Archive for the ‘Forcefed Opinions’ Category

I was prompted to write this by a great article on the Somber Lane Blog, written by my good friend Teo from Chiral. Along with his partner in riffs, Rizzo, they put out some great reviews and articles, and are clearly two guys who know their shit and are passionate about what they write about. They’ve put up a piece today about the receiving of physical promos, which I’ll put a link to at the end. I agree with a lot of what they have to say, and I feel like the Killchain should clarify its position on them too.

First off, if you want to send physical promos, they are more than welcome. We also understand that you can’t afford to send out physical promos to every person you want a review or article from. That’s why we have a policy never to request them unless offered. A physical one may jump up the review list due to the fact that a band or label has committed resources to getting our opinions, and we appreciate that in the humblest manner. But we would never expect you to put yourselves out of pocket just for a review. I have read a lot of negativity on social media about how people who want physical promos only are freeloading etc etc, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think that of us here. Trust me, the money I’ve sunk into my record collection, gig tickets and merch, I’m anything but!

The Killchain receives about 5-10 promos a day from various labels, bands and PR companies, and as much as we’d love to cover everything promptly, it is simply not possible. The fact is, I like to write about music that inspires me, and therefore if a record doesn’t, I don’t write about it. That’s also why most reviews at the Killchain are positive, because I don’t have time to write about music that sucks. Heavy metal has been my life for a long time, and writing about it is one of my life’s joys, so it is important to me to spread the word about music that kicks ass.

So, in closing, if you want to send me a physical promo, a stream or a download link, everything is listened to and appreciated, even if I don’t put fingers to keyboard about it. It is humbling to think that people who write the music I love are interested in what I think about it. That’s why the Killchain exists, and that’s why I love supporting the bands who contact me. It is why metal will never die

Read Teo’s article here:

Remember when Job for a Cowboy were the darlings on the Internet scene, before there really was one? Remember when they were all over Kerrang and Metal Hammer etc, just waiting to explode upon release of their debut album, ‘Genesis’? Geary of War and I discuss the merits of now and then, and whether opinions have changed on it.

GoW: When “Genesis” hit in 2007, JFAC where THE next big thing, they were the darlings of the magazines i read at the time, Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. As far as I knew I would love them, despite the odd name. But I didn’t. I didn’t get it. I got a sample CD, turned it on, tuned in and was not impressed. I left them well alone and went onto other glorious things and that was, as they say, that.
Sandy: I always found ‘Genesis’ to be that awkward second album, even though it was a debut full length. JFAC burst onto the scene as Myspace darlings and with the frankly ace ‘Doom’ EP under their belts, they seemed poised to become the next big extreme hope. Somehow ‘Genesis’ didn’t quite do it for me. Granted, at the time it ticked all the boxes for death metal quality, but seemed to be lacking that same spark that gave ‘Doom’ such an energy.

GoW: Skip ahead to now. 2015, I am trawling my vast collection for things to check out and I see this album. Now as covered elsewhere in this bastion of metal blog-age I got into heavier things. I decided to go with JFAC once again. On this occasion the full album. Being honest Job for a Cowboy, as a name, will make me think of an actual job, which in turn makes me think of Raylan Givens in Justified. With that gun toting, whiskey sipping swagger in mind I delved in.

Sandy: it’s strange to me to think that I have listened to their later stuff a lot more, but I’ve never gone back to this record

GoW: And in a dramatic turnaround from my previous encounter I loved it. I discovered that the majesty of this album lay not in one track taken at random but in fact its balancing of brutality with mesmerising moments of calm in “Upheaval” and “Blasphemy”.

Sandy: At the time I found those moments of calm to be kinda cliche, unnecessary bits just to seem a bit progressive and different. Maybe now I can appreciate how the album breathes a bit more between tracks.

GoW: While “Embedded” was the ‘hit’ of the album as much as face eviscerating death metal can have a hit a surprising highlight comes in the doom tinged “The Divine Falsehood”. In addition to being a belting tune it also stands to serve as a rise back into assault with which the album began. ‘Genesis’ is 30 standout minutes of death metal which as a full entity makes sense. I am glad I dug it out and if you haven’t recently then I recommend you do.

Sandy: Their spark reignited on 2009’s superlative ‘Ruination’, and remained high throughout 2012’s ‘Demonocracy’ and last year’s stunning ‘Sun Eater’. Job for a Cowboy are NOW a force to be reckoned with. in 2007, I think the pressure got to them. ‘Genesis’ was good not great. Listening back now however, you can see the touches of quality that would manifest themselves more fully later on. The song writing isn’t quite fully formed, but the blasting ‘Bearing the Serpent’s Lamb’ is still scorching, and the heaviness of ‘The Divine Falsehood’ is not to be fucked with.

GoW: Having never heard anything but “Genesis” and clearly enjoyed it I find my interest piqued when I hear there is something better out there. In an odd way knowing that they mature into a more savage and efficient beast reminds me of The Sword. Lauded for maturity beyond their years and of course “Freya” I don’t think they truly made a great album until “Warp Riders”. Time heals all wounds, matures wines and gives us better albums.

Sandy: It’s actually a bit of a relief to hear how much better they got after ‘Genesis’. I mean, ‘Ruination’ is probably my favourite of their records, but I’ve yet to fully absorb ‘Sun Eater’, and I owe ‘Demonocracy’ more listens for sure. Your Sword comparison is spot on, that is a band that matured into quality, rather than started with it. JFAC’s problem with ‘Genesis’ was that their debut EP was just so much better.

GoW: I managed to get three tracks of “Ruination” listened to on a short break and it served as a brutal soundtrack as I read Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, set in brutal window of Stalinist Russia. With three tracks too soon to fully commit to an opinion of an album I feel I can say this. They have not taken the foot off the gas. In a small flash I was reminded of Nile. No bad thing by any account. I think it’s safe to say I have found the band to lift heavy weights too. Or just scour the skin off a long working day with a riff and an evil smile.


Verdict: Better than both of us remember, but still shy of what they managed to achieve, ‘Genesis’ was just that; the starting seed of a death metal band that were overhyped. Left to their own devices, they’ve created much better records and are definitely KILLCHAIN APPROVED