Job For A Cowboy - Ruination
Underground sensation. Myspace-made band. Call them what you will, but Arizona's Job For A Cowboy have certainly made a name for themselves in a short amount of time. A relatively young (age-wise) band, frontman Jonny Davy remains the only constant member from their initial formation. While their previous efforts (the debut EP Doom and debut LP Genesis) showcased a band more easily classified as deathcore, Ruination sees a maturation process most likely brought on by ex-Despised Icon guitarist Al Glassman, coupled with a naturally evolving outfit. Lyrically more precise, and musically more in-tune to your typical American death metal. This album leaves more of a lasting impact than any other, internet-hyped release did.
One of the most enjoyable points of interest throughout Ruination is newcomer Jon "The Charn" Rice behind the kit; his work injects more energy and fury into the band's attack than was present prior. "Unfurling A Darkened Gospel" is a choice opener in both title and content. Blazing forth with searing riffs and a backend very similar to other American metal outfits (the entire album I get the strongest Lamb of God vibe, a southernized metal approach that perhaps lends more to the production values than anything else), the song and most to come really sizzles with creative songwriting. "Summon The Hounds" starts off like something out of Slayer's more recent outtakes and eventually grinds to a wondefully executed climax. The constant mashing of riffs and breakdowns eventually melds together too much and few songs stand out on their own. But, taken as an album's worth of metal, Ruination could to far less to impress.
While I know this band is still climbing the evolutionary ladder towards something truly memorable and iconic, Ruination represents on hell of an interesting step along the way. Minor complaints include the rather predictable mixing and production which makes the band sound more metalcore than they have a right to (pushing the rhythm too far up front and letting the leads flounder, too much grit around the edges and a drum sound that gets lost too often), and also the lack of any song that should stand out above the rest. It's a sad fact that even in metal, a single means something, but without that one track to tie the rest of the album to it loses just a little of it's recommendability. Still, as previously mentioned, Ruination does more good than foul and as such is a deserving addition to any self-respecting modern death metal fan's collection.
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