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Jungle Rot - August 17, 2010 - Ramona Mainstage, Ramona, CA

By: Sara Heitman

It was a warm and muggy Tuesday evening in San Diego. The streets were like a ghost town. Where is everybody? Don't they know that Joe Troutman is presenting a show at Brick by Brick tonight? Upon hearing the news that Blistering would be reviewing a show put together by Joe Troutman, there were high expectations. Joe is one of the hardest working promoters in Southern California. He has booked bands like Nile, Exodus, Into Eternity, My Ruin, Austrian Death Machine, and Ana Kefr, and has a reputation of packing venues from bars to full-blown theaters. Arriving at the venue to a disheartened Troutman, he sadly stated, "No one goes to shows anymore." There were only a few people in the parking lot and inside. Is the live metal scene dying in San Diego?

The night was still young. It was only just past 8 o'clock. Surely more people would pile in once the music started. They didn't. Nevertheless, the show must go on. Jungle Rot, Lightning Swords of Death, and Woe of Tyrants have been touring the U.S. and Canada since late July, and one of their final stops was at Brick by Brick - a popular venue for up-and-coming bands. A few disinterested youth lurking in the shadows and some die-hard metalheads posted just below the stage were the extent of the night's crowd.

Up first were a two-piece ensemble who call themselves Moment of Silence. The drummer/vocalist kept encouraging the audience to raise their horns and get moving. The guitarist has his power stance down-pat. It was even more entertaining that, due to this intimate venue, an audience member was able to hand the guitarist her camera to take a picture, mid-song! You don't see that very often! This impressive twosome was the only group to inspire an active moshpit. Clean vocals could use a tune-up, but overall a stunning show!

Woe of Tyrants were the third band of the night and the most energetic of the groups so far. An awesome singer, Chris Catanzaro, looked like he was possessed by the music at times, and displayed some entertaining facial expressions. This group has a unique sound taking an old school style and giving it a contemporary edge. This death metal/thrash band from Ohio seemed to make it a point to request the metal goblet gesticulation between every song, and the audience gladly participated.

The two least favorite acts, of the evening were Pertition and Lightning Swords of Death. Pertition reeked the stench of utter failure, or to use a slang term that seems to be everywhere (at least in this region), EPIC FAIL! First of all, their second song included two "do-overs" because of issues with the drummer and then the drums. Work out the kinks, and then charge people to watch you. The vocals did not match the music style and sounded like wannabe Dani Filth without the black metal charm. The two guitarists and the bassist had their shit together, though, and good stage presence. My advice is to lose the drummer, and the vocalist while you're at it.

Lightning Swords of Death(hereafter known as LSOD) have already been reviewed by yours truly. The review of their album The Extra-Dimensional Wound can be viewed here. During research for the review, someone out there on the information superhighway mentioned that LSOD puts on a really great live show! Since the recording did not impress, hopefully the live show would. It didn't. Granted, there was an extremely small audience. This could have been due to the fact that there was a change in venues at the last minute. However, if putting on a great live show means wearing dark and scary make-up and using a fog machine, this person just doesn't get out much! It was also a little distracting watching the singer behave as though about to make sweet love to the microphone. This group also had pretty low energy on stage, and a predictable sound. It was partially redeemed at the end of their last song, however, when everyone let the bass player, Menno, take the spotlight. He played a finger-thrashing solo which carried on for an incredible length of time. All five members of the audience scurried over to worship him, and after he finished, all cheered!

Finally, Jungle Rot kicked ass! They had high energy, and excellent stage presence. As a female, I find it necessary to mention that the two guitarists have hair that most women would kill for, and that some pay a lot of money to have. Their sound is death metal with a groove; fun and captivating. Producing songs about war, torture, and death, their name comes from a term coined during the Vietnam War used to describe the foot infection caused by the wetness of military boots. Jungle Rot provided an excellent climax for the evening, and the audience was left wanting more.

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