Job for a Cowboy – Demonocracy (2012)

Since the release of the infamous Doom EP in 2005, Job for a Cowboy has been one of the most polarizing bands in the metal scene. They undoubtedly have a huge following of dedicated fans, but they also generate a lot of animosity and disdain from many others. Despite popularizing pig squeals and many other frowned upon deathcore trends, Job for a Cowboy has taken massive strides in an attempt to distance themselves from their early sound. Genesis and Ruination, the band’s first two full-length albums demonstrated a much more straightforward death metal approach. Their second EP, Gloom, added more melodic and technical riffs to the mix. With Demonocracy, Job for a Cowboy continues the trend that they established on Gloom and proves that they are more than capable of playing some mean technical death metal. Hold on to your hats, folks, these guys can shred.

Even though Job for a Cowboy has been a death metal band for the better part of the last five years, Demonocracy is unlike anything they’ve released before. This is, in part, due to the additions of Nick Schendzielos and Tony Sannicandro on bass and guitar, respectively. As I mentioned earlier, Demonocracy is much more technical and slightly more melodic than any of its predecessors. The best evidence of this is probably the opening track, Children of Deceit.

My favorite aspect of this album, as with all other Job for a Cowboy albums, is the vocals. Jonny Davy has an absolutely wicked vocal arsenal that I have always found to be interesting. Since the abandonment of the pig squeals, Davy has become one of my favorite death metal vocalists. The political themes that have been ever-present on other Job for a Cowboy albums, unsurprisingly, make a return on Demonocracy and Davy delivers them with plenty of brutality and ferocity.

While the vocals certainly are outstanding, so are the rest of the elements of this album. The guitar riffs are pretty technical, as I mentioned earlier, and there are plenty of fantastic solos to be found throughout the album. Jon Rice’s drumming is as solid and as fast-paced as ever, perhaps even more so than it had been on previous Job for a Cowboy records. While not all of the songs are as fast as others (Tarnished Gluttony is the best example), the whole album flows quite nicely and Job for a Cowboy demonstrates that they are a competent death metal band.The production and mastering, as done by Jason Suecof and Alan Douches, respectively, is also outstanding. Everything sounds crisp and audible. The album avoids sounding muddy while also managing to be heavy and powerful.

All in all, Demonocracy is a fantastic album and could be their best effort to date. Job for a Cowboy continues to demonstrate that they are a very competent band and they should be commended for attempting to abandon their rough beginnings as a mediocre deathcore band. There are no traces of deathcore to be found on Demonocracy and it is, without a doubt, a punishing technical death metal album. Long-time Job for a Cowboy fans will undoubtedly be pleased with this album and even the naysayers should give it a chance. They may be surprised at how much Job for a Cowboy has improved over the past seven years.

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By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews