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Moon Healer

United States Country of Origin: United States

Moon Healer
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 23rd, 2024
Genre: Death, Deathcore, Progressive
1. Beyond The Chemical Doorway
2. Etched In Oblivion
3. Grinding Wheels Of Ophanim
4. The Sun Gave Me Ashes So I Sought Out The Moon
5. Into The Crystalline Crypts
6. A Sorrow-Filled Moon
7. The Agony Seeping Storm
8. The Forever Rot


Review by Nathan on March 18, 2024.

Ten years to let the prog-death angle marinate was exactly what Job For A Cowboy needed to make the masterpiece everyone wished Sun Eater was. Perhaps the band just needed to take a break from the Big Boy Tour Circuit and breathe for a bit, maybe the more expansive, multifaceted approach is something that should be handled by more "mature" individuals, but whatever it was, it was the recipe they needed to write their best album yet. Though a groundbreaking band that enjoyed an overwhelming, rapid explosion in popularity in the MySpace era for basically single-handedly creating deathcore, you always got the sense that even by their first full-length album the band wanted to move away from the very sound they helped get huge.

Sun Eater was the moment they finally took the bold step into the music they wanted to create for themselves, but it came with a fair share of flaws - the guitars were too muffled, the vocals were way too loud (a recurring problem throughout their early career) and overall it felt like though the potential was there, it just didn't quite hit the mark. Moon Healer takes all of those qualities and goes "yep, we get it, here's the album you were looking for". It almost feels like a long con to get more people to buy into the prog approach.

The bass lines were still nasty on that one, and here they're even better. Navene Koperweis is hands down the best drummer JFAC has ever had - not to say the previous guys weren't skilled, but something about the way Koperweis plays just fits, especially with the more progressive leanings of their later direction. Instead of songs trying and bunch of things and going nowhere, he supplements them with tasteful fills and just the right amount of off-beat snare placement and speedy blastwork that underscore all of the ideas the way they were meant to. This guy is making a name for himself, and adds to an impressive resume that includes Entheos and Animosity. Each song is full with tasty little moments and a more even balance between the instruments - and lo and behold, Jonny Davy is actually mixed well and not dominating the fuck out of everything! They always mixed him like a deathcore vocalist - which, I mean, fair, he has an immediately recognizable voice and set the template for the mix of low growls and accent highs that most modern vocalists in the style employ, but now that he's actually a little bit more sifted in, everything can flow and breathe so much better - and Alan Glassman actually gets some time to be showcased, after years of being perennially underrated.

In summation, this is hands down Job For A Cowboy's best album and after years of somehow being simultaneously overrated and underrated, they've finally come into their own and are getting the proper recognition they deserve - not for accidentally inventing deathcore, but by establishing themselves as one of the finest veteran death metal bands making the rounds.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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