The evolution of Job for a Cowboy has been an interesting one. They started life as a deathcore band and, thankfully, quickly changed to a death metal band. On their last album, "Demonocracy," JFAC had changed even more, by adding more elements of technical death metal. The album was really good but I was left wondering: "What if Job for a Cowboy tried adding more progressive metal to their sound?" I never thought they would actually DO it, but "Sun Eater" is the album I wanted JFAC to make!
Having Intronaut drummer Danny Walker playing on "Sun Eater" adds a whole new rhythmic style that hadn't been present before. With that foundation, bassist Nick Schendzielos puts on a clinic on this record. There's so much room sonically in these songs, spaces that were never there before, that Nick is able to be further up in the mix and showcase his jawdropping playing. Listen to the intro for the first single/video "Sun of Nihility" and you will get a sample of both the new sound of JFAC and the incredible bass line from Nick. The bass line on "The Celestial Antidote" is so melodic for such a heavy track. On "Encircled by Mirrors," Nick is almost dive bombing through the guitar lines.
Who knew these guys could be this melodic but still be as heavy as ever? The difference of slowing the tempo down and having very melodic guitar solos, in addition to the occasional shred, means that when things do get faster, they feel heavier than before. Another positive result from the sonic variety is that Jonny Davy can better emphasize what he is saying. Don't get me wrong, he still sounds like he is possessed by three different demons, but he can be better understood throughout.
The first two tracks, "Eating the Visions of God" and "Sun of Nihility," basically go together and feel like one long, epic track. It feels like something Between the Buried and Me would try. For insane proggy moments, check out the middle of "Encircled by Mirrors," which still is very much JFAC, just more tech than ever. The guitar solo alone on that track makes it worth listening to! "Buried Monuments" is yet another highlight as it has a vibe along the lines of Allegaeon. It's very heavy, but the solos and riffs are once again incredibly melodic.
"Sun Eater" proves that a band can change for the better and grow in the process. If there is any justice, "Sun Eater" will be the album that gives JFAC a much larger audience. I'll be very curious to see what this band does next, now that they have proven what they are truly capable of.