If you’ve read my past articles about Jungle Rot you know they are one of my favorite death metal bands. The group has endured numerous hardships to stay on our ‘metal radar’ and I believe they are finally on the brink of achieving the recognition they truly deserve.
J-Rot has been active since 1994 so it’s really no surprise to learn some of their classic material has been re-issued by Victory Records. Re-releases are a great way for casual fans to expose themselves to the original efforts that helped establish an act. These re-issues are essential albums that made an impact when initially offered to the public. Jungle Rot’s 1996 effort, Skin the Living is no exception.
Although, Skin the Living was originally a demo recorded nearly 20 years ago I think the album still holds up today. Jungle Rot has remained successful because they write inventive riffs, gory lyrics, and their songs are always well structured. Those high standards are evident on this freshman release and that mentality has never waivered throughout the band’s lengthy career. J-Rot has been singled out in the past for sticking too closely to this formula but I would argue consistency has equaled longevity.
Skin the Living has that throwback classic death metal vibe in the vein of Death (Leprosy) or Cannibal Corpse (Tomb of the Mutilated), tons of heavy plodding riffs set between high speed bursts of unbridled madness.
The sound quality of this release is amazing. The growls of a young Dave Matrise are so crisply intense they make you feel like he’s going to burst out of the speakers and rip out your throat! Highlight tracks are: “Demon Souls”, “Destruction and Misery”, “Black Candle Mass” and “Screaming For Life”.
The lyrics are not as mature as some of the band’s more current efforts but they are still filled with enough blood and gore to entertain any fan of death metal.
Jungle Rot has been consistently good throughout their career which is an achievement not many groups can claim. They have an identifiable sound and structure that works. Check out Skin the Living and hear for yourself where the rotting began \m/
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1. Demon Souls
2. Destruction and Misery
3. Eternal Agony
4. Killing Spree
5. Rotten Bodies
6. Black Candle Mass
7. Awaiting the End
8. Tomb of Armenus
10. Screaming for Life
Jungle Rot are:
Dave Matrise – Vocals/Guitar
James Genenz – Bass/Backing Vocals
Geoff Bub – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jesse Beahler – Drums