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The cover EP has never been a type of release I've been fond of. Covers in general don't really appeal to me unless they're a major overhaul of the original version. Jungle Rot's interpretations of the three old thrash songs they've chosen aren't anything new; the band's breed of death metal has always had a fair amount of thrash in it, and the covers of these songs are little more than a slightly more brutal reworking owing to more modern production values and growled vocals. They're good but nothing to write home about.
The title track is solid Jungle Rot, but again the live tracks aren't anything to get excited over. There's essentially nothing different between the live versions and the studio ones apart from crowd noise and mixing. They're, of course, capable live representations of what you hear on the recording, but any Jungle Rot fan has these already in their original incarnation, and the difference between the live and studio versions is so minimal as to make them unimportant.
If you desperately want to hear Jungle Rot cover old thrash songs for some reason I suppose you could get this, but there's not a lot here for even rabid Jungle Rot fans to sink their teeth into. A couple more original studio tracks would have made this a release worth purchasing, but even though the title track is unique to this EP, I can't really recommend this. There's just not enough content to justify picking it up unless you find it in a bargain bin for a very low price.
Darkness Foretold is Jungle Rot's first and only ep, shortly released after Slaughter the Weak. So it is a (small) collection of tracks recorded not too long after that session and three live tracks from that album and the Skin the Living one. And the title track is actually the only song of theirs from the four tracks recorded at that session, the covers being songs from Sodom, Slayer and Carnivore, a good selection to say the least.
So the ep starts with the first cover track, "Agent Orange". Fuck, a cover from the highest quality, easily being one of the best Sodom cover out there and beating the shit out of version from Revenant on the Code Red bonus tribute cd. So you instantly recognize the classic thrash riff, ripping its way as a chainsaw does on any unfortunate bush around, the drum crushing any bits remaining on the path. The song sounds way more menacing and dirty than the original, and along with Dave Matrise cavernous growls, it definitely got a strong death metal and Jungle Rot makeup. Also worth of notice is how the drummer doesn't always follow Witchhunter's beats as well as the lead guitar playing an altogether different solo. "Fight ‘Til Death" continues pretty much the same but is less impressive, maybe because "Agent Orange" being rather far from death metal made it all the more interesting to hear. "Jesus Hitler" is pretty sweet, as not only it's more of a thrashy song but it also has some little punk sonorities, so hearing it in the Jungle Rot style is rather nice.
As for "Darkness Foretold", it's a track rather similar than what is found on Slaughter the Weak although it has some rather evil sounding moments. So you get mid paced groovy death metal with the occasional faster, blast beat passages. It's nothing original, pure old school death metal, yet it's a band somewhat hard to compare. Hints of Obituary or Cannibal Corspe can be found, but the overall playing and dirty atmosphere is quite different from those bands. So follows the live tracks. They sound good, really good. The sound of all the instruments is practically identical than on the aforementioned album, and the live environment manages to give some... more life to the sound, the show should have been insane to say the least. The song selection is good too, kickass Jungle Rot as you would expect.
I was never fond of such eps, leftover tracks, covers, live ones; I'd rather see them released as bonus tracks on an album or a bigger, sort of compilation release. Its usefulness is even more put in question considering that the title track has been added as a bonus on the more recent issue of Slaughter the Weak, which you should get hold of instead of this one if you are new to the band. So really, what you get here is a couple of covers and live tracks. As live albums are infinitely more interesting than a handful of separate tracks, the real interest here are the covers. And as much as they are good, they may not be worth hunting this ep for.