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Jungle Rot War Zone

Jungle Rot - War Zone
01. Victims Of Violence MP3
02. Cut In Two
03. Savage Rite
04. They Gave Their Lives
05. Strong Shall Survive
06. Decapitated
07. Ready For War
08. Ambushed
09. Fight For Life
10. Territoriality
11. Killing Spree
2006 Crash Music

Reviewed by: Michael Gluck   //   Published: 10/21/2006

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As part of the metal world expands into an overabundance of niche styles and untraceable hybrids to be gobbled up by "forward thinking" youth, some bands are taking shelter by staying true to their roots and keeping it simple, stupid. Wisconsin's death metal underdogs Jungle Rot continue doing exactly that on their fifth full-length, the ingenuously titled War Zone. Following the dismantling of cult label Olympic Records, only select artists like Behemoth demonstrated sales worthy enough to be brought in from the cold by said label's parent company, Century Media, although Jungle Rot would be an excellent seller as well if only given a cunning marketing push. Not especially known over the years for its ability to adequately market artists, perhaps the people at Jungle Rot's new label home Crash Music Inc. (formerly Pavement) have changed their ways and stepped up to the plate.

Former Jungle Rot guitarist and rising producer Chris Djuricic (Origin, Novembers Doom, Enforsaken) brings out the low end again as he did so well on their last two albums, Fueled By Hate and Dead And Buried, rendering the album another undeniable catalyst to sessions of solitary headbanging. Bassist James Genez from defunct Chicago-based, ex-Olympic Records brutal death legends Fleshgrind, makes his first recorded appearance with Jungle Rot, adding some repute to their constantly changing rhythm section. Song wise, Jungle Rot's new material at times harks back to their earlier albums Slaughter The Weak and even Skin The Living to a degree. For example "Decapitated" uses a fast push beat like "Gore Bag" from Slaughter The Weak did, and ends up halving the tempo soon after in much the same way. There are some exceptions though.

Well thought-out, succinct songs like "Strong Shall Survive" and "Ready For War" are a natural progression for the band as they are beginning to learn how to be more efficient users of time. In doing so, they move away from death metal and closer to a hardcore sound, and I doubt this is unintentional. The death metal genre is becoming more technical with each passing year so Jungle Rot would surely satisfy audiences at a 100 Demons show just as much if not more than if they were to open for some Unique Leader band. After all, vocalist/guitarist Dave Matrise sounds like a crossbreed of 100 Demons' recently-returned Bruce LePage and Merauder's Jorge Rosado. The album ends on an disputable note with "Killing Spree," which sounds like either an unfinished song slapped on there to bolster the number of tracks, or written in a different vein than the rest of the album.

Aside from changing labels, and making use of a different color scheme than green for the cover art for the first time, Jungle Rot have changed little over the years. To a seasoned metalhead, the band would bring to mind old school death like Bolt Thrower, early Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Sepultura, Obituary, and Torture Killer. To a nineties hardcore fan, the band would sound like remarkably like Merauder, Stigmata, 100 Demons, Madball, Cold As Life, and Hatebreed's Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire (for the unaware, Jungle Rot's 1995 debut album Skin The Living was released on Jamey Jasta's Pure Death Records, and noticeably influenced Hatebreed's Victory debut). And to the kid who just started listening to "metal" last year, you won't get it so go rock out instead to AILD, ETID, and BTBAM. War Zone is a man's album; made by men for men. Those who consider this brand of metal stale and clich├ęd definitely have strength in numbers because good taste in metal now fluctuates disproportionately with the amount of metalcore bands infiltrating Billboard's top 200. But that doesn't mean they have good taste, not in the least.

Bottom Line: For the best in old school northeastern death performed with the efficiency of tough nineties hardcore, and a band that more than compensates for Six Feet Under's lost ability to write listenable metal of the same style, Jungle Rot fits the bill. The simple yet unified and pounding rhythm section makes War Zone as reliable an album as Jungle Rot have ever put out. There is no question that unlike many bands in metal, Jungle Rot go against the grain with the old fashioned sound, yet always seem to know exactly what they are doing. Forget the all-too-common dizzying patterns for a moment and settle into a hardy groove brought to you by Jungle Rot, even for the sake of merely being nostalgic about death metal's origins.

steveirwin_   posted 11/9/2006 2:12:40 PM
i love how jealous people get on here
bitches who dont know shit about music come on here and namedrop and talk about brees and their egotistical bullshit suck my dck
Uffe_   posted 11/3/2006 11:25:51 PM
This is definantly their weakest material up to date.
Gluck_   posted 10/26/2006 11:21:53 PM
lol sounds exactly like something I'd do!
anonymous   posted 10/26/2006 4:22:12 PM
i once saw gluck at a sworn enemy concert, he was jumping around like a gay throwing devil signs with his fingers, as soon as kids started moving he jumped away like a pssy and wasnt seen again.. he was also wearing really really homo goth boots
Mike Gluck_   posted 10/26/2006 12:32:44 AM
im gay

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