SEPTEMBER 29th 2012
TESTAMENT: DARK ROOTS OF EARTH
Review by: Metal Mom

On Sept. 20th,  I had the distinct honour of watching TESTAMENT play live in Vancouver, and some of the tracks on the cd were played, unbelievable , the sound that came from the stage, was just like the CD that I am about to review. That’s when you know that you have a band that’s talented, no need to fix up the cd to make it sound good, and its no wonder, since they were one of the earliest thrash bands to come out of the Bay Area, they know what they want to accomplish and put out to the world.

“Dark Roots of Earth” was produced, mixed and mastered again by the renowned Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Accept, Exodus). The special bonus tracks were recorded, mixed and mastered by Juan Urteaga (Cattle Decapitation, Heathen, Vile, Sadus) at his Trident Studios.

First let me tell you that there are different versions of this out there for you .. Its up to you to try and decide, but I will give you the information so you can decide for yourself.

Standard, Deluxe CD/DVD/2LP
1. Rise up
2. Native Blood
3. Dark Roots of Earth
4. True American Hate
5. A Day in the Death
6. Cold Embrace
7. Man Kills Mankind
8. Throne of Thorns
9. Last Stand For Independence

Deluxe CD/DVD/2LP
(additional bonus tracks)
10. Dragon Attack (Queen Cover)
11. Animal Magnetism (Scorpions Cover)
12. Powerslave (Iron Maiden Cover)
13. Throne of Thorns (Extended Cut) * not on 2LP

Bonus DVD
Making of - Breakdown of writing style and process, working with Gene Hoglan again, being together for over 25 years - live footage of classic tracks.

I can safely say that there are not many who have “not” heard of TESTAMENT. They have been around for 29 years, and they are one of the most popular thrash metal bands out there. Yes, there has been many changes in the lineup over the years, but it was something that obviously had to be done to have finally created this legendary band.

The lineup that created this masterpiece of thrash is Chuck Billy (vocals), Eric Peterson (guitar), Alex Skolnick (guitar), Greg Christian (bass) and then we have Gene Hoglan on the drums.

What can I tell you, its TESTAMENT, we all know what to expect from these masters, and they again have shown they can create their thrash sound from the 80’s and still be a strong album from start to end. One that you are going to play over and over, there is no filler on this album, its pure thrash through and through, it may be 80 style thrash, but its also got a modern touch. The two guitarist here (Alex and Eric) have established their ability and strength in their riffs, whether rhythm , solos, or melodic tones, its classic style. The drumming by Gene pounds in your ears, its fast and extremely skilled. You have something pounding in your chest you say, well let me tell you, it’s Greg’s bass. And lets not forget Chucks vocals, who has been performing with Testament now for over 25 years, they are not the deep guttural ones, they truly are what fit into this, with a melodic strong voice that delivers. They really do have the greatest of talent, to be able to put their music together, with a thrash metal sound, but still be able to make it melodic and sound absolutely phenomenal. Its what makes me sit and listen over and over again. To me, its been well thought out to accomplish this, because I find most thrash bands are just a lot of noise, and trying to see just how fast they can be. This takes talent to create their newest “Dark Roots of Earth”.  I can see why in its first week of sales it reached 20,720 copies, and then not long after, hit # 9 on the world sales chart with 58,500 copies. The world knows talent when they hear it.

So what are you waiting for, if you don’t already have this one in your hands, then its time you get out there and get yourself a copy. You wont be disappointed.