Testament
Dark Roots of Earth


3.5
great

Review

by Shachar Sagui USER (26 Reviews)
September 4th, 2012 | 50 replies | 2,042 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Testament release a great album - but also prove that they have no where to evolve, and that they will never top their old stuff.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Enjoyment and disappointment, these were the two major emotions I felt while listening to Dark Roots Of Earth. I wasn’t very surprised of my reactions, to be honest, because I felt these mixed feelings for almost every new Metal release in the past few years; e.g. Death Magnetic, Thirteen, World Painted Blood and so on. Time and time again, I build up high exceptions for a Thrash revival, but with the release of every new album my hopes slowly fade away. Dark Roots Of Earth is not different, again an album that doesn't meet up with its own expectations, and despite being a solid release on its own, it was the last straw for me.

The album is very good musically, honestly, with some of the songs such as Rise Up and Man Kills Mankind sounding like they were taken from Souls Of Black or The Ritual in some way. The drummer Gene Hoglan delivers what probably is the best drumming a Testament album ever knew, and by that he proves that even after so many years he is still up there in the top Metal drummers list. Peterson and Skolnick are as excellent as always, Peterson being the mind behind the band, writing all of the music with Skolnick helping out on few of the tracks. The riffs and the solos are just fine; they build an excellent base for the album, and songs like Throne Of Thorns and the title track show some darker and more mysterious aspects of Testament and make the album more interesting. If it wasn’t for them the album would have become extremely boring and repetitive.
So far so good, musically, but unfortunately for me, every throne has its thorn.
I'll begin with the singing. Chuck proves once and for all that Dickinson is really one of a kind, and that singing well after passing 45 is really a rare phenomenon. Chuck is in no way even close to what he was before, and his performance decreases the level of the whole record. 47 seconds into the album, after being completely satisfied with the instrumental, the grin turns upside-down as you suddenly remember how old Chuck is. But Billy isn't awful throughout the whole record, his voice sounds good in True American Hate and Native Blood, and it still may be enjoyable with the correct amount of listenings. When listening to the whole thing (74 minutes!), though, it gets pretty tiresome.
The vocals are not the only downside to this album, sadly. The lyrics are way too cheesy and they become very annoying after a short while.
"…There's no excuse, attitude! Got something here that I must prove…"
Chuck writes the lyrics with such fat percentage that even Judas Priest couldn't have pulled off. Testament barely makes it work, and most of the songs fail lyrically.

When you will listen to Dark Roots Of Earth, the level of satisfaction you'll feel will depend on how high were your expectations.. If you want a fun easy record, that you can listen to from time to time, then it's your thing, but if you are looking for a Thrash revival, just like the media makes us believe every time again - just forget about this, and you might as well forget about Testament at all. If there is one thing that I learned from listening to this album, and to all "Thrash revival" albums in the past few years, is that the true Thrash revival, if will ever come, will be in a form of a new band, and not an old one; these will never match up with their old albums, and will always keep us dissatisfied. I guess the Jews were correct; New Testament will never top the Old Testament.


Dark Roots Of Earth was released in July 27th (July 31st NA), 2012. The record label is Nuclear Blast and it its 50:48 (74:00 remastered) minutes long.

Personnel:

Chuck Billy – vocals
Alex Skolnick – guitars
Eric Peterson – guitars
Greg Christian – bass guitar
Gene Hoglan – drums, percussion

Production:

Producer – Andy Sneap

Dark Roots of the Earth sold over 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, and reached number twelve on the Billboard 200"Testament's highest U.S. chart position to date.



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user ratings (412)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Subrick (3.5)
    This old horse ain't dead yet...

    Jesse Knight (4)
    25 years of music and Testament is still going strong....

    NeoSpaz (4)
    Testament further proves that 2012 is a good year for Thrash Metal....

    lostforwords (4)
    A modernized version of their best work during the 80s, Dark Roots is coherent and consist...

  • donovan909 (3)
    Thrash icons, Testament, emerge with a new album, with an eye towards the past.....


Comments:Add a Comment 
LudsWig
September 4th 2012



254 Comments


this is a pretty good album and review, pos

BodomThrashMachine
September 4th 2012



316 Comments


thrash lives

ViperAces
September 4th 2012



12390 Comments


You neg'd but ok the intentions is what matters.


BodomThrashMachine
September 4th 2012



316 Comments


lol ludswig neg'd

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



19627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Luds don't say pos if you're not going to pos.

Digging: The Who - Tommy

BodomThrashMachine
September 4th 2012



316 Comments


Honestly this is a really good album.

ViperAces
September 4th 2012



12390 Comments


Bodom, name 3 new Thrash bands.

BodomThrashMachine
September 4th 2012



316 Comments


new? warbringer, skeletonwitch and vektor i guess

i'm not a huge fan of new bands though ;s

ViperAces
September 4th 2012



12390 Comments


You see man, a genre cant live on 30 year old bands. Thrash is dying. There wont be any new The Legacy or Among The Living, ever.
Still hoping for revival tho.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



19627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like this album. Review needs a proofread though.

ViperAces
September 4th 2012



12390 Comments


I didnt find any errors, but its late here, tell me if you found anything.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



19627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"When listening to the whole thing (74 minutes!), though, it gets sick of pretty quick."

I'd change to "it gets redundant" pretty quick or if you'd rather "you'll get sick of it pretty quick."

I can point out other things if you want. Not too many misspellings, just some sentences like the one above.

ViperAces
September 4th 2012



12390 Comments


I would like that very much.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



19627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Dark Roots Of Earth really depends on what you want it to be."

I'd re-evaluate this sentence too.
Not trying to be critical just trying to help man. I've only written 9 reviews so I'm no expert.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



19627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Maybe, "When listening to DROE, the album can be whatever you want it to be"

LudsWig
September 4th 2012



254 Comments


oh damn sorry hit the wrong button by mistake

GiaNXGX
September 4th 2012



4867 Comments


You see man, a genre cant live on 30 year old bands. Thrash is dying. There wont be any new The Legacy or Among The Living, ever.

Sad but true :[ sup dude!

YUJOS
September 4th 2012



916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"The drummer Gene Hoglan delivers what probably is the best drumming a Testament album ever knew" wtf?????

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



19627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ludswig, one more use of "fag" or another negative comment and I'm reporting you.
I've never reported ANYONE but if you're gonna be a little bitch...

Fluttertrank
September 4th 2012



17098 Comments


dude the Scorpions cover is awesome. i love the guitar tone on this



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