If Jungle Rot somehow isn’t on your personal list of absolute death metal institutions, then you’re doing it wrong—simple as that. Since their formation in 1994, the band has kept more or less the same formula of grooving death metal, with recurring themes of corruption, death, war and others. Think of them as the AC/DC of death metal; after their first couple of powerhouse releases, fans knew more or less what to expect, and knew not to worry about any experimentation or sullying of the band’s aesthetic. And that holds true once again on the band’s new, eighth full-length, Order Shall Prevail.
Within that template, though, Jungle Rot’s always had a certain degree of variety in their output. One release may be more brutal and the next more grooving, but ultimately every single one of their albums is about as cut-and-dry death metal as you could ask for. Such is the case with album opener “Doomsday,” a quick and nasty little thing with lightning-fast drumming, long-winded guitar passages. and Dave Matrise’s signature death growl—so distinct, you could pick it out of any lineup.
Next up comes my personal album favorite, “Paralyzed Prey,” whose groove is simply irresistible and had me whipping my neck around like a bobble head. This track really recalls the band’s early days, with its low-end guitar tones, slower drumming and aggressive and violent lyrical content. It’s exactly what I wanted to hear from a new Jungle Rot tune, and along with being the highlight of Order Shall Prevail, it makes a pretty good case on the band’s all-time list. It’s straight-ahead death metal at its finest.
The band serves up an absolutely breakdown-tastic track in “Fight Where You Stand,” which, in a nice surprise, features a guest spot from Max Cavalera. Admittedly, things lean more toward Cavalera’s brand of heaviness here, and while it’s a vicious display, I wouldn’t exactly call it a favorite of mine. (Not to worry, though: they settle right back into the usual Jungle Rot groove just a bit later, on “I Cast The First Stone.”) I’d also be remiss to not mention “E.F.K.,” which takes a short run time, gets in, and absolutely slays. (Which, when your abbreviations stand for “Eat, Fuck, Kill,” you’d kind of hope they do.)
The band has come back with a strong outing that further cements their place in death metal. What’s always been the biggest draw of Jungle Rot for me is the fact you can put this album or any of their others on and not feel the need to have a PhD in musicology to follow it or get into it. It’s simple, and it’s kickass. So don’t mind me I’ll just be over here hitting repeat and giving myself whiplash.