Rating:
N/A
Jungle Rot - Skin The Living
1996


01. Demon Souls
02. Destruction And Misery
03. Eternal Agony
04. Killing Spree
05. Rotten Bodies
06. Black Candle Mass
07. Awaiting The End
08. Tomb Of Armenus
09. Decapitated
10. Screaming For Life


This is perhaps the only undisclosed rule in metal that we instinctively live by and hardly ever do we break it: don't bother listening to the demos, just leap to the studio albums. Yet, it never crossed our minds that bands usually work their fingers to the bone making the demos before sending them to the biggest record labels in the business, yearning to impress them. I, for one, would rather listen to the band's "unrefined" sweat-moistened unfledged sound which usually lies at the heart of their first demo than enjoying a better version of it with mixing consoles, monitor speakers and MIDI workstations all entrenched to it, dulcifying its ruggedness.

Skin The Living is Jungle Rot's first demo. It was first released back in 1995 and then pressed on CD a year later so that the fans could have a glimpse of what Jungle Rot's music sounded like back when they were just an inexperienced band craving to be signed.

For a demo, this is actually a pretty enjoyable record. Not only is it endowed with all the qualities that you'd expect in a death metal album - amazing technical riffs, smashing crushing guitars, relentless boisterous drumming and fierce impetuous growls - but also shrouded under a technical veil à la Necrophagist and a groovy grindcore-ish cloak slightly similar to Bolt Thrower's 1987 demo Concession of Pain. So if you're by chance a fan of the German technical death metal gods, you should not let this twenty-five-minute demo slip through your fingers. Just remember though, Jungle Rot's cryptic technical side's complexity shrivels in comparison to Necrophagist's.

As a round-up, Skin The Living isn't really a must for you, even if you are a fan of Jungle Rot. It's obviously not well-produced, passionless and at times unresponsive but it definitely holds a trifling gust of originality and a considerable bulk of ingenuity.


Band profile: Jungle Rot
Album: Skin The Living


 


written by Mindheist | 06.08.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Marcel Hubregtse - 07.08.2011 at 11:52  
Couldn't have said the following better myself.

Quote:

I, for one, would rather listen to the band's "unrefined" sweat-moistened unfledged sound which usually lies at the heart of their first demo than enjoying a better version of it with mixing consoles, monitor speakers and MIDI workstations all entrenched to it, dulcifying its ruggedness.


Usually the demos still possess some magic which is lacking on a band's debut.
Mindheist - 07.08.2011 at 18:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 07.08.2011 at 11:52

Usually the demos still possess some magic which is lacking on a band's debut.

Agreed. And I think, that very magical sound that usually vanishes with the demos, is what defines the band's true identity and shows their "pristine" skills, not with the likes of Nuclear Blast, Roadrunner or Regain working behind the curtains honing its quality.

By the way, after I literally got blown away by Akelei's debut, I checked their 2008 demo "Promo '08" and much to my surprise, there wasn't any notable difference between the two. I hope they won't get seduced by a greedy record label and change their original sound.
Marcel Hubregtse - 07.08.2011 at 19:02  
Written by Mindheist on 07.08.2011 at 18:46

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 07.08.2011 at 11:52

Usually the demos still possess some magic which is lacking on a band's debut.

Agreed. And I think, that very magical sound that usually vanishes with the demos, is what defines the band's true identity and shows their "pristine" skills, not with the likes of Nuclear Blast, Roadrunner or Regain working behind the curtains honing its quality.

By the way, after I literally got blown away by Akelei's debut, I checked their 2008 demo "Promo '08" and much to my surprise, there wasn't any notable difference between the two. I hope they won't get seduced by a greedy record label and change their original sound.


No label has signed them yet., unfortunately. But self-releasing the stuff also helps cause then you can do what you want. And Misha wants total control, I can assure you.
Mindheist - 07.08.2011 at 20:21  
Good to know .
Void Eater - 07.08.2011 at 21:18  
"amazing technical riffs"

Jungle Rot technical? Really? Is that even possible? Jungle Rot is simple, stupid, death metal for cavemen, which is why they're great. I can only imagine that their demo would sound similar to a bunch of rocks being hit together.
Mindheist - 07.08.2011 at 22:40  
Written by Void Eater on 07.08.2011 at 21:18

Jungle Rot technical? Really? Is that even possible? Jungle Rot is simple, stupid, death metal for cavemen, which is why they're great. I can only imagine that their demo would sound similar to a bunch of rocks being hit together.

You know, when most people see the term "technical" in a review, they usually presume it may refer to complex rhythms and song structures. And while I partially agree with them on that point, I still believe there's another side to it that we've been neglecting a lot lately. Jungle Rot's case is no exception, their early deliveries are very technical, not anywhere near Atheist, Cynic, Persefone, Necrophagist or Ordinance of course, but they hold a considerable amount of tortuous riffs. Take Skin The Living, Slaughter The Weak or Darkness Foretold for example, I think you'll agree with me if I say that they are clearly more intricate than What Horrors Await or Kill On Command, their tabs are testimony to that but that hasn't refrained us from assuming that all of them sound relatively the same, and I think it's not entirely true .

Now about "simple, stupid, death metal for cavemen", I really don't know what to say here. I'm actually being torn between two unbelievably flimsy formulas of yours. The first being, assuming that everything that appears simple and easy to produce is stupid and thus suitable for cavemen only and the second being, assuming that cavemen listen only to simple stupid death metal. Here's what I think, an album being simple doesn't make it vulgar and definitely not stupid, in fact, it could be pretty enjoyable (The Crown's Possessed 13). As for the second formula, I don't think that cavemen had a soft spot for death metal, like at all , but I think they would defintely have liked Slayer though .

As for your statement "I can only imagine that their demo would sound similar to a bunch of rocks being hit together", let me tell you that you're mistaken. We may not agree on the technical part but I'm sure you'll change your mind if you listen to it again .
K†ulu - 24.08.2011 at 22:32  
Might be very true regarding demos. I know two cases of local bands sounding crappier/too processed/pussyfied after releasing something through a label. One had an amazingly sounding demo, which got completely watered down after a more "sophisticated" recording. Another band I heard when they were rehearsing and they totally killed with brutality; when I listened to the recorded versions of the songs, there were lots of unnecessary effects and no raw power. Meh. Maybe I should start checking out demos...

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