Iconic, Experimental Death Metal outfit, JOB FOR A COWBOY, will release their long-awaited new full-length, “Moon Healer”, on February 23rd via Metal Blade Records. The release marks the band’s first new full-length in a decade!
“Moon Healer” is a vivid illustration of what happens when creativity, aggression, and volatility tangle for the first time in years. Like the band’s 2014-released “Sun Eater” full-length, “Moon Healer” is musically multifaceted, unabashedly brutal, and compellingly conceptual. Featuring a newly refreshed and reinspired lineup of frontman and co-founder Jonny Davy, guitarists Tony Sannicandro and Al Glassman, bassist Nick Schendzielos, and drummer (since 2020) Navene Koperweis, the band seamlessly picks up the mantle where “Sun Eater” left off.
But why the extended wait? “I had to take a step back in the band for family. It was the catalyst that eventually created a fork in the road for all of us. We all drifted into our separate paths,” explains Davy. “Fatherhood, additional music projects, academic degrees, and careers outside the band took priority and life’s focus,” so the band agreed on a prolonged hiatus, but with the door open for a return. “Everything lined up for us to collaborate on a new project together; it was time to cross the threshold for something new.”
Compared to past offerings, “Moon Healer” is as bone-crushing as JOB FOR A COWBOY has ever been. But it’s more consistent and conceptual, composed with the utmost enthusiasm and confidence. When discussing the lyrical genesis of songs like “Beyond The Chemical Doorway,” “Grinding Wheels Of Ophanim,” and “Into The Crystalline Crypts,” Davy’s writing gets cryptic and elliptical-sounding, part Philip K. Dick, part Timothy Leary. “I envision this as a Death Metal album born from the mystical confines of an alchemist’s laboratory. The music acts as potent potions, inducing hallucinogenic journeys that unlock the secrets of the universe.”
JOB FOR A COWBOY delved as deeply into the music of “Moon Healer”, as Davy did for the vocals and lyrics. The band traveled to Sanford, Florida to record with producer Jason Suecof (DEATH ANGEL, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, DEICIDE) at his Audiohammer Studios. “We’ve gone through this same ritual with Jason for a multitude of reasons. But the most obvious one is that he’s a masterful songwriter, guitar player, and even vocalist. He has an ear for ideas that very few seemingly have. He totally understands where we’re coming from as a band.”
“Moon Healer” is also the first JOB FOR A COWBOY album to feature session drummer Koperweis (ex-ANIMOSITY). Davy previously worked with Koperweis in the Progressive Death Metal side project FLESHWROUGHT, which released “Dementia/Dyslexia” through Metal Blade in 2010. Koperweis also worked as a session drummer for MACGINE HEAD and WHITECHAPEL and is currently in the band ENTHEOS, whose third full-length came out on Metal Blade in March 2023.
Following previously released single, “The Agony Seeping Storm,” which displayed a mathematically mind-blowing hybrid of bludgeoning Death Metal specializing in unconventional riffing that echoes the resemblance of legendary experimentalists like CYNIC, ATHEIST and GORGUTS, latest single, “The Forever Rot,” stands in stark contrast, delving into a lonesome and haunting guitar melody, then evolving into shimmering reflections of OBITUARY, CORONER, VOIVOD and even hints of NEUROSIS. In other words, forget about your preconceived perceptions of what this band was. This twists vocal tropes, chord forms, and melodies into loops of razor wire.
Davy furthers elaborates: “On ‘MoonHealer’, we explore a concept centered around a close friend who embarked on a relentless quest for profound enlightenment through the incessant abuse of hallucinogenic drugs, leading to a severe disconnection from reality due to the toll it took on their mental health. The song ‘The Forever Rot’ touches on their beliefs that human evolution and development have somehow led to the restriction of perceiving otherworldly or inter-dimensional realities and religious entities. It delves into their disconnection from the physical world and the notion that true vitality may be found in the ability to self-destruct and recreate. That some of the drugs they consumed opened these realities that evolution has closed the door on.”
“Moon Healer” track listing:
- Beyond the Chemical Doorway
- Etched in Oblivion
- Grinding Wheels of Ophanim
- The Sun Gave Me Ashes So I Sought Out the Moon
- Into the Crystalline Crypts
- A Sorrow-Filled Moon
- The Agony Seeping Storm
- The Forever Rot
You can listen to “The Forever Rot” in the following video: