Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Jungle Rot - Kill On Command

Band: Jungle Rot
Album: Kill On Command
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Genre: Death Metal

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.

Score: 8.5/10
Standout Tracks: Blood Ties, Rise Up and Revolt, Push Comes to Shove, Born of Contagion

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