By Raymond Westland
Within a relatively short amount of time Arizona-based Job For A Cowboy became one of the major forces in extreme metal today. Originally a deathcore act, these Yanks evolved some solid death metal roots with each successive album. With two full length albums and three EP’s under their belt, the band gears up to unleash their third full-fledged release, aptly called Demonocracy.
Within the first few opening seconds of “Children Of Deceit” you realise that JFAC is back with a vengeance. The sheer force of that song is simply overwhelming. This continues with “Nourishment Through Bloodshed” and “Imperium Wolves”. These three tracks are a good indication what Demonocracy, namely well-written and flawless executed death metal with some faint traces of the band’s deathcore past. However, this album has a couple of devious surprises in store too!
First of all, JFAC really stepped up in the songwriting department. Tracks like “Tongueless And Bound”, “The Manipulation Stream” and the aforementioned “Nourishment Through Bloodshed” are some of the finest songs the band has ever written. Secondly, Democracy displays a new-found sense of technical prowess, reminiscent of Death’s Individual Thought Patterns” and “Symbolic”. JFAC may lack the level of sophistication of the late Chuck Schuldiner, but it does show that these Arizona cowboys aren’t afraid to streamline their compositions and incorperate some real melodic guitar solos in their music, unlike the sloppy Slayeresque leadwork utilised by many of their peers. “Fearmonger” and “Tarnished Gluttony” are shining examples in that regard as well.
The high-end production of Demonocracy is another joy to my ears, thanks to some capable knob twisting by the ever cheerful and wickedly skilled Jason Suecof (Chimaira, God Forbid). This injects some extra venom into this proverbial weapon of sonic mass destruction.
Job For A Cowboy aren’t reinventing the wheel on Demonocracy. However, they managed to bend the ol’ familiar death metal formula their way and come up with something that is both invigorating and original. That’s quite a feat in itself in an otherwise fairly stagnant genre. Great, great album!