Wow. Holy shit. Where do I even begin? This show was basically a wall of death mosh pit with the Cavalera tour on one side, and the Jungle Rot tour on the other side, and they clashed and collided with each other at full throttle force, resulting in a controlled chaos that was far greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Please note that we were unable to witness the show in it’s entirety, due to prior obligations such as our “careers “and “families” and “basic human need for sleep”. Ugh, I know, super inconvenient! Even so, the four bands we caught were an accurate cross section of awesomeness to represent the reality of the full show. Speaking of which, concert footage is available online, which will corroborate my eye witness account towards this phenomenal event. This is how the glorious gluttony and hellish hedonism unfolded!
Enforced are technical shredders, gifted in the refined art of blast beats. Their skillful techniques are not only impressive, but masterful. I thought I was a speed demon, but even I struggled to keep up with their breakneck pace! I definitely blame these guys for giving me whiplash, which I was still feeling, several days later after the fact.
How can I possibly describe Incite, other than thrashy death metal with a twist of stoner doom? They brought tons of crowd surfers and stage divers, safely caught by security guards on the other side of the railing, at the barrier between the audience and the stage, and reassimilated back into the pit. No, seriously, there were tons of people riding the waves of the crowd. Even people in wheelchairs! Now THAT was pretty freaking sweet!
Exhumed were everything I ever wanted and more. Onstage, there were screens displaying disturbing medical imagery. Hell, even the big badass burly security guards wore waterproof ponchos for certain segments of the concert. Though I’m not sure what protection, if any, is offered by a thin sheet of plastic, versus a freaking circular saw. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. That one bit in Exhumed shows, where the creepy horror villain with a burlap hooded cloth face mask, uses real goddamn electrical power tools, to literally shred on a guitar, and send actual sparks flying out into the audience. It was bizarre, surreal, and yet oddly familiar!
It reminded me of the last time I saw Exhumed, roughly a decade ago, when I was about 20 years old, and I took a train from Santa Fe to Albuquerque just to catch their show. I barely had enough cash to pay the cover charge, and I didn’t even have any plans on how to get home. I think the promoters were cool enough to let me crash on their couch, probably because they felt sorry for my broke ass. At any rate, this moment of sparks literally flying, gave me deja vu as to how awesome our metal community can be!
In between bands, my date and I went to the courtyard, to smoke a cigarette, and window shop at the band merch. I ran into a long time acquaintance, whom I’ve known since high school. I’m such an awkward eccentric introverted shut-in, that I almost didn’t even recognize him at first. We were catching up, making the usual small talk, “Nice to see you! How’s the wife and kids?”, you know the drill. Naturally, the subject matter eventually turned to metal. “Yeah dude, the band I’m most excited to see tonight is freaking Jungle Rot!” I exclaimed, greedily eying their merch table through the corner of my eye, in the periphery of my vision.
“Really? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some dumbass war metal. But Jungle Rot is just dumber Obituary.” He laughed.
I mean, yeah, fair, I guess… But still. Ouch! How dare he? The motherfucking gall, and the goddamn audacity!!! Obituary is already pretty fucked up as it is! Remember that one album cover that was just a decapitated torso with the word “Obituary” carved in its chest? What was it called again? Oh yeah… Obituary. And then they made t-shirts with that design, and it was like a weird gross trippy optical illusion, that made anyone who wore it, look like a mutilated body, Luke a death metal version of those stupid tuxedo t shirts. Weird! Nasty! But also… kinda cool?
At any rate, once the music started, my high school homie went one way, while my date and I went another. We drank Modelos with limes, as we watched the concert. Something about cold beer and loud death metal just pairs so perfectly well together. Between that and the flashing lights and pyrotechnics and undulating crowds of people ebbing and flowing like tides in the ocean… I must admit that I was too dazzled to take pictures or record video, certain details are hazy, and I don’t quite remember everything that happened. But then again, I’m a Jungle Rot stan, so I’m sure I smoked, drank, and/or headbanged away what few braincells I have left.
I mean, the target demographic definitely fits a certain profile. We were definitely the weird little kids who put plastic green soldiers in the microwave, and/or blew up GI Joe action figures with cherry bombs and bottle rockets. We totally got sent to detention, the school counselor, and/or principal’s office for our disturbing notes and violent comic books confiscated from our lockers. Maybe licked a window or two. Started smoking and drinking at an offensively young age, and/or continue skateboarding, watching cartoons, and playing video games at an embarrassingly old age.
I don’t know, what can I say. I just love me some primitive ass, brutally blunt, bloody disgusting, club-thumping, caveman riffs. And hey, at least we still get to look down on the Rammstein stans! Us Jungle Rot kids may have gotten in trouble for our creepy crayon drawings, but at least we didn’t go full-on Ralph Wiggum status, and deadass just *eat* the crayons, like the Rammstein people probably did.
Again, like Exhumed, Jungle Rot’s set totally reminded of the last time I saw them, many many years ago. I even got their autographs in a vintage Decibel Magazine, one one of their full page ads for a new (at the time) album, They signed it with a silver sharpie, a beautiful contrast with the blues and greens of the flier itself. One of my prized possessions!
It’s kind of funny, because people assume that this music is blasphemous. But, to me, it is definitive proof, that God not only exists, but also that he genuinely loves me, and truly understands me. Especially that part when a lesbian couple started making out right in front of us. Glory hallelujah! My prayers have been answered! Praise Jeebis!
Hey, you know what, I get it. While everyone else was breaking into circle pits and headbanging themselves dizzy, I was busy kissing up on my dude, pressed up against the wall. Again, this music doesn’t make me feel angry, or aggressive, or anything negative. Indeed, as a matter of fact, it kinda… turns me on? I’m a lover, not a fighter. But I can still definitely hate-mosh a hoe, or crowd-kill a hardcore dancer, if pushed!
Unfortunately, we had to leave early before seeing Cavalera’s performance. Sometimes it really sucks to be an adult with a job and responsibilities! At least I have some cold comfort in knowing that I already saw Sepultura at Hellfest. But this was such an impressively massive show, with such a huge lineup on the roster, that even though we missed the first few opening acts, as well as the main headliner, we still saw at least 4 solid bands. Each and every single one of them was awesome in their own unique way. Enforced was solid, provoking the kind of mosh pits that people lose their shoes in. Incite was rowdy, just an absolute rager on steroids. Exhumed was graphically gory and gruesomely grotesque. Jungle Rot was a freaking military tank that demolished everything in its path.
As the night concluded, I flirted the only way that Jungle Rot fans know how: I bonked my guy over the head with a giant woolly mammoth fossil, and dragged him back home to my cave. Nah, just kidding, he was the one who drove me there and back, and he was a perfectly polite gentleman about it. I am definitely the knuckle-dragging neanderthal within this particular romantic interpersonal dynamic.
The show was incredible, and so was the aftermath. 5 stars outta 5!