REVIEW: Job For A Cowboy – Gloom EP

REVIEW: Job For A Cowboy – Gloom EP

Artist: Job For A Cowboy
Album: Gloom
Genre: Deathcore
Label: Metal Blade
Job For A Cowboy, like many other modern death metal bands, got their start playing what is now generic deathcore, but have since moved into a more purely death metal style–even if some misinformed people still ostracize them as being a crappy deathcore band. With their latest EP, Gloom, the band looks to further prove all naysayers wrong by delivering what is surely one of the strongest four-song death metal performances in recent memory.

Four songs clocking in at just over fifteen minutes seems exactly appropriate for an unrelenting, no-nonsense death metal album. You will find no soft interludes, epic intros, extended outros, or spoken word passages on this EP. You will find, however, a great mix of slightly over-the-top guitar solos, furious (albeit somewhat indecipherable) vocals, robotically precise drumming, and riffs to the high heavens (or, as some may prefer, the darkest reaches of Hades, or maybe the highest reaches of Valhalla). Somehow, release after release, Job For A Cowboy find a way to become even tighter and more substantial in the death metal landscape they cover. Even more remarkably, this four song EP is their most varied work to date. Even saying that they have everything a death metal fan could want in an album wouldn’t quite cover this EP, as everything is pulled off with the finest execution one could ask for.

As great as it is, the EP is not without possible flaws. One major complaint, and it’s something their colleagues in The Black Dahlia Murder face, is the timbre quality of the vocals. Some think this vocal style is great, while many more people vehemently despise it. In a traditional sense, Job For a Cowboy’s vocals are not great, but they do get bonus points for being rather original and showing a great range with great clarity. That being said, Jonny Davy’s vocal delivery is also very powerful and interesting–not to mention miles ahead of many grindcore and deathcore vocalists (the bar is just set pretty high for standard death metal).

Even stronger than Jonny Davy’s vocal performance are everything else. This isn’t meant to be a negative statement toward the vocals, but rather a statement of just how strong every other element of these songs are. At no point on this EP is there a weakpoint in the bass, guitar, or drum tracks. Even at the points where the EP progresses into what seems to be excessive guitar noodling, the guitar work is so great and lasts just long enough that it’s almost impossible not to forgive them for adding it in.

If you were a hardcore fan of Doom and hated Job For A Cowboy’s subsequent two albums, steer well away from this one. It’s those albums, but kicked up a couple huge notches. If, however, you loved Genesis and Ruination, this album will fit your tastes quite nicely. If somehow you like some death metal but have never heard Job For A Cowboy, Gloom is a perfect starting point as it is certainly the band’s best work to date. One of the best EPs I’ve heard in quite some time, it comes with the utmost recommendation I can give a four song EP. The only flaw is that it’s all quality, and no quantity (but let’s forgive that, after all it is an EP).


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