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Jungle Rot – A Call To Arms Award winner

Jungle Rot
A Call To Arms
by Thomas Kumke at 02 June 2022, 12:25 PM

Death Metal legends JUNGLE ROT hailing from Kenosha, Wisconsin have a 30 years history with 10 albums, one EP, one DVD, one box set, and several compilation albums standing to their name. The 11th album “A Call To Arms” was produced by Chris Wisco as usual. The mixing and mastering was done again by Swedish icon Dan Swanö at his Unisound Studio. The album has a length of more than 33 minutes and was released via Californian Death Metal specialists Unique Leader Records. I did not have a lot of expectations when I got “A Call To Arms” to review. The last few albums of JUNGLE ROT were okay, but not that great and I was wondering whether they would be able to go back to their best phase at around 20 years ago. The new album comes with Spenser Syphers on the drums and it starts strongly with the title song.

The guitar riffing is powerful and dark, the pace is high, the drumming includes plenty of double-bass, and the lead guitar solo is cool. It is a direct song with a simple structure and the riffing has a certain catchiness. “A Call To Arms” is the official video release and the YouTube link is given below. “Asymmetric Warfare” is a classical mid-tempo head-banger with plenty of grooves in the riffing. The vocals are not entirely bound to the classical Dave Matrise Hardcore inspired growls, they also include a few higher pitched screams. “Beyond The Grave” is a grim track starting at mid-tempo before it transitions into a track played at frantic pace. The guitar riffing is flesh-ripping, the bass lines are hammering, and the lead guitar solos contributes very well to the sound. “Beyond The Grave” is one of the album highlights. “Death Squad” is one of those songs that have a bit more complexity in the song textures. There are a few twists in rhythm and a few more distortions in the riffing. The drumming includes a few blast-beats, which does not occur that often in the JUNGLE ROT sound.

Genocidal Imperium” is in contrast to “Death Squad” more straight-into-the-face. It comes with a lot of pace for most parts and direct guitar riffing. The vocals fit perfectly to the sound. “Haunting Future” and “Maggot Infested” are mid-tempo tracks for most parts. “Haunting Future” includes a mid-track downtempo part. The riffing is tight and the relentless double-bass drumming gives the track something extra. “Maggot Infested” is spine-chilling with dark riffing. It is a classical head-banging track, with a short doom-laden part at slow pace. The guitar riffing is at its very best and makes “Maggot Infested” to a fan favorite. It is one of my favorites and for me another album highlight. Highlight of “Population Suicide” are the guitars, the riffing as well as the lead parts. The tempo of the track changes frequently from parts in mid-tempo and parts played at insane speed. There is an abrupt break halfway through the track towards a stomping rhythm and during that part, JUNGLE ROT include a few atmospheric elements. “Total Extinction” is another powerful track with a few variations in the rhythm and highlight of the track are the hammering drums. The album closes with “Vengeance And Bloodlust”, a Thrash Metal inspired riffing festival at blistering pace with a lot of EXODUS vibes. The lead guitar solo is short, but the highlight of the track besides the Thrash riffing.

JUNGLE ROT finish the album with a bang! The 11th album of JUNGLE ROT is a very good one and much better than the last few releases. “A Call To Arms” is an album of very high quality and it has all the ingredients to make it a stand-out release: aggression, powerful and dark guitar riffing, cool lead guitars, relentless drumming, versatility in tempo and rhythm, and a vocalist who keeps everything together. The songwriting is very mature and the album is very well produced. JUNGLE ROT show that they still have a lot to offer after 30 years and “A Call To Arms” is an album that should be part of the collection of every Death Metal fan. Songwriting: 9 Musicianship: 8 Memorability: 8 Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Call To Arms
2. Asymmetric Warfare
3. Beyond The Grave
4. Death Squad
5. Genocidal Imperium
6. Haunting Future
7. Maggot Infested
8. Population Suicide
9. Total Extinction
10. Vengeance And Bloodlust
Lineup:
Dave Matrise – Vocals, Guitars
Geoff Bub – Guitars
Spenser Syphers – Drums
James Genenz – Bass
Record Label: Unique Leader Records
     


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Edited 10 December 2022
 

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