Experimental death metal outfit Job for a Cowboy will release “Moon Healer,” its first full-length in a decade, on Feb. 23, 2024, via Metal Blade Records.
Featuring a refreshed 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 is picking up where its 2014 album, “Sun Eater,” left off.
“I had to take a step back in the band for family,” Davy said. “It was the catalyst that eventually created a fork in the road for all of us. We all drifted into our separate paths. Fatherhood, additional music projects, academic degrees and careers outside the band took priority and life’s focus.” 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.”
While “Moon Healer” is as heavy as Job for a Cowboy has ever been, it’s more consistent and conceptual. 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,” he said. “The music acts as potent potions, inducing hallucinogenic journeys that unlock the secrets of the universe.”
The band 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.
“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 Machine Head and Whitechapel ,and is in the band Entheos, which released its third full-length on Metal Blade in March 2023.
Following previously released single, “The Agony Seeping Storm,” which displayed a hybrid of death metal specializing in unconventional riffing that echoes the resemblance of experimentalists like Cynic, Atheist and Gorguts, latest single “The Forever Rot” stands in stark contrast, delving into a lonesome guitar melody, then evolving into reflections of Obituary, Coroner, Voivod and even hints of Neurosis.
“On ‘Moon Healer,'” Davy said, “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.”
Stream “The Forever Rot” here.
“Moon Healer” will be released on CD, digitally and on vinyl in the following color variants.
Purple w/ Black Smoke
Blue And White Marbled
Pink And White Marbled
Magenta Marble (Independent Retailers)
Dark Purple Marbled (1,000 copies)
Ice Blue Marbled (500 copies)
White w/ Purple Splattered (300 copies)
Blue/White Split Splattered (300 copies)
For pre-orders, visit metalblade.com/jobforacowboy.
“Moon Healer” track listing:
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 Sweeping Storm
8. The Forever Rot