Not too long ago, while grabbing the embed code for Rise Up and Revolt, I saw some kid on YouTube bitching that Kenosha, Wisconsin’s JUNGLE ROT ‘sounds like they’re ripping off’ some recent metalcore band that will probably be off the radar within six months. In reality, those kids were probably still in diapers (or possibly testicles) when JUNGLE ROT first started making their death metal noise back in the mid-90’s. To make any comparison to the latest crop of ‘core’ bands is laughable, as JUNGLE ROT’s peers are more akin to those that haunted the corners of Morrisound Studios in the early-mid 90’s – those with names like OBITUARY and CANNIBAL CORPSE.
For the release of KILL ON COMMAND (out this week), the band delivers their first album for Chicago’s Victory Records, and finds themselves placed in front of more potential listeners than they probably have been in the first 15 years of their career.
Their Finest Hour is a true tone-setter to open the album, a five-minute-plus showcase of beefy guitars, double-bass thunder, and classic growl. Getting the album’s longest track out of the way first is interesting when considering that KILL ON COMMAND is bookended with it’s shortest track, Life Negated placed in the last slot. The aforementioned Rise Up and Revolt follows a resurgent trend of bands/labels releasing one of the (if not the) weakest cuts on an album as a lead single and video. Not only is the song fairly standard, but it doesn’t really fit with the other nine on the album. There’s a thick sound to the rest of the album that’s completely lacking for the focus track. If anything, redemption can be found on Demoralized, which perfectly balances thrash and death metal with a killer groove that enters with the breakdown around the 1:49 mark.
A lot of good can be found in the back half of the album, with Push Comes to Shove and I Predict a Riot hitting hard while leading into No Mercy (From the Merciless).
The bottom line: There’s bands that play faster, tighter, and with more technical prowess than ‘ROT, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they write better songs. KILL ON COMMAND is an old-school record for a new-school audience. But is the class paying attention? Let’s hope so.