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Credit should be given where credit is due, and Jungle Rot deserves all there is to have if the standard is consistency. Granted, one might easily throw out a variation on the old AC/DC jab for making the same album more than 4 times, but there is definitely something to be said for sticking to your guns and only occasionally allowing for an ever so slight evolution in overall sound. Their 6th studio album "Kill On Command" brings in the usual assortment of groovy, Entombed meets Cannibal Corpse death metal, but has a few occasional twists that make it a bit more interesting than the last 3 or 4 studio efforts. It can't be stated enough that Jungle Rot's definition of growth is about as slow and stunted as watching a tree stump collect mold, but a few noticeable spores have sprung up here that hint at a nod to the changing death metal landscape.
In contrast to previous endeavors, this album has a production quality to it that is clearly cognizant of the fact that it isn't the mid 1990s anymore. While the riff sets haven't really gone much beyond the same mishmash of "Clandestine" meets "Tomb Of The Mutilated", the overall quality of the battery of guitars and drums hints at something that almost flirts with the mechanistic character of several mid 2000s death metal albums. The drums are particularly where this is noticeable, as the kick drum has that clicking, tinny quality to it that drew a fair share of detractors toward Into Eternity's "The Scattering Of Ashes", whereas the guitars retain their muddy character, but are also a good bit more punchy and percussive. Along with the bizarre semi-Celtic savage parading his body part jewelry on the cover, it seems that Jungle Rot has definitely gone the road of ratcheting up the heaviness factor something fierce.
Insofar as the songwriting is concerned, this album generally runs together with the previous 4 save in one area, namely the lead guitar department. While what is heard courtesy of Geoff Bub here doesn't quite reach the same sort of humble yet noticeable nod to Kerry King heard out of Jimi Bell on "Slaughter The Weak", and it is a bit buried in the mix of extremely loud rhythm guitar parts, it's definitely a huge step back into the more lead happy era of the mid 90s than anything heard since said debut album. Particular gems of fret board wizardry can be heard on the thrashing pummel fest "Their Finest Hour" (a fitting title for the best song on here), as well as in the closing seconds of "Rise Up And Revolt" and "Demoralized", but interestingly enough almost every song on here has some measure of lead guitar work to at least try to sugar up an otherwise plain slice of toast.
But again, it can't be stressed enough that this is still stylistically the same throwback to 1995 that every album out of this band has been. It's a bit more refined in some respects, particularly David Matrise's vocal work, which is still quite intelligible but noticeably rawer and nastier, almost as if incorporating an ever so slightly amount of the newer, brutal slam style that has been making waves of late. Likewise, blast beats have become a bit more common, though still largely taking a back seat to the traditional thrashing character of the mainline early scenes in Florida and Sweden. If you've liked any of this band's albums, it's pretty well a safe bet that this one will sit well with you too, but if you only get 2 of their albums, pick this one up after "Slaughter The Weak".
Well this is a treat! I am so happy I finally decided to look into Jungle Rot, and especially that Kill On Command was my first experience with them. This is pure face smashing death metal. Do you know how people mention the boneheaded chest beating neanderthal death metal some people talk about? Yeah that is what this is, but its actually really great stuff.
What's quite intriguing about the music you hear on KOC is that there is a certain element of hardcore to it. No no no not the deathcore type but actual genuine death metal with proper hardcore influences. You can especially hear it in the breakdowns. We have all heard our fair share of breakdowns but Jungle Rot doesn't go overboard throwing too many into one song. In fact the breakdowns that are there (No Mercy, and Push Comes To Shove for example) are interesting because the fellas decided to actually add something to them and play different riffs over them or throw in guitar solos so that they aren't the borefest we are all used to. Not only that but there is an actual style of riffing that sounds very punk/hardcore like in tracks like Born of Contagion, and I Predict A Riot. This is actually refreshing since I have found so few bands who successfully combine elements of hardcore with death metal while still maintaining a proper death metal sound. Not to mention Rise Up and Revolt has a killer intro!
The vocals are a deep throaty sort but not so dissonant that you cant understand what is being said. I'm not sure if there are effects done to them in the studio but they sound good, and sort of different. Whether it was added or natural I like it. The bass seems to be a little buried in the mix but if you pay attention you will notice it there. It mostly just goes along with the guitars though. The drumming is solid, and pretty conservative with the blasts. No constant blasting here but it is peppered through the album here and there. One thing that is a little annoying, and this will be different for everyone, is the sound of the bass drum. It sounds a little odd and I don't especially like it especially during the double bass parts.
So chalk this up as a win for Jungle Rot. This is really good mid paced death metal with a good amount of groove to it and a dash of hardcore thrown in for good measure. All the songs are generally sounding the same but I could equate them to Bolt Thrower, it may sound similar but it sounds good. There is the cruddy sounding bass drum but its not at all a deal breaker. Cheers to JR for successfully melding bits of hardcore (awesome breakdowns, hardcore like riffs, and gang shouts) with death metal without it sounding like garbage.
Originally reviewed @ http://abaddonsmetalshop.blogspot.com/
I am not sure I would have ever considered Wisconsin groove death purveyors Jungle Rot to be "legendary." They are certainly old enough and certainly prolific enough to garner such praise, as many old bands do(often without deserving it). But Jungle Rot were never one of those "must listen" acts that changed the face of death metal forever. But damn it all if they were not fun as hell: punishing grooves, vicious vocals and catchy rhythms have been Jungle Rot's M.O. for a long time, and they always delivered.
Which is why the knuckle-dragging idiocy of Kill on Command is so fucking baffling.
True, Jungle Rot have never been the smartest band in death metal, but Kill on Command is completely devoid of brain cells: a night of binge drinking has produced more intellectual results. Take the absolutely stunning lyrical prowess of "I Predict a Riot":
"bodies flailing round, human flesh surrounds
abyss, torture bound, beaten to the ground
violence without fear, getting quite severe
distress offered, learn to persevere
I predict a riot
raging is your goal, you jump in the hole
furious, darkened soul, losing self control
savage, fists held high, take one in the eye
victims, weak they lie, you cannot deny
tramples, best shake it off
broken, weak brittle bones
crushed by the weight of human walls
down in the pit, you can't escape
assault, no constraint, and make no complaing
savage, not a saint showing no restraint
rampage, storming through, skin is black and blue
brutal fucking zoo, what'd I get into"
I posted the entire thing, since bits and pieces don't quite do this song, or this album, the justice it so deserves. A "brutal fucking zoo" indeed, only the chimps are running the show it seems.
Some will say I am being too hard on Jungle Rot. I mean, they are Jungle Rot, not Ulcerate. This is not thinking mans death metal. This is music meant to be experienced live, in the mosh pit, while smashing into some large drunk Metalheads. Too bad Kill on Command lacks any of the fantastic grooves that made Dead and Buried or Fueled By Hate such rock solid releases. This album is barely coherent: a few solid death/thrash riffs lost in a mass of chugs, "motherfuckers" and crystal clear production that robs any visceral edge the music might have had when the band actually wrote the damn album. If they even wrote it: to be entirely honest, a drunken jam session at the local practice space comes up with similar results. The whole thing reeks of amateurism that one would never expect from such a long running, professional act.
My first instinct is to somehow blame Victory Records for this mess, but the record label had no impact on Pathology, so sadly Victory are a poor scapegoat. In truth, the fault must lie with the band: Jungle Rot have flat out mailed this one in, something they have never done in the past. Maybe they lack passion for what they are doing. Maybe they are out of ideas. One thing is for sure though: Kill on Command is a disaster.
Originally posted at http://curseofthegreatwhiteelephant.blogspot.com/
In many weird ways I seem to think that the “Kings” of certain genres in metal don’t deserve to be labelled that at all. I won’t blast on anyone but we all can think of some bands that deserve that spot way before other bands. One of the bands I’m talking about, one of the bands that deserves to be hailed as kings of death metal, Jungle Rot. Spawning from the dirty graves of the death metal scene in 1995, they released a couple demos before the debut full-length “Slaughter The Weak” hit the streets heavy. Any band that releases records that speak volumes and are as classic as the ones Jungle Rot have released in the past, they deserve a fucking crown to be kings. Fast foward to 2011, Jungle Rot is back with a new record, “Kill On Command”, and a new label in Victory Records.
“Kill On Command” is the type of record that stands tall on it’s own, not to mention it’s filled with ten tracks of kick ass brutality. Running a little over the 35 minute mark, the record really does give you that sense of death metal is back in the hands of one of it’s leaders. I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous when I heard that Jungle Rot was signing to Victory Records. A label that is notorious for having bands change the way they sound, ruining bands and just putting out records that are shit, in my opinon. Don’t let the single/title track to this record fool you, “Kill On Command” is nothing like the rest of this beast of an album. “Kill On Command” gives you 1980′s thrash/death mixture that Sepultura gaves us but with a little mix of old Cannibal Corpse. Another great thing about Jungle Rot is that even though they are death metal, they find no need to be extremely vulgar and gory with the lyrics. We don’t have any raping and eating the unborn fetus or killing small villages, only so we can burn the priest then bath in his young daughters blood. “Kill To Command” just gives you that self-empowerment, take no prisons type of lyrics and it fits them perfectly. The riffs – great guitar work on this record but nothing we haven’t heard before from past bands. The good thing about the riffs are that they seem to just choke you with so much force your face will turn a different color. “Push Comes To Shove” is a great example of that, it’s raw, full of power and structured just right.
Also, the solo work in this record is pretty sweet, you get a few of them right off the start of the record with a few sprinkled around the rest of it. Everything on “Kill On Command” sounds very well done, the vocals give you that warm blanket feeling of death metal while the drumming has it’s old school groove that original death metal had, thank god they didn’t gives us a record full of blastbeats. Another really weird thing about this record is that it kind of reverses it’s tracks. The record starts off with “Their Finest Hour” which is the longest track on the record but then ends with “Life Neglected”, the shortest track on the record. Not many bands do this but I can say that I like the layout of it. The one thing that I dislike about the new Jungle Rot record, yes I do dislike one thing, is the two or so breakdowns that seem to have creeped inside the walls. We’re not talking “slams” either people, we have full-on breakdowns, luckily only two sections have them throught the whole record so I’m pleased to say, it didn’t effect my overall opinion.
Originally written for: http://bloodorlove.domesticgenocide.com/