Having gotten their start back in 1991, Midwest death metal titans Jungle Rot have maintained a very consistent track record of releases over the last twenty five years or so. Although technically a band since 1991, the band really got it’s wheels turning in 1993 when current guitarist/vocalist Dave Matrise joined the band and Jungle Rot became more serious about the vision for their music. Around 2005, the band had found its foundation as they stand today which is comprised of Dave Matrise on guitars/vocals, James Genenz on bass, and Geoff Bub on guitars. Since then this band of three have operated alongside a slew of studio percussionists over the course of their last five albums, with drummer Jesse Beahler being the most consistent and most current on their latest self-titled effort ‘Jungle Rot.’ Released July 20th via Victory Records, self-titled album ‘Jungle Rot’ may not possess the expected martial album title, but it hits with more force than any of the bands prior releases.
A force presented with an unmerciful attitude, infectious riffs, pummeling double bass, and a brutal aesthetic that these guys have mastered over the years. There is a beauty in this bands ability to produce simplistic, in-your-face heavy death metal and the latest self-titled album is a fine example of their best songwriting.
Kicking things off with a classic thrash metal introduction in “Send Forth Oblivion,” Jungle Rot take fifty seconds to blast you into a punishing haze before Maltrise takes to the microphone. An angered growl spews lyrics of distrust, disloyalty, and the selfishness of humanity, just a few examples of the lyrical themes on this record that deal primarily with violence and the ruination of society. Something I cherish about the musicality of this band comes at about the two minute mark of this song, where they take the same thrashing intro riff and accompany it with a breakdown. This demonstrates a bit of this bands hardcore metal influence and also makes this song a whole new level of heavy.
Track two “Delusional Denial” begins with that same sort of inspiration, which comes stomping in with a Hatebreed mentality. That reference quickly changes when the sound of an old school death metal riff rings out, following the stampeding introduction. This perfectly balanced integration of thrash, hardcore, and death metal can be heard throughout the entire record and is not only addictive, but a sound these guys pride themselves on.
Jungle Rot allowed their songwriting to really shine on two specific tracks, “A Burning Cinder” and “Fearmonger.” Both tracks that present an array of proficient dual riffing and monstrous choruses. “Fearmonger” has an upbeat tempo and thrashing energy, it also features singer Marcel “Schmier” Schirmer of legendary German thrash band Destruction. The feature undoubtedly adds that touch of old fashioned metal to an already stand out track, but also a very memorable chorus that is not too often heard in death metal.
Something important to note about this record, at least for me, is that there really are no filler songs. There is definitely quality within each track, whether it be the hammering double bass in tracks “Stay Dead” and “Pumped Full of Lead” or the ferocious precision displayed in concluding track “Twisted Mind.” Whatever it is, there is something for every fan of heavy or extreme metal. It says a lot about a band that formed in 1991 to be able to come out with an album as fresh for the group as ‘Jungle Rot.’ An album that maintains this bands militant attitude, unapologetic lyrical themes, and an undying loyalty to the old school.
Pick up your copy of ‘Jungle Rot’ HERE!