Jungle Rot – “What Horrors Await” (Victory Records)
Special 20 or 25 year anniversary celebration edition reissues are nothing new in the metal world. Jungle Rot have decided that they can’t wait that long however, and so with almost indecent haste, have just reissued What Horrors Await , an album that only came out in 2009.
Look a bit closer though and there is an undeniable method in the madness. First up, the original has been out of print for aeons. It was a limited European release by Napalm Records and very few copies found their way across the Atlantic so this reissue, via the band’s present label Victory, does make sense.
What Horrors Await is not far short of textbook death metal. It deserves to be heard, so yeah, let the jungle drums roar once more. Anyone who missed out nine years ago will know they’re dealing with an untamed beast of a record as soon as that ferocious intro of ‘Worst Case Scenario’ kicks in, a stomping opening number in which Dave Matrise’s distinctive growls roar loud and proud.
With the tempo whacked up a notch on ‘The Unstoppable’ the compulsion to submit your head to an unmitigated banging session is nigh impossible to resist as the muddied groove patterns pack tightly around the machine gun drum battery. These first two songs have regularly figured live for Jungle Rot since 2009 so diehard US fans will not be entirely unfamiliar with this monstrous material.
You’ll need reinforced floors to withstand the shuddering breakdown that cuts right through the centre of the demonstrative ‘Two Faced Disgrace’ while ‘Speak TheTruth’ opens like a rollercoaster, and then gathers speed and intensity without ever fully coming off the rails with Dave’s cry of ‘Speak The Troooooth’ sounding like the last words of a dying man.
Critics may argue that the Jungle Rot sound hasn’t particularly progressed over a quarter of a century but then hardened fans don’t necessarily want it to. Tracks like ‘Nerve Gas Catastrophe’ and ‘Atrocity’ are unapologetic death metal hand grenades. All you have to do is pull the pin and then try to avoid the ensuing debris. The penultimate song is a blink and you’ll miss it cover of Destruction’s ‘Invisible Force’ before the last of the 14 tracks, ‘Black Candle Mass’ safely steers things to a suitably ferocious finale.
The artwork is every bit as visceral as the tracks contained within the packaging. The nefarious explosion of colour and death was produced by Gyula Havancsak, who so impressed the Wisconsin warriors that he went on to pick up the brush on each of their following three full length albums.
The good news for Jungle Rot fans is that this re-issue in no way signals any easing up in their songwriting schedule, album No.10 is already in the pipeline.
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