Job for a Cowboy

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

“Metalcore. Deathcore. The ever nebulous ‘melodic metal.’ These are tags that discomfit discerning metalheads like myself. In those rare moments where I experience the excitement for a new release in these genres, as I did with Russia’s Quiescency, the worst case is that my anticipation overinflates. Since the band announced Message for Lamb roughly forever ago, my expectations for their debut record swiftly reached an unreasonable altitude. Alas, what goes up must come down.” Lamb stewed.

Cognizance – Malignant Dominion Review

Cognizance – Malignant Dominion Review

“Until a few years ago, I didn’t realize that technical death metal was even a thing. Sure, I’d heard it before, but in my simple mind, tech-death was merely death metal that goes ‘clickity-clickity click and noodly-noodly nood, and sometimes has a bass that goes farty-farty fart.’ As you can imagine, I was relieved to find out that there’s a shorter way to describe this genre.” Commence the noodly-noodly!

Carnifex – World War X Review

Carnifex – World War X Review

Carnifex released their best record to date in 2016’s Slow Death. What happened? Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh was credited with production, programming, and writing. This was an interesting development: deathcore had been creeping into Anaal Nathrakh’s sound over the years, and now Kenney was directly influencing the genre which influenced his main project. Kenney is credited for vocal recording on World War X but is not credited as a writer. Nonetheless, Carnifex continues wisely down the path of deathcore influenced by the Anaal Nathrakh material influenced by deathcore.” Positive influences.

Eye of the Destroyer – Baptized in Pain Review

Eye of the Destroyer – Baptized in Pain Review

“Some people spend their weekend running errands, and I’m no different. This weekend, as I write this review, I’ll be running a fool’s errand and disagreeing with the genre tag of a “deathcore” album. Genre fans and detractors will have the same reaction: “who cares, it’s all about the chugs anyway.” You chug water for different reasons than you chug beer (unless it’s Coors Light, which is both). The Rack chugs and Eternal Nightmare chugs. Disma chugs and Carnifex chugs. All of this is to say, Eye of the Destroyer’s second LP is beatdown, not deathcore.” Advanced pigeonholing.

The Modern Age Slavery – Stygian Review

The Modern Age Slavery – Stygian Review

“There’s nothing wrong with modern death metal, and The Modern Age Slavery make no attempt to rebel against the status quo. Formed in 2007, this Italian quintet released debut Damned to Blindness in 2008 but didn’t catch my attention until follow-up Requiem for Us All received some surprisingly enthusiastic praise upon its release in 2013. While I didn’t share the same excitement as other critics, overall Requiem fit nicely alongside the Hour of Penances and Man Must Dies of the world as a sharp, loud, and fast half-hour of socially-conscious death metal.” Sounds preachy.

Thy Art Is Murder – Dear Desolation Review

Thy Art Is Murder – Dear Desolation Review

“Deathcore, in its peak popularity, was essentially the dubstep of metal. Structured around a massive breakdown in the same way dubstep is structured around its 808 drop, the prototypical deathcore song was a kinetic experience designed to ratchet up the tension until a cathartic release blasts forth. This compositional style is extremely limiting, which is why both sub-genres will (and arguably already are) seen as flashes in the pan.” Pan’s Labyrinth.

Fit for an Autopsy – The Great Collapse Review

Fit for an Autopsy – The Great Collapse Review

“I had shit to do, so I showed up to see Lorna Shore and decided to head out before Fit for an Autopsy took the stage. I’d listened to Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell, when it came out a few years back, and though I definitely liked it, the album was a bit too unfocused to stick around in my rotation. I figured the band wasn’t going to play anything I really enjoyed. I fucked up.” Regret about missing an autopsy? That’s metal.

Gomorrah – The Haruspex Review

Gomorrah – The Haruspex Review

Gomorrah struck like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky. Slated for a mid-January release date on the not-exactly-major-label Test Your Metal Records, The Haruspex got overlooked in an administrative snafu. As luck would have it, I am nothing if not diligent about my hoarding of new music. And when I popped Gomorrah‘s The Haruspex on I knew that we’d missed something good.[1. On the topic of haruspices, I need to fire mine, because I didn’t know this was coming out.] I put out a general alert to the staff, trying to get someone to review this very-nearly-overlooked record and in the time I was waiting I’d managed to listen to it twice.”