Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth – Album Review
|Fans Of:||Exodus, Overkill, Kreator|
|Download This:||A Day In The Death, Rise Up, Throne Of Thorns|
|Release Date:||27/07/12 (UK / Europe) 31/07/12 (NA)|
“Winds of change keep you searching for the truth…” Chuck Billy delivers this insightful line halfway through Testament’s blazing new album Dark Roots Of Earth – and at no time in this band’s storied past has it been more appropriate. Testament is no stranger to forces of change, be it lineups, musical direction or what have you. Life is upheaval. One has to respect a band that through it all continued to persevere and move forward – and when the time came, went back to its roots.
I thought Formation of Damnation was a solid album; Dark Roots Of Earth, to me, is exactly what I want to hear. It’s got all the bounce, chug and driving vocals that are Testament hallmarks, with more hooks than a Clive Barker ‘Hellraiser’ movie. And yes, there is a ballad.
The first two tracks are galloping blazers; with Skolnick just shredding and banging out solo after solo. They sound like perfect carry-overs from Formation. Why I like this album over the previous is due to its diversity. You want something new? Hoglan has returned and actually smashes out some BLASTBEATS on ‘Native Blood’, which is a nice not so subtle touch!
The title track has a bit of a Soundgarden vibe, which makes for an interesting listen. I’m not a big ballad fan, but ‘Cold Embrace’ does a good job of reminding you of past Testament classics like ‘Trail of Tears’.
My favorite song on the album is without a doubt ‘A Day In The Death’. Hell, it might be one of my favorite tracks of the year. Dark lyrics, political insight, guitar flourishes and the utter brilliance of Billy shouting out “a day in the death…of Mankind!” – this will repeat in your brain for a while.
While some people will pick this album up because it’s Testament, the album rocks … because finally, this IS Testament. An updated thrash monster has arrived.
01. Rise Up
02. Native Blood
03. Dark Roots Of Earth
04. True American Hate
05. A Day In The Death
06. Cold Embrace
07. Man Kills Mankind
08. Throne Of Thorns
09. Last Stand For Independence