JUNGLE ROT - Meat And Potatoes American Death Metal

March 27, 2013, 4 years ago

By Kelley Simms

jungle rot feature

What you get with Kenosha, Wisconsin’s JUNGLE ROT is straight-forward, underground, soul-taking death metal — pure and simple.

When it comes to bone-crushing riffs and slamming grooves, no one does it better than Jungle Rot. Since the band’s 1994 inception, vocalist/guitarist Dave Matrise has been steering the ship, as the only original member, this band is his life.

It’s those riffs, man! And the grooves! Oh, the grooves made by this band are some of the best ever invented. The blueprint for Matrise’s riffs are laid out like a well-constructed house. And even after all the member changes the band has endured, Jungle Rot’s sound has always remained consistent.

“We’re still stealing souls,” Matrise said. “A casual person coming through the door that’s never heard Jungle Rot, I see this night after night, they come up to the front to hear us and they’re looking at us. Then pretty soon they’re tapping their foot and then they’re moving their head and they’re into it. And the next thing you know they’re in the pit. That’s how I try to write our music; good ol’ fashioned, straight-forward, heavy-grooved, easy to grab, soul-taking music.”

From the rural scenery of Kenosha, you’d never think a brutal sounding band like Jungle Rot would inhabit such a town, but Matrise says that there has always been a big metal scene in his hometown.

“Kenosha, Wisconsin has actually always been a metal town,” Matrise says. “It started out as punk/hardcore. A lot of punk touring circuit bands started playing here in the early ’80s and that’s how I started finding the underground. There’s always been a scene because we’re right in between Chicago and Milwaukee. Milwaukee had a good thing going in the early days, but as it went on in the late ’90s and ’00s, the scene just disappeared and Chicago just took over. It’s a major city and a lot of the underground is still in the big cities and that’s where I like playing. You pull into this kind of city and you just know it’s going to be a good show.”

The band basically puts out the same album each time — but in a good way — much like MOTÖRHEAD, AC/DC and SLAYER does. They’ve never changed their style and their integrity is still intact.

“We do take alot of shit for that,” Matrise says. “But my comeback has always been, you look at SLAYER and look at the greats, they consistently stay the same, too. That’s not an easy thing to do — to stay consistently to your style that’s been saturated so much. Finally, it’s turning back to where it started, the true underground, the old school. I hope this is our year to step it up and keep the fight going. It feels like we’re finally getting the respect that the band deserves, it’s been a good feeling the last couple of years.”

Jungle Rot’s first EP, Skin the Living, was just recently remastered and reissued. It’s a precursor to their next release to sort of get the old-school blood pumping again and it proves that it still stands the test of time. Matrise also guarantees that the new album, its eighth full-length, Terror Regime (released today, March 19), will be more of the same brutal, meat and potatoes American death metal, but with a few added ingredients.

“This time we picked it up alot faster and have gone back a bit more old school. A lot of leads, we’re having fun doing the leads, they are shredding. It’s just a fun album. This is the best that we’ve done to date. I think this is the first time I came out of the studio feeling that I know I got something that’s a winner.”

For almost 20 years, Jungle Rot has stayed consistently in the underground, fighting for the cause. But Matrise has high expectations for the new album and the future of the band.

“I think the people are going to be happy with it for sure,” Matrise concludes. “To tell you the truth, I’d like to get some respect out of it and get some tours. I hope this album proves that we can stand the test of time and run with the runners. I really hope that this is the one that takes us to the next step because we’re still missing the mark. We want to get out there and tour the most that we can.”

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