Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth (2012)


Testament, the veterans of thrash metal, are back with a brand new album for 2012 and from the sounds of it, they are here to stay. The new album is called "Dark Roots Of Earth." It's got a total of nine tracks with 4 extra bonus tracks to top things off. Lead guitarist, Eric Peterson, has really taken this group above and beyond where anyone ever thought that they would go. The guitar riffs in this album really communicate with you and send a powerful message.

The album starts out with vicious guitar riffs that blast away with wild melodies and heavy chugging riffs. The drums come in and completely kick your ass with booming drum rolls and complex fills. The verses contain aggressive shouting vocals that'll knock your teeth in. You're definitely going to bobbing your head from front to back. There's a lot of energy coming off of this opener. What a great way to kick off an album. Then your hit with more wild guitar notes in "Native Blood." The wild melodies whip back and forth while deep bass lines rumble beneath you. The vocals echo high over the instruments with a monstrous delivery. Clearly lead singer, Chuck Billy, still has it in him. Towards then middle of the track you're hit with and amazing guitar solo that shreds up and down the musical scale like it's nothing. Meanwhile rapid double bass pedal drums roll right through you with quick speed.

Songs like "Dark Roots Of Earth" and "Cold Embrace" lean more towards the ballad side as they incorporate soothing acoustic guitars mixed with distorted guitars display a more mellow tone. The best thing about some of these slower tracks is that you're able to really get close and personal with the drum rolls. Each fill with have you jaw dropping to the floor in seconds. The drums really keep the track aggressive even though the lighter vocals and guitars show a more mellow side to the album. It's definitely a great mix of beauty and the beast type of sound. Then you'll come across a song like "Throne Of Thorns" which has a little bit of everything from the album all in one track. The beginning starts out slower with gorgeous guitars and strings adding a gloomy feel to the mix. Then your hit with punishing guitar riffs that slowly start to to speed up as the a constant kick steps in giving you a solid beat to bash your head to. The vocals take over with hell raising lyrics and a very dark and aggressive delivery. They even include some some haunting clean spoken word that plays well with the story line. This seven minute masterpiece with definitely have you wanting to hit replay as soon as you finish hearing it the first time. The distortion effects on the guitars are just absolutely mind blowing. They even throw in some futuristic sound effects on the vocals giving them a very tripping sound. And of course, you are then hit with another godly guitar solo. They just keep getting better and better throughout the album.

The final track on the album, entitled "Last Stand For Independence," is an explosive piece that constantly sends bone crushing drum fills and melodic riffs. They manage to fit tons of wicked riffs that will have you completely addicted to the album. The vocals continue to stay aggressive with harsh shouting tones. Meanwhile guitar solos jump in and out rapidly giving you no time to even catch your breath. Chugging riffs keep the track heavy and make you want to throw up your devil horns while the solos hypnotize you deep into the track. The track is less than five minutes long so definitely make sure you back to this one a few times. You're gonna need to in order to catch all of the details. Once you hit the end of the album you will discover four bonus tracks that the band has added. You'll find covers of Queen, Scorpion, and Iron Maiden. They also include an extended version of "Throne Of Thorns" which is definitely a must hear track so make sure you check it out.

Testament is bigger and better than ever. "Dark Roots Of Earth" is a skull shattering, fist bashing album that will completely destroy your speakers. The guitar solos alone are out of this world as you'll love them more and more through each track. The drums will absolutely blow you away with each and every kick and snare. This is definitely an album you do not want to miss out on so check it out!

8/10

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