Album #12: Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
July 31, 2012
This is my number two album of the year. A fantastic release from one of the best thrash bands out there. I had been looking forward to this album all year and it was perhaps my most anticipated release of 2012. Upon hearing early reviews on this board that it was more low-key than Formation I knew I was in for something good. Not that I dislike all of Formation, some of it is great, but I really don't like the death vocals on a few of the tracks. Chucks a great singer so I really wanted to hear more melody in this one and that's exactly what I got.
The first single, Native Blood, may be my favorite song on the album. It's catchy and heavy with a god tempo, much like most of the material found here. My other favorite tracks are the title track, Cold Embrace, Throne of Thorns, and Rise Up. True American Hate, Man Kills Mankind, and Last Stand For Independence are all great thrashers. They're more formulaic than something like Cold Embrace or DROE but they serve the purpose of giving you something to rock hard to without having to think about it too much. In that sense I would say that them being less original really helps the album because of course you'd want to have some straight up thrash on a thrash record. A Day In The Death is my least favorite song but it's by no means bad, just my least favorite.
The covers on the deluxe version are really good as well. Dragon Attack is freakin great and the Powerslave cover sounds true to the original while having its own unique flavor. Animal Magnetism is good but not as much as the other two, but I'm not a huge fan of the original anyway.
Oh, and the production and the cover rule. I really wanna hear some of these songs live. I think each and every one of them could come off great on stage.
This may be my favorite Testament release. I love the songwriting on The Legacy but the production is just so horrible on that one.