Well nothing else for a title to a review would do if it's about Job for a cowboy, if their previous album "Genesis" is anything to go by then an ear bleeding super annihialation assault was a pretty-much certainty "Ruination" is Job for a cowboy's 2nd full length effort, and deserves if nothing else credit for rapid evolution, and improvement over "Genesis" which was very bland and samey throughout in virtually all departments.
With "Ruination" Job for a cowboy have become a fledging death metal out fit and one to be keeping an eye out for, ever since the days of My space with their debut EP "Doom" this band has been very promising! they still are mind you, however this album as improved as it is unfortunately raises only to the average line and i find it difficult to see this as their true breakthrough album they look so on the verge of doing.
One of their hardest challenges at the moment is standing out from the crowd in an incredibly high quality and numbered death metal market, it is simply no longer the case to just release an average to good (at best) album to get real reqognition, im not saying "Ruination" will sink without trace becouse i doubt that, it's about areas in the music letting the side down.
Take for example Technicality, in death metal this is the most frequently poor area of execution and here it seems to have cropped up again, similarly to "Genesis" which definately suffered to a similar extent of this and it seems highly probable to me that the band have somehow just lost sight of musicianship with a drive for a larger dose of madness.
Despite "Ruination" appears to have a far better mix with regard to the style of vocals, where the monotonous pig squealing is all but gone there is a marked improvement also in imaginitive lyrics, there is just enough ideas present to at least equate to a competant level but sufficiency is a far as it goes, the songs for the most part are in an organised fashion as well.
Though ultimately it cannot hide some fatal flaws. ( mainly the shiny production and basic technical skills.) And in a way it is sort of disappointing becouse this band do seem to have talent but don't know what to do with it, if they could perhaps be a bit more diverse like say add a harmonic there, solo there e.t.c and you know above all try and make the songs a little more interesting i think this could be something special indeed.
Ultimately, if your a fan of Cannibal corpse, Suffocation, Decapitated, Cryptopsy or even Necrophagist you are unlikely to return to this beyond a second listen at best, why have this when you could have "Kill" by CC or "None so vile" by Cryptopsy, but lets face it Ruination is not in the same league of things as either of them.
This band still have plenty of work to do in order to for me to give a 4 or 5 star rating, so putting it plainly if your happy with a loud and ear slaughtering album with fairly simplistic musicianship and gloss by all means give this one a spin, but if your in the camp where you need more than this you know exactly which death metal bands to turn to.