Jungle Rot + Ultra-Violence @ Audio, Glasgow

Wednesday, 17th April 2019
Review By: Pete Mutant

It had been a number of years since Jungle Rot last played in Glasgow, a night that had a small bit of drama from what I’ve heard. That was around 5 years ago and this time Jungle Rot weren’t opening the night, they were headlining it. They had brought out their self-titled and 9th album back in July so it was surely going to be a mixed bag of the old school Jungle Rot mixed in with the new. We’d expect nothing less.

Bringing with them the Italian thrashers Ultra-Violence, the two bands had been carving their path through the UK combining speed and brute force as the methods of annihilation. I like a mixed bag on a bill as such, as we get to sample different flavours rather than one direct barrage of focused music. Ultra-Violence weren’t on my radar before but, having listened to their three albums, I knew that we’d be in for something rather good tonight.

The call was to get down early for this one as there are only two bands with a sizeable amount of metal to be dished out by the duo. The call wasn’t really taken up as there were only a few punters there by the time I arrived. ‘Reign In Blood’ was playing in full through the speakers as a few more bodies collected. It was never going to be a sellout but, by the time Ultra-Violence stepped on stage, there were roughly between 30-40 Wednesday night metal fiends there to sample the night’s offerings.

Ultra-Violence [3.5/5] took to the stage after an excerpt from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange brought us in and introduced us to the night’s first serving of metal. ‘Burning Through The Scars’ kicked us off strongly and had enough momentum to get people interested from the word go. It was as thrashy as you’d want with plenty of hammer-ons, pace, riffs, breaks and breakdowns, all executed very well.

The crowd wasn’t fully awake yet but it was still early. When Loris Castigla announced the next track, ‘Welcome To The Freakshow’, one member of the crowd shouted “yes” and the rest of us laughed. The excitement was building though and the music was serving us all very well. The band were tight and each member impressed in their own way.

I was really enjoying drummer Francesco La Rosa’s technique as he used the cymbals quite technically at times but also wasn’t afraid to blast away when the moment called for it. Lead guitarist Andrea Vacchiotti put in some fine lead work, especially the solo during ‘The Checkered Sun’, but sometimes the levels weren’t right and you lost some of the force of his shred. I was looking forward to ‘L.F.D.Y.’ due to that big power chord driven riff which also didn’t disappoint, but the next track, ‘Gavel’s Bang’, was a bit simplistic albeit with enough force to still entertain.

The set was winding down but the crowd was now fired up. A small pit began from the usual suspects at these kind of gigs during the penultimate track ‘Lost In Decay’, and it was not long after that the stage divers were flying off as a constant. The band looked to be enjoying themselves and the gave their thanks as they ended their set with ‘Fractal Dimension’, which even got a 5-a-side wall of death at the command of Loris Castigla. It was a fun end to a very good opening set from the band.

Setlist:
Burning Through the Scars
Welcome to the Freakshow
The Checkered Sun
Cadaver Decomposition Island
L.F.D.Y.
Gavel’s Bang
Lost in Decay
Fractal Dimension

After a quick pub break, Jungle Rot [4.5/5] were on stage and the main event was here with band already in full flow very quickly with the opener ‘Doomsday’. The sound was pretty much as good as you could want it as the chunky but groove-laden riffs were pounded out with impunity. Jungle Rot are a band of seismic riffs after all and this was going to dominate the music of the evening. Next up, we went into ‘Worst Case Scenario’, which opened with one of these seismic riffs, and a pit was there to take up the mantle and unleash some more energy in honour of the band.

After this, the big man himself, Dave Matrise, addressed the crowd asking if anyone was there the last time they were in town. To this a friend shouted, “aye, but don’t kick the mic stand over this time”, which alluded to the drama of the last gig. To this, silence greeted, which was going to set a comical precedent for the rest of the night. The band got on with things though and it was time for some newer music as ‘Send Forth Oblivion’ went into the absolutely crushing ‘Burning Cinder’, which was one of the tracks of the set. The crowd were in full flow now too and the stage divers were a near constant, as were the pits.

The silence continued in between tracks, which seemed a bit awkward until we made a joke of it. People would shush others in jest until Dave Matrise would eventually break the silence to ask if we wanted more. This brought out a loud “yes please” from one punter which put us all into hysterics and the band seemed a bit confused. On they continued though as we blared through a rather impressive set. The thing was, it was all in the name of fun and the crowd really were eating up every riff, every blast, every growl, every crash of the cymbal etc., and it was turning out to be one of the gigs of 2019 so far.

The stage diving was near constant and I even got a go myself but nearly died as this was a two fold assault by myself and one of the usual suspects going at the same time from separate ends of the stage. Safe to say, my counterpart was safe and well but I think that I nearly crushed a friend who was a little under-supported to take on the job. Uninjured, I kept on as the band steamrolled through some smashing tunes, becoming more and more impressed by the crowd’s reaction to their display. Dave Matrise even appeared to be getting into the spirit of things and was shouting “old School, old school” as he took us through the years back all the way to 1994 for ‘Circle of Death’, which had some fantastic, compounding rhythm.

Loris Castigla joined the band onstage to provide some support in delivering ‘Fearmonger’, another new track, and the shorted frontman of Ultra-Violence was truly dwarfed next to Dave Matrise but he gave a solid delivery. The crowd egged him on to stage dive but he signalled that he still had some vocal duties to do, which he fulfilled before taking a dive from the stage to the welcoming crowd. We were getting more than what was planned, as we had demanded, and Dave Matrise said he was feeling good. The final track of the set was ‘The Strong Shall Survive’, which got the “old school circle pit” that Matrise wanted and we were more than happy to provide. I even got a successful stage dive whilst I still could before the band bowed out and the night drew to a close. What a gig and it is up there with the best so far this year. There were plenty of thrills, spills and a host of laughs which all made for a brilliant night. Thanks Jungle Rot, get back here soon you mad bastards.

Setlist:
Doomsday
Worst Case Scenario
Send Forth Oblivion
A Burning Cinder
Voice Your Disgust
Terror Regime
Paralyzed Prey
Eat Fuck Kill
Strangulation Mutilation
Delusional Denial
Psychotic Cremation
Ruthless Omnipotence
Stay Dead
Pumped Full of Lead
Circle of Death/Jungle Rot
Fearmonger
The Unstoppable
Face Down
The Strong Shall Survive

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