of Disincarnate or Malevolent Creation and Cannibal Corpse’s more simple material. Not in itself a bad thing unless of course you are one of the tight pants wearing 16 year olds clamoring for this release expecting more of the same material from Doom.
Granted, the tracks are solid and for death metal, perfectly executed; “Martyrdom Unsealed”, “Reduced to Mere Filth” “Coalescing Prophecy” and first single “Embedded” being perfectly acceptable examples of damn fine death metal--just not elite. Heck, there’s even a couple of classic, atmospheric interludes straight from the late 1990’s (“Upheaval” and “Blasphemy”). The thing is, none of the tracks, except maybe for the slower and menacing “The Divine Falsehood”, really made me want to revisit the album. The Andy Sneap mix is as you would expect, but still doesn’t make the album jump out at me.
And so you see, I am torn on this one, as will many readers be, for better or worse. On one hand the hardcore kids will be disappointed the breakdowns are gone and JFAC is basically a fairly decent if unspectacular tech death metal band. But then again, will death metal fans accept them into the fold and then JFAC find themselves in fan limbo? Either way, I doubt there will be any reason for the hype to stop--that train is already at full speed. The test will be the next album, so we'll see if the band can further dig into death metal’s fanbase, or return to what made them blow up.
Who knows? Either way I’m headed over to Youtube to watch Spongebob Deathpants and Co. perform “Knee Deep” for the 2345th time.
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