Released: 2013, Victory Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Stephen King once likened his writing to the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries. The same could be said about Wisconsin stalwarts Jungle Rot's musical approach, because when it comes to meat and potatoes death metal, it doesn't get much meatier or, umm, potatoey than this.
Like Obituary, Six Feet Under or, to a lesser extent, Bolt Thrower, the quartet serve up plenty of groove and forward motion, but not a whole lot of spice or fancy technique. It's a simple recipe, to be sure, but it's one the band have mastered. Proof of that is their eighth album, Terror Regime, which comes on the heels of the reissue their first album/demo, 1995's Skin The Living.
The lineup might be dramatically different, with guitarist/vocalist Dave Matrise being the only holdover, but the music and method aren't a whole hell of a lot different than they were 20 years ago. Where Skin offered up the “Eternal Agony,” “Killing Spree” and “Decapitated,” Terror Regime is a bit more about misanthrope than murder, with “I Am Hatred,” “Voice Your Disgust” and a mean-ass cover of D.R.I.'s “I Don't Need Society.” But, as demonstrated by “Carpet Bombing” and “Pronounced Dead,” etc., there's still plenty of “death” in Jungle Rot's repertoire.
Terror Regime chugs along on one locomotive riff after another, with newest member Jesse Beahler's lockstep drumming setting a brisk, marching pace and Matrise topping things off with his drill sergeant bellow. In other words, Jungle Rot's typical modus operandi. As with 2011's Kill On Command, though, there is a bit of a breakdowny, hardcore vibe here – as evidenced by the D.R.I. cover – that gives the band's somewhat workmanlike death metal an oomph that often is lost in a more technical approach. The hooks land squarely almost every time, and the throwbacky vibe seems neither patronizing nor calculating.
That's really it for the “surprises” here, but that's never been Jungle Rot's forte anyway. What has been is greasy, meaty death metal that might not be very good for you, but satisfies nonetheless.