Wisconsin’s Death Metal Legends Jungle Rot have been delivering the goods for the best part of twenty-seven years and shows no sign of relenting. Their latest offering, A Call To Arms, is a ten-track offering spanning thirty-three minutes that packs as much punch as it does head-nodding groove.
Jungle Rot – A Call To Arms (Unique Leader Records)
Release Date: 13 May 2022
Words: Jools Green
A Call To Arms is a master class in Death Metal that will perk up the most jaded of ears, encompassing everything I love about the genre when it’s delivered well, which, for me, this album is.
Over the years, they’ve seen substantial line-up changes, with Dave Matrise on vocals and guitars being the consistent face and an equally consistent aspect to the sound since ’93. The two founding members, Jim Harte and Joe Thomas of the Illinois Thrashers, Prisoner, long since departed from the line-up.
A Call To Arms is another war, torture, death and corruption inspired offering delivered in Jungle Rot’s trademark meld of groove rich, old-school Thrash, Death Metal, and Hardcore, completed with Dave’s raw rasping vocal delivery.
Opening with A Call To Arms, the engagingly sinister riffs, as they build, fill you with anticipation, and as the track breaks into a brutal gallop, that anticipation is rewarded. Asymmetric Warfare has a chugging groove that is addictive as hell. Beyond the Grave ups the pace from both predecessors and, as it progresses, develops into an unstoppable chugger, punctuated with powerful chanting corals and runaway second-half lead work.
Death Squad unleashes a Death Thrash assault upon your senses, the vocals cutting through like a rusty, jagged knife and with a bit of a Bolt Thrower echo lurking within in this track. Genocidal Imperium has a decidedly hardcore edge.
Haunting Future is an addictive and sinister slice of Death Metal, bouncing and chugging its way along, culminating in thrashy leadwork towards the end of the second half, while Maggot Infested is another groovy beast, also with a Bolt Thrower echo. It’s hugely addictive and engaging.
Sinister riffs and drum salvos herald the arrival of Population Suicide, a brutal pounding beast of a track with a dramatic but slick midway direction switch.
Total Extinction opens dramatically on a blood-curdling scream, a drum and riff onslaught and searing leadwork, driving forward unrelentingly, a powerful track. Finally, Vengeance And Bloodlust charges initially at an utterly engaging thrashy gallop until midway dropping back into something a little groovier but still packing a punch with a final breakneck burst of leadwork, followed by a frantic charge to the finish line.
A Call to Arms was once again co-produced by Chris Djuricic and the band and was mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö, an aspect you can’t fail to miss, his signature being all over this release.
I don’t have any specific favourite tracks. It’s a good end to end listen.