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Testament
Dark Roots Of Earth

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2012
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: ChaosLord

  • A return to a somewhat older style



  • Titans of thrash, Testament, return with Dark Roots of Earth the follow up to 2008's Formation of Damnation. To say that waiting on this album was an exercise in patience would be an understatement but the wait was definitely worth it.

    Dark Roots showcases a trip back to the Practice What You Preach era in the form of Chuck Billy's vocals. While his growling is still present throughout, Billy has gone back to singing songs and I must say, he sounds better than ever. His delivery and tenor on songs like Dark Roots of Earth, Cold Embrace and A Day in the Death send chills up your spine and really shows that he has been working on his clean vocal styling while still growling like a caged beast. To complement his vocals, the band continues on with their more modern musical sound. Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick offer a dynamic duo capable of making Downing/Tipton and Murray/Smith proud. Each guitarist feeds of the other and both show that they still have plenty of metal chops left.

    The album features a ballad, Cold Embrace, that is very reminiscent of The Ballad off Practice and is something that I have missed from the band for a long time. Throne of Thorns however, is my favorite track off the album as it has melody, heavy riffage, fantastic solos and is the quintessential Testament track. The production on the album is phenomenal and really is done incredibly well to tie everything together.

    If you're looking to spend a few extra bucks, go out and pick up the deluxe edition. The deluxe package features 4 bonus tracks, 3 of which are covers of the Scorpions' "Animal Magnetism", Queen's "Dragon Attack" and Maiden's "Powerslave". There is also an extended version of Throne of Thorns as well. In addition to the bonus tracks, you get a DVD chock full of metal magic--a look at the making of the album, a live performance at the Avalon and for the gearheads out there, a gear check with Eric and Alex.

    This album is the best Testament album since Low was released and with the return to a somewhat older style, I am very excited for the next chapter of Testament. So bangers, go out and pick up your copy of Dark Roots of Earth, you won't be sorry!


    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: TESTAMENT
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Dark Roots of EarthTestament
    2012
    Greg Watson8/18/2012
    Dark Roots of ThrashTestament
    2013
    Greg Watson10/31/2013
    Live In LondonTestament
    2005
    Ken Pierce11/8/2005
    Seen Between The LinesTestament
    2005
    Ken Pierce7/25/2005
    The Formation of DamnationTestament
    2008
    Hail and Kill8/22/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: TESTAMENT
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Brotherhood of the SnakeTestament
    2016
    Eric Compton1/19/2017
    Dark Roots of EarthTestament
    2012
    Chris Kincaid7/31/2012
    Dark Roots of ThrashTestament
    2013
    Vinaya Saksena10/18/2013


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: TESTAMENT
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Eric PetersonTestamentGreg Watson3/2/2012


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