Testament Dark Roots of Earth 2012

Testament is one of the big names in thrash metal. Coming from California mean Testament right in the epicentrum of 80s thrash scene together with Metallica and Megadeth. This month they released their 10th studio album. The line up was pretty solid with Chuck Billy and Alec Skolnick faithfully guarding the band as well bassist Greg Christian. As a veteran band that produced some of greatest album in thrash, it is their fate to often compared to their past. This time we will try to find  reference of Legacy and Souls of Black album in this newest release.

The first two songs, Rise Up and Native Blood put a promising start as these are thrash metal driven by powerful riff. Chuck Billy voice will remind us to the past glory. These two songs however steps out slightly their Souls of Black sounds, with more punk and faster vocal singing. However titled song, Dark Roots of Earth is close to it, the thrash song that slow a bit, acoustic intro, all resemble the nostalgic moment of their past glory. True American Hate is a hateful heavy throat voice song from Chuck. After this, A Day in the Death is back to the classic sounds. A work of running bass line and guitar shred put the song high in technical specifications.

Cold Embrace then break the mood with it bluesy solo accompanied by acoustic rhythm. This is a ballad similar to Return to Serenity sounds, with a verse followed by guitar lick answering. Man Kills Mankind is standard thrash riff followed by quite predictable verse line. Thorne of Thorns bring us to the darker seven minutes composition. The bridge and drum fill are faithful 80s thrash , bit of remind us to Megadeth fill actually. Last Stand of For Independence again is a left riff vs right riff intro and very classic Testament singing with long howling by Chuck.

Then a three tribute song (Powerslave by Iron Maiden!), Testament completed the task to return into the big arena of thrash. It will play loud this year and this album can cross sword with Overkill earlier release. With Alec Skolnick and Eric Peterson duo, the shred never sort of. The jazz influence, throwing ascending descending licks in the middle of nowhere is the trademark here. Truly not a calm come back and a good continuation to their Damnation album.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth 2012
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01. Rise Up
02. Native Blood
03. Dark Roots Of Earth
04. True American Hate
05. A Day In The Death
06. Cold Embrace
07. Man Kills Mankind
08. Throne Of Thorns
09. Last Stand For Independence

Bonus tracks:
10. Dragon Attack [Queen cover]
11. Animal Magnetism [Scorpions cover]
12. Powerslave [Iron Maiden cover]
13. Throne Of Thornes [extended version]

Chuck Billy - vocals
Eric Peterson - guitars
Alex Skolnick - guitars
Greg Christian - bass

Session musicians
Christopher James "Chris" Adler - drums in A Day In The Death
Eugene "Gene" Victor Hoglan II - drums

Album cover artwork in Testament Dark Roots Of Earth

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