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: 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