It was 2005, and for myself as well as most people, I was introduced to Job For A Cowboy via a YouTube video where the song Neck Deep, from the Doom EP, was synchronized to an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know the name of the band for a few weeks. I just knew them as “that deathcore band with the Spongebob video”. After discovering their atrocious band name, I decided to let curiosity get the best of me and I downloaded the entire EP. It was generic, cookie cutter deathcore full of pig squeals and open chord breakdowns. If in 2005, you told me that nine years later I’d be saying these guys released one of the best death metal records of the year, I would have laughed straight in your face. However, that is where I find myself today. Sun Eater is no joke and I’m dead serious when I say that Job For A Cowboy has released one of the best death metal records of 2014, which has been full of really solid death metal related records so far.

I guess it’s time we really take these guys seriously. Ever since the metal community started ripping the band to shreds for their paint by numbers approach to writing the same chug heavy deathcore songs as every other boring band of the genre, Job For A Cowboy took the criticism to heart and returned with something that answered what the fans were demanding. When the audience asked for less breakdowns and to ditch the pig squeals, the came out with Genesis, which was almost a completely different sounding band at that point. It was a little repetitive and its constant mid-tempo resulted in a somewhat boring record but it was a world of improvement from Doom and the demo. Hearing the calls to spice it up, the band followed suit with Ruination and the Gloom EP. Both records, which seemed like they were written in the same session, offered a lot more diversity. There were more blastbeats, the guitar work was more technical, solos, and the song structures and speed varied throughout to create more memorable albums. Demonocracy brought back a more varied vocal delivery and continued the trend of writing solid technical death metal tracks that we have been growing accustomed to from the band. Demonocracy seemed to be the record the band was working out all the kinks to get to. It was the first record that they seemed to really hit their stride and I figured that it was going to be the bands high point and they were going to start their steady decline starting with their next record.

Boy, was I wrong. Sun Eater, while not as diverse in speed, is an insanely well written and well produced technical death metal record that they have now crossed over into the world of progressive death metal not too far removed from what Chuck was doing with Death on the Sound Of Perseverance record or his Control Denied project. Every member of the band stepped up their game to the point that if you removed the vocals, there are only a few parts here and there that remind me of the previous records. Parts stop and start on a dime and drift off into completely different direction only to be pulled back to the idea the song started with out of nowhere. There is some absurdly beautiful bass work that really holds the album together and I am impressed with producer Jason Suecof’s recognition that it deserved to be bumped up in the mix because of how intricate it was to the overall idea of a song. In another interesting factor, the band returned to the constant mid-tempoed speed throughout the entire record, must like Genesis, however for this outing it works perfectly. Every song blends into the next one and almost presents the album as one 45 min long song. Some people will complain about that but the variance of melody, rhythm, and timing keeps your attention throughout. It’s an album you can just press play and let it ride.

To say I’m impressed with this record is an understatement. Job For A Cowboy takes their craft more serious than a lot of bands and continues to challenge themselves to write better and bigger records each time they hit the studio. Sun Eater is a band truly coming into its own and I’m curious to see if they can maintain this level of song writing in their next album. You may have never given them a chance before, but now is the time to take Job For A Cowboy serious.