Album Review: Job For A Cowboy - Moon Healer

Album Review: Job For A Cowboy - Moon Healer

The iconic extreme technical death metal Job For A Cowboy are back and have some unfinished business. After nine long years of silence, they have awoken from their crypt to decimate the world with Moon Healer, the follow-up to their previous landmark album, Sun Eater.

Explaining their absence, vocalist and co-founder Jonny Davy states:

"I had to take a step back in the band for family. It was the catalyst that eventually created a fork in the road for all of us. We all drifted into our separate paths. Fatherhood, additional music projects, academic degrees, and careers outside the band took priority and life's focus. Everything lined up for us to collaborate on a new project together, it was time to cross the threshold for something new."

Davy also says about the album:

"The concepts in the album follow someone attempting to explore a different human existence. They considered themselves a pseudo-alchemist. They obsessed over esoteric methods to access altered states of consciousness through various pathways, including a focus on the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland within the center of the brain is believed to potentially play a role in entheogenic experiences. They cooked mind-altering consumables. But contrary to what others viewed as their descent into delusion, they were under the belief that they were unlocking the gateway to some form of profound enlightenment."

'Beyond The Chemical' begins with a eerie, echoing riff creating a foreboding atmosphere before kicking in to gear with bassy grunts and growls, thunderous drums and intricate guitarwork. The track swings back and forth with a mixture of heavy mid-tempo beats, blistering blast-beats and forever changing time signatures. The vocal style changes up throughout between the bassy grunts and rasping screams. The solo in particular is a commanding force and as openers go, this starts off insanely strong. 'Etched in Oblivion' continues in the same vein but has a slight psychedelic edge to it which is accompanied by funky basslines and a cacophony of riffage. 'Grinding Wheels of Ophanim' and 'The Sun Gave Me Ashes So I Sought Out The Moon' showcase extreme vocal diversity at their centre stage. An expert transition between gutteral growls and banshee-like goblin screams. The time signatures are chaotic yet it works and the solos are sublime.

'Into The Crystalline Crypts' doesn't hold back and opens with a soaring solo and clear yet heavy basslines throughout. The time signatures change between blistering blast-beats and furious riffage and progressively rhythmical drumming. The guitarwork keeps you guessing and presents a melodic front periodically. 'A Sorrow-Filled Moon' is sprawling to say the least, incredibly layered with a sinister vibe as the record begins to build to its climax. 'The Agony Seeping Storm' is ferocious from the second it starts. Furious blast-beats, lightning-speed, technically precise riffage and demanding vocals. 'The Forever Rot' is a huge stand-out moment on the record and is also the conclusion. A haunting, lone guitar melody slowly builds before exploding with energy, discernible groovy basslines and a sense of urgency, twisting and turning in to oblivion.

Moon Healer is the second part of a dark, surreal concept created by Job For A Cowboy that began with 2014's Sun Eater. Except this time, it's more crushing, consistent and razor-sharp. A transformative journey in to the psyche, a sprawling adventure in to the weird, the brutal and the unknown.

Rating: 8/10
Release Date: February 23rd 2024
Released By: Metal Blade Records
FFO: The Black Dahlia Murder, Psycroptic, Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon

Track List:

01 - Beyond the Chemical Doorway
02 - Etched In Oblivion
03 - Grinding Wheels of Ophanim
04 - The Sun Gave Me Ashes So I Sought Out The Moon
05 - Into the Crystalline Crypts
06 - A Sorrow-Filled Moon      
07 - The Agony Seeping Storm  
08 - The Forever Rot

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to This Day In Metal.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.