Dubbed "working-class, beer-drinking metal" by the band on its MySpace page, the description of "Ruination" by New Jersey's ABACINATE doesn't tell much about the style heard on the disc, but I've no reason to disbelieve that the boys are working class, drink beer, and play/listen to metal. More accurately, "Ruination" is varied, brutal death metal played with technical proficiency and inclusive of shape-shifting arrangements that incorporate a variety of extreme music styles.The tech-death tendencies occur throughout the disc. Evidently, the act gets bored with songs that ride one style for too long. That does not mean that ABACINATE recklessly throws together a jumble of disjoined parts without cohesiveness or attention to song structure. For the most part, the fusing of segments works well, offering plenty of chances for the listener to get a little groove going or succumb to self-inflicted whiplash. Brutal death is the thread that runs through the album, but there are moments that recall a modern deathcore style, mainly in the occasional use of breakdowns, which are usually brief. Periodically, one hears reference points that range from DYING FETUS (e.g., one particular riff/groove in "These Thing were Meant to Kill You") to DEEDS OF FLESH to IMPALED (especially when the relatively intelligible growls/gurgles of Ian Neal switch to high-end screams). On a handful of tracks, the band really tosses everything but the kitchen sink into the mix, "She Gave Up the Ghost" a case in point. The track sees the group move from slow, winding tempos interspersed with spastic grindcore blasts, to brief sections of Swedish melo-death to chugging breakdowns to a sewage gurgle accompanied by only bass and drums. A surprisingly melodic section with a decidedly non-DM lead comes from out of nowhere during one part of "How I would have Done it", while a southern metal groove pops up in "Delirium Tremens". Not everything succeeds smashingly, but the majority of the time the band hits the mark from the standpoint of composition. Certainly an album that will appeal to the ADHD death metal fan, "Ruination" packs a lot of punch and keeps things interesting. Certainly not a grand slam, but a pretty entertaining and pit-worthy effort nonetheless.
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