Album Review: Testament ‘Dark Roots of the Earth’: Metal Domination
Testament’s new release “Dark Roots of Earth” will give fans one hell of a smorgasbord.
The addition of the legendary Gene Hoglan on drums will go down as one of the best decisions in the history of the band. The man blends in so well with the band you would swear he was there since the beginning. His blasts and unbelievable speed and precision are the driving force of the album, especially the faster numbers “True American Hate” and “Last Stand For Independence.”
Vocalist Chuck Billy sounds better than ever. There is a lot of soul being poured out of the big man. Tracks like “Native Blood,” “True American Hate,” “Dark Roots of Earth” and the all powerful “Cold Embrace” will make you feel the emotions felt while they were being written. They’ll kick you in the gut. Billy’s delivery on “Throne of Thorns” is what makes the track so damn heavy and memorable.
Nothing can be said about Testament without addressing the power of their strings. Greg Christian’s bass intro on the title track is one of his best and his playing continues to flow in perfect harmony with Gene Hoglan’s powerful drumming throughout the album. Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson’s chemistry never fails. The duo’s phrasing is more heartfelt and impeccable than ever before. “Cold Embrace” is one of the best guitar songs on the album as it features a wonderful dual harmony solo between the two as well as the bluesy feel of the title track. “Man Kills Mankind” also features some cool Iron Maiden harmonies between the two.
Speaking of Iron Maiden, the deluxe edition of “Dark Roots Earth” contains covers of Maiden’s classic “Powerslave” as well as “Dragon Attack” by the almighty Queen, the Scorpions’ “Animal Magnetism” and an extended version of “Throne of Thorns.” If that isn’t enough, a version of “A Day in the Death” that features a guest appearance by Lamb of God’s Chris Adler is also available as an iTunes exclusive track.
Testament is the musical equivalent to a fine wine. They get better with age and they age gracefully as well. They have proven time and time again why they have lasted so long and are by far one of the most powerful bands in musical history. “Dark Roots of Earth” is one of the best albums in the bands catalog and a must for every metal fan. This is easily one of the best albums of the year. See them on tour with Anthrax and Death Angel in the coming months and be sure to give them your money.
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