Jungle Rot has been one of the most consistent bands in death metal for over two decades. The fact that they are not top of mind when talking about the best American death metal acts is a shame for how hard they have worked. Added to the fact that their thrashy, power-groove flavored style has always harkened back to the earliest death metal years, while current popular tastes favor the more flashy technical bands. All that being equal, Jungle Rot always turns out solid albums, and their new one Order Shall Prevail (Victory) is no different.
The best thing about Jungle Rot is they know where they live and breathe: the grinding, grooving mid-tempo jams that make everyone headbang and mosh. Starting with the Slayer-tastic ‘Doomsday’, they serve notice that yes, the`Rot is back! Vocalist David Matrise’s militaristic howling bark has always stood out to me. The second track ‘Paralyzed Prey’ has an angular riff from guitarist Geoff Bub and some tasty soloing going on as well. ‘Blood Revenge’ is one of the best songs on the album. Just a classic badass cut. It has a maelström of cool parts that get better on every listen. ‘Fight Where You Stand’ is a deathy speed metal jam and features Max Cavalera on guest vocals. The Max connection makes sense since Jungle Rot has clearly been influenced by early Sepultura albums such as Beneath The Remains and Arise (both Roadrunner). Cavalera and Matrise’s two vocal ranges mesh beautifully too, in a too often not heard type of team up for death metal.
As you would imagine, the title track is a claustrophobic feeling affair, warning of a dystopian future not too far off for us. You can almost hear this being a huge sing-a-long song live. Drummer Jesse Beahler, who dominates on this album, is on point here. Other top tracks include ‘The Dread Pestilence’ ‘Cast The First Stone’, and ‘Nuclear Superiority’.
At this point in the game, Jungle Rot is not going to change up the formula too much, yet stay true to themselves. Their straight-ahead approach should help win over fans all summer as they appear on the Victory Records Stage at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.