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Dark Roots of Earth - 97%

Mikhailovich94, February 24th, 2013

I have to give Testament credit for their latest release, Dark Roots of Earth, for several reasons. The biggest reason being that they have kept up their reputation, unlike other various bands that were utter disappointments on their "comeback albums" or otherwise sell-out albums. They maintained their level of energy throughout the years, but also kept each of their albums fast-paced and unique and with this new album, they created to be what I believe could have been the best thrash metal album of 2012.

The opener of the album, Rise Up, came into the scene with a vengeance that made my jaw literally drop. As far as speed is concerned, it certainly is one of their faster albums thus far, but the musicality is also a great attribute to this work of art.

A Day In the Death was probably my favorite song on DROE because of the various musical choices from beginning to end. For a lot of people out there who claim to be metalheads, they tend to look more for the heavy, bone-crushing riffs and hardcore lyrics, but they seem to overlook simple choices that an artist makes to make the music flow into the picture that they are trying to paint. In A Day In the Death, just simply starting the song out with the bass and the high hat kept up the intensity that the band was probably looking for to build up the mood of the music. Another song that caught my attention in the same light was Cold Embrace.

The musical theme of the album seemed to shift dramatically from a fast and aggressive tone to a softer, slower-paced feeling. Even though it has a few heavier instrumental themes, what one must look at is the lyrical meaning of the song. It could have the heaviest guitars and the harshest vocals, but what captures my attention is the lyrical content. In this song, the subject matter really impressed me, not only with the word choices and how simple of a style it was, but also the fact that they managed to make the simple language artistic in a way that I personally find it difficult to describe. After listening to Cold Embrace, I felt sort of calmed deep down and it made me think about the real meaning of the story being told. I don't want to get into that right now because of interpretation disagreements, but I encourage others who find pleasure in seeing what their favorite bands have to say, so check out this masterpiece.

Lastly, I wanted to discuss the last song on the list called Dragon Attack. If there is any song that I would consider to be the heaviest, it would be this one. It is fun and up-beat and provided me with that nostalgic feeling everyone must love when they hear a song that reminds them of the golden ages of heavy metal. If you enjoy heavy riffs and fast, melodic instrumental work along with harsh skull-smashing vocals, then this is definitely the album for you. Enough said.