Job For A Cowboy : Demonocracy

You always had a sense that Job For A Cowboy’s Jony Davis had something about him that set him apart from the moribund masses of guttural roar. Now the only remaining member of the dark technical metallers, there was a hint of what that talent could produce on last year’s Gloom EP but that was an amuse bouche compared to this main course- the band’s third album proper- that is rich, rewarding and deeply satisfying.

Far more accomplished than the band’s previous releases, Demonocracy represents several significant steps forward but you should not mistake ” accomplished” for any suggestion that they have lost any of their brutality or technical precision. Not a bit of it; what Demonocracy does show however is a band that use brutality as part of their overall aural assault rather than it being its centrepiece; this is indeed progress.

Tracks like Children of Deceit and Tongueless and Bound will give long term fans of the band plenty to be enthused by. Even better though, to these timid ears, are the pulverising Nourishment Through Blood that has a fabulous melding of wailing guitars and gnashing vocals: it is stupidly, ferociously angry but it’s a structured aural battery with direction and focus. Likewise, The Manipulation Stream will have you creating your own personal circle pit faster than the shredding guitars can cut between the sharp and flat notes. FearMonger is as efficient and brutal as its title suggests it might be. However, it’s the studied venom of Tarnished Brutality where the tempo is slowed to a crushing march that you begin to understand just how good this band have become. The track is claustrophobic, hate filled and just possibly the best thing on here.

Demonocracy is the third album from JFAC and, to these ears, easily their most interesting. There are songs for goodness sake: they haven’t gone all One Direction on us but they have a much better grasp of structure and nuance and a more interesting lyrical palette too wherein politics, injustice and insurrection join the usual suspects of blood, death and destruction. This might not sound like a massive departure- this is still recognisably a JFAC record but it enables the listener to engage with the record rather than be assaulted by it. Demonocracy has been on loop on my iPod pretty much constantly. I don’t normally go for this sort of thing so that should give you at least some indication of what a little cracker this is.