Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 6/27/2006
posted on 6/2006 By:
I think most of us can still appreciate the simpler things in life. Plain blue jeans, cheese, well-filmed adult entertainment, and no-bullshit thrash metal. Hell, fit all that into a couple hours during an afternoon off and that’s a good fucking time if you ask me (not all at once, of course), and Jungle Rot are all those things, even the cheese. I fucking love cheese, you can’t make a pizza without it, you can’t make a grilled chee*, uh, well, you know what I’m saying. Sometimes it’s a necessary ingredient, and War Zone is actually quite refreshing to this ear on a number of simple, effective levels.
What Goes Right: The first thing I noticed is the deceptive power and ability of the musicians involved. Oftentimes when viewing chunky, beefy thrash metal of this variety, the technical aspects tend to get overlooked, but the tightness of the material here is standout. This isn’t thrash like Exodus, The Haunted, or Destruction, instead it reaches in and grabs two big handfuls of dense sludge and smears it all over everything, and the combination of the understated musicianship, dirt-bellied, militaristic grooves, and tastefully conservative extremity hits hard at high volume. There’s something very rigid, and boldly fresh about Jungle Rot’s uncomplicated, unspectacular but superbly executed songcraft that leaves a favorable impression, as opposed to trying too hard with overindulgent wankery. The mid-ranged grunting (not like a pig, though) vocals also are of note for being understandable, easy to follow yet still pretty damn gutting when the time comes to break out heavy artillery, and best of all, they sound real and not overworked by multi-tracking, which should sound great live. It’s a great alternative to pointless blastbeats, and boring gore lyricism.
What Goes Wrong: War Zone is a little short, as far as running length goes. I suppose you can spin this as being ‘compact’ because by nature, simpler metal is best kept brief, but some of the material here could have been stretched out a bit more to let some of the more pummeling riffs really sink in. It is less-is-more, I just wish there had been more of it to enjoy throughout these 11 rock-solid battle hymns. That’s about all the bitching I got in me on this one.
The Verdict: The earth-rupturing rhythm of the War Zone is a reminder how just because an album isn’t performed with 220 bpm’s of horribly produced extremity, or flying into five different directions stylistically, that metal of this nature can still be quite stimulating. I’d put Jungle Rot’s latest right alongside the new Dismember, Lair Of The Minotaur, Vore, and Sodom as some of the best examples of pure, crunchy mid-paced heavy-duty quality I’ve heard this year. Sheer badassery, without the excesses, and sometimes that’s all you really need, isn’t it?
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