Job for a Cowboy - Gloom (Metal Blade/Riot)

Job for a Cowboy are back, and they're doing what they do best.
Release Date: 
7 Jun 2011 - 8:30am

Job for a Cowboy have spent their entire career dividing opinions. True stalwarts of deathcore, their sound has been embraced by the open-minded metal fan yet shunned by those who refuse to accept that anyone other than Slayer can in fact play metal. They are a scene band but that scene is brutally heavy, and Gloom is no exception.

A cunning play on their debut 2005 EP release Doom, Gloom is a four-track barrage of heaviness. Unlike other deathcore outfits, JFAC have dispensed with the 90-second atmospheric album opening and jump straight into Execution Parade, which shows a leaning towards more 'death' than 'core'. Jonny Davy's vocal performance is spot on and new backing vocalist/guitarist Tony Sannicandro adds another dimension to a genuinely punishing delivery. Jon "The Charn" Rice doesn't do more than any other drummer in this space, relying heavily on insanely fast rolls, blasts and double kick, but it holds the songs together well. There's even space for a guitar solo or two, although Misery Reformatory could probably do without.

Song titles such as Plastic Idols and Signature of Starving Power hint that JFAC are having a bit of a pop at the mainstream, which is ironic as they are perhaps the most mainstream of all deathcore bands alongside Trigger the Bloodshed and The Black Dahlia Murder. But this EP is anything but unconvincing. The sad truth is that they will not win over any of the previous doubters with Gloom. It shows real progression as a band but despite true death metal moments, this is still an archetypally deathcore release.

It's quite tragic that bands with this amount of skill and fucking brutal execution will always struggle to gain mass acceptance but within metal, that's the nature of the beast. Gloom is an absolutely killer EP that should be approached with an open mind but knowing you lot, it most definitely won't be.

Gloom is out now on Metal Blade