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A solid sledge-hammer of steel - 89%

Stormbringa, August 27th, 2012

Where to start? This album is full of -killer- tracks. I could not be happier for the guys in Testament, this record has already made #9 on the world charts, and they totally deserve it.

A lot of thrash fans seem to think this is their best effort since The Legacy. But while I love Apocalyptic City, Alone In The Dark, and others off The Legacy, my personal favourite is either Souls Of Black or The Gathering, and would consider this to be Testament's best effort since those days. I'm not saying it's better, it's just as awesome in it's own unique way. For me, Testament is a band you can always rely on to put out a solid as fuck release, even though Demonic had a slightly cold reception.

This album is no different. It features rip-roaring riffery on countless tracks, including True American Hate, Rise Up, Man Kills Mankind, Throne Of Thorns, and Last Stand For Independence. It also features several groovier, down-tempo tracks like the title track and A Day In The Death, which are still heavy as balls. If you think this is going to be a weak album, you have another thing coming.

It also features covers of Iron Maiden and Scorpions, which are also really cool adaptations. This is such a nice, all-rounder of an album. It has neck-breaking tempos, as well as slow yet incredibly heavy breaks, and even a clean/acousticy song, Cold Embrace.

One thing I can't get over about Testament is how Chuck has gone through cancer, and still sounds so fucking brilliant. He sounds powerful when he needs to, but also retains his clean voice from their earlier albums. Gene Hoglan also does a perfect job filling in on drums on this album. You'll hear many a blast beat, as well as some more complex fills, but most importantly, it suits the music. The musicianship is fantastic on this album, not one member disappoints. As usual, the shredding Testament leads are still in place, and the bass fits perfectly as well. Nothing disappoints me more than a bass which has been redundant in the mixing. This is not the case with Dark Roots.

All-in-all, Dark Roots Of Earth is a great all-rounder, and judging from the other Thrash releases so far this year, I'm going to predict it will be my release of the year. This is a must-have for not only die-hard thrash fans, but also fans of groove metal, and speed metal. This is one album you will not regret listening to.