Jungle Rot – Order Shall Prevail (Victory Records)Thursday, 2nd July 2015
There’s something to be said for staying solid and true in the death metal world. Choosing not to deviate too much from a certain ‘stock’ formula won’t alienate your faithful fan base- however it probably won’t ramp up new interest from the latest tech heads who prefer flash and dash antics to cohesive songs. Since 1994 Wisconsin’s Jungle Rot have served up 30-40 minute helpings of thrash-oriented groovy death, Dave Matrise as main vocalist/guitarist from the beginning leading the quartet down a familiar path. Order Shall Prevail as the eighth studio installment doesn’t stray far from its core principles: 10 songs in brief 3-4 minute bursts, easy on the brain grooves/choruses, and primitive riffing with growls over the top.
Imagine Obituary, Bolt Thrower and Six Feet Under with a clearer Max Cavalera gruffly spitting out the words and that will give you a pinpoint vision of Jungle Rot. This isn’t thinking man’s death – the drum beats are rudimentary, the riffs equally simplistic, and the choruses often 3 words or less chanted incessantly (“Paralyzed Prey”, “Trench Tactics”). Drummer Joey Muha occasionally serves up some blast beat variance amidst the normal death grooves – ramping up the thrash parts for a couple of measures in personal favorite “Blood Revenge”. Militant in precision and attack, you can imagine the tanks rolling up or the troops marching in as the title cut or “I Cast the First Stone” roars from the speakers.
Dave’s phrasing and wording can be quite predictable in almost a nursery rhyme manner – enunciating syllables in time to the riff choice often, while the rhythm section pumps away in an uppity manner before the groovier transitions take command. Punchy snare hits and a solid guitar tone keep Order Shall Prevail moving along smoothly – so those who have loved Jungle Rot since the beginning will ride along to this album just fine.
I suppose if the band is satisfied carving out their own brand of thrash-oriented death from the late 80’s/early 90’s school of influence, then there are enough supporters to appease their goals.