Testament – Dark Roots of Earth Review

When I say rise up, you say war. Testament’s Dark Roots of Earth starts off typically heavy and never really stops. This is proper thrash metal. It’s fast, uncompromising and full of quality riffs. Nine tracks of proper old-school thrash.

Wait a second. What do you mean this is a rather contemporary record? 2012? No chance. 1987 more like. Dark Roots of Earth sounds like thrash from its classic era but with all the bells and whistles of modern recording techniques. It’s harder hitting than Testament of old. This is their tenth album, but it retains the energy of their older material.

I love the combination of growled vocals with classic thrash and it doesn’t come better than Testament. Chuck Billy’s vocals are at their best here, too. There’s a lot of anger there. Perfect for thrash. Unfortunately, the album peaks at its start. Rise Up is the winner here, with a catchy chorus, heavy riffs and a brilliant, unmatched by his own lofty standards, performance from Billy. It’s essential listening for fans of metal, and thrash, in particular.

Dark Roots of Earth is classic thrash through and through, including the mandatory slower, ballad-like track. Something I typically find takes away from the pace and brutality of thrash records. While this track may drag the record down a little (Cold Embrace, for those who want to know), the rest is pure heavy thrash. It’s a fun record, made to be played loud. When he says “rise up”, you sure as hell will be shouting back “war”.


4/5

Dark Roots of Earth is a great record. It’s classic thrash, but a little heavier, with a quality, modern mix.

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