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Review: Job For A Cowboy - Ruination
Job For A Cowboy

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 40:37
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: August 22, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 3.3/5 (66.09%) (23 Votes)

OK so the band name still sucks. With that out of the way… Second album on Metal Blade for Job for a Cowboy, and since the band is cursed "in the scene", it's being decried as crap by people who haven't heard it – the fate of bands around which there's too much hype. It really doesn't help them that their first release was a Deathcore EP, and that the band's hype was mostly built up from the much-maligned Myspace (never mind that most underground bands nowadays have nothing but a Myspace "site" – but that's a topic outside the scope of a review – I'll get to that soon.)

Alright, so after a pretty good full-length debut (Genesis), the band kicks it up a notch in the technical department (that's both good and bad), departs a little from their influence and start doing their own thing. The result is Ruination. The lyrical themes are pretty much political and social, though I have a mp3 promo so I'm saying this based on the song names and interview bits. Considering the first interview I ever read with them was pretty clueless (on the band's side), that's a big jump.

Ruination is not exciting, but it's a pretty decent, often slightly above-average slab of Death Metal. As I mentioned earlier, the band has taken a somewhat technical turn – great if you like the style, but sometimes you can be left wondering "where's the music?" – some parts can be on the boring side. But then again, I could say that of most technical bands so… I have mixed feelings about the vocals – we get a good set of growls, sort of in-between Krisiun and Vader, very well done, but there's also a more "scream-ish" style that I'd say is half-way between a Death growl and a metalcore scream, and that makes me cringe every time, not getting used to it after several listens. They should really have stuck to the other style for all the vocal work; it would have made the album much better.

Some pretty heavy and borderline brutal Death Metal is on offer here, with a few more melodic and somewhat catchy passages and a good number of very cool guitar passages – gotta love those razor blade-sharp guitar parts popping up here and there. The heavy, slow to mid-paced passages almost feel like an army marching on to the battlefield, very addictive "beat" that sticks in your head, complete with a subtle apocalyptic atmosphere hovering in the background – blink and you'll miss it, but when you get it, it's a great complement to the music.

Overall a decent release (that may have gotten a better reception if it had been released by another band), Ruination doesn't break any new ground but does things well enough. If these guys can get rid of the second style of vocals, I'll be watching when the next album comes along.

Other related information on the site
Review: Demonocracy (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Genesis (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Gloom (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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