JUNGLE ROT has left Century Media/Olympic Recordings and have just inked a deal with Crash Music; “Darkness Foretold” being the first disc of several to come. This quaint EP was originally released in 1998 by the former label previously mentioned and contains 3 excellent covers, 1 studio recording and 3 live tracks. Thus, it was a perfect introduction to the band for this reviewer.
I must applaud this Chicago quartet for picking 3 excellent songs to cover which certainly must have influenced the band a great deal in their infancy. Each is a thrash classic and JUNGLE ROT handles these epic pieces well, making the performance their own and pulling off a unique sound. These, of course, are not the reason to check out the disc, however. The title track certainly earns its right by offering the juxtaposition of blistering sections with slow lumbering passages which keeps your head banging at awkward intervals. JUNGLE ROT’s sound is most easily described as a modern conclusion to classic OBITUARY and it still sounds fucking sadistic and evil circa 2006.
The live tracks are the meat of the album, providing 2 songs off the band’s debut and a 3rd track from “Slaughter The Weak”. The sound is solid enough for a release and the guitars contain a heavy raging tone which will ignite your blood. The riffs are catchy and the growled vocals are fucking ugly and dirty as Death Metal should be. Having never heard the band prior, I must say the live tracks are the strongest cuts on here and certainly go for the throat a bit quicker than “Darkness Foretold”.
This is a good EP but it is not great. Immediately one cannot help but wonder why the debut was not re-released rather than an estranged EP which is only 8 years old. “Darkness Foretold” is an interesting listen and has certainly won over a new fan of the band, yet I cannot whole-heartedly recommend shelling out your hard-earned cash for a 27 minute EP when you would be better off tracking down a full-length JUNGLE ROT album. This one will likely remain for collectors and those lucky enough to discover it in the bargain bin. (Online April 9, 2006)