Job For a Cowboy are one of those US metal acts that busted out of the gate a few years back with the full hype machine behind them, sold some CDs, got on plenty of tours with other extreme metal acts, and developed quite a following. It seems though lately the band has lost a little steam, which could partly be due to overexposure, some band turmoil, less than stellar newer material, or quite simply the fact that the band was never really that good to begin with. My take? Well, I think it has to do with a little bit of all of these things actually. When the band first hit, Job For a Cowboy were a decent enough technical death metal/deathcore/metalcore act, nothing more, nothing less. Saviors of American extreme metal? Certainly not. After a few albums and some line-up changes, the band return here in 2011 with the EP Gloom, a strong enough effort that shows glimpses of what we can expect from the band in the near future, but I sense some confusion in direction for the band that I hope they can figure out. First, the vocals here are oddly in the black metal camp, with a huge nod to Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth. The first two tracks, "Misery Reformatory" and "Plastic Idols" combine somewhat technical death metal riffery with shrieking black metal vocals for a formula that works for the most part, then they shift back to all out brutal deathcore on the raging "Execution Parade", complete with crushing riffage and deep growls. Final cut "Signature Of Starving Power" sees deathcore and grind mix for a maniacal ride, as flailing drum work collides with energetic guitar riffs and fills.
Gloom is arguably Job For a Cowboy's most extreme release to date, though with only the small sampling of material here it's hard to predict if they are going to move into this deathcore/black metal/grind style full force on their next studio release. They definitely sound as if they have something to prove here and are going to run with it.
1. Misery Reformatory 3:54
2. Plastic Idols 4:44
3. Execution Parade 3:04
4. Signature Of Starving Power 3:45