Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Job For A Cowboy – Demonocracy
I went to a metal show last night and it just hit me how much I really love metal. I hadn’t been to a show for a while, as I’ve mostly been attending shows on the mellower side of the spectrum. It was in a sweaty little bar, on a Monday night, the bands were either locals or out of town with just enough resources to put a small tour together. There weren’t any big name bands, there were maybe 75 of my fellow metal heads there, but it was just awesome. I listen to a lot of metal either for these reviews or for my radio show, but there is nothing quite like being at a show, and feeling the metal. For me, there are very few better things in life, when it all comes together and you have a great time at a show.
So what does all that have to do with the new Job For A Cowboy CD? Not much, honestly. Except I really dig this new CD too. I’ve been a fan of the band since their beginnings. This seems to be another of those really polarizing bands, people seem to really love them, or really hate them, with not much in between. I know there are those who feel that the band just happened to be in the right place at the right time and that is the only reason they are successful, at least by metal standards. There are those who will tell you that you can’t tell one song from another, and yeah, there is a little of that. But they are damn good band and this new release really shows that.
Job For A Cowboy have gone through some lineup changes since their last release, and in my opinion the changes are for the better. They seem to have injected some new energy into the band and it is immediately noticeable. One of the previous criticisms of the band is that they played the much reviled “deathcore” style of metal. That is gone, let me tell you. Opener “Children Of Deceit” is a full on death metal assault and everything continues on from there. “Nourishment Through Bloodshed” and “Imperium Wolves” continue the bludgeoning. Then, lo and behold, something to shut up the haters. “Tongueless And Bound” comes along with an intro that verges on the black metal side, and there is some actual variance in tempo in this track. With this new lineup, there seems to be a new found sense of dynamics and variety in the song writing. I’d love this CD anyway, but these added features in the songs are pure gravy for me.
Tracks 5 and 6, “Black Discharge” and “The Manipulation Stream”, respectively, continue the brutality, but with some nice twists and turns. Many metal releases start out strong and seem to fizzle at the end, but “Demonocracy” ends on a high note, with a trio of powerful, hard hitting tracks in “The Deity Misconception”, “Fearmonger”, possibly the best JFAC track in their catalog, and “Tarnished Gluttony”. The final track is over 6 minutes, an eternity for this band, and really shows off their new song writing chops. This one is a definite change of pace from anything else they’ve ever recorded and a great way to close out the album.
If you’re determined to hate them, this release probably doesn’t go quite far enough to change your mind. But if you can keep your mind open, you’ll find a very strong release from a band that just keeps getting better as they go along.