Live Review: Under Attack North American Tour
Written by Matt Drummond
Cover photo by Nicole Rubin
It was no surprise watching fans file in like cattle to a slaughter at Reggies, in Chicago on Sunday, May 28th. Everyone in line knew exactly what to expect and expectations couldn’t have been higher.
Shane Merrill and Empire Productions have become synonymous with earth rattling metal shows and their reputation has remained fully intact. Chicago metal fans foamed at the mouth when they caught wind of what Empire Productions had in store for them. The lineup was stacked and the horror was imminent.
With German thrash metal legends Destruction leading the bill fans got their money’s worth, but they weren’t the only powerhouse that would take the stage this night. Along for the ride was California thrashers Warbringer and our hometown boys Jungle Rot. Looking at the lineup I thought, “Wow there’s basically three headliners playing together.”
There’s no question that fans were excited to check out Destruction. Destruction is a band that helped pave the way for thrash metal, and they’ve been doing it since the ‘80’s. With that said, Warbringer and Jungle Rot stole the show, hands down.
Warbringer would be the first of the three to unleash carnage and they pummeled the audience, with an absolutely inhuman display of thrash. Promoting their latest album Woe to the Vanquished the guys in Warbringer put on a ruthless set, which included a few of my personal favorites like ‘Descending Blade’ and ‘Living Weapon’. All I can say is if you’ve never heard Warbringer, then get an album immediately!
After Warbringer the almighty Jungle Rot hit the stage with a vengeance. I’ve written about Jungle Rot before and I’ll say the exact same thing i did before. Jungle Rot is pure, undiluted death metal. They don’t give any apologies and they continue to obliterate fans show after show. Jungle Rot isn’t a sell-out band. They’ve never bought into any metalcore or sub genres like that, they are death metal in its purest form and they’ll resist change forever more.
With a rumors of a new album swirling I wanted to get to the bottom of what Jungle Rot had in store. Having the opportunity to catch up with Jimmy Genenz, and Dave Matrise I got a little insight. Having known Jimmy for a while, I first asked him what he liked most about playing in Chicago.
“It’s about being around friends, I don’t care about its politics or anything like that. It’s the friends that mean something to me,” Genenz says.
Next I started to inquire about a new record which is something that is definitely in the works. I flat out asked Jimmy what fans should expect from the new Jungle Rot album.
“I’m hoping the best one in their eyes. I don’t think we’re gonna try to reinvent the wheel; it’ll be album number 10.” As he began laughing, he continued, “If you like Jungle Rot, you’ll like it.”
The sinister laugh Jimmy Genenz chuckled off made me immediately realize that this new Jungle Rot record will be a complete and utter bruiser.
With Dave Matrise being the founder of Jungle Rot, he had seen a few turnovers in the band. As of now Dave, Jimmy and Geoff Bubb have been together for over a decade. Curious how that has impacted Dave I asked him what it meant to him to have Jimmy and Geoff remain constants.
“It means a lot, I’m grateful for it. I don’t know if I’d be doing it anymore if I didn’t have those two. I think over the years we’ve found our recipe. Geoff and I write the music, and Jimmy writes the words. The last three or four records we’ve found our stride. We all have the same goals and the same dreams, and that’s why it’s working. The hardest thing for any band is finding guys that have the same passion and dream you have, ya know? Sometimes, you think they have it, and you get out there and find out it’s a different story. Geoff and Jimmy have it.”
All in all, the Under Attack North American Tour was a barn burner. It’s always great when you have high expectations for a show and the bands decimate and surpass those expectations.
One question I always like to ask musicians, is what it means to them to be a metal fan. The answers I get are always nearly identical and Jimmy continued that tradition by simply stating; “it’s a brotherhood. This is my home.”
In loving memory of Jeff ‘Wookie’ Ziolo
(Left to Right: Jeff Ziolo, Jimmy Genenz, Dave Matrise, Matt Drummond)