If you're tired of how the youngsters are trashing thrash metal these days, then welcome back Testament. If you're disgusted by the injection of the hardcore harshness into classic thrash metal, then welcome Testament's tenth studio album, Dark Roots of Earth. This is thrash metal done right, after all, they were there at the beginning, and they're one the best thrash band's still standing.
Hey, I'm trying to be a stick in the mud here, some fifty-something metalhead longing for the glory days of the Eighties. But I was there, too, enjoying the thrash metal revolution.
While thrash was about more assertive and speedy, heavy metal, the best bands never neglected harmony, melody, or intriguing guitar solos. Most modern bands couldn't pull a sophisticated solo out of their denim jeanss unless Jenna Jameson was doing a pole dance in front of them, and then they would be too distracted. Don't forget Alex Skolnick is just as adept at playing jazz fusion guitar as metal guitar. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, youngster.
Nor could these youngsters blend classic heavy metal with thrash, adding the melancholy of acoustic guitar, to an anthem like Cold Embrace. Then there's that subtle rock groove, with catchy hooks, that should always inform metal. You get it on Man Kills Mankind, Rise Up, and True American Hate. Yet what your ears and mind hear is classic thrash. You're pumping your fist, doing windmills with your head, hair flying everywhere, (not possible in my case), and tapping your foot. But for simple melodic assertiveness of thrash, dig the last number, Last Stand for Independence.
While I might pass on Native Blood and the title track, both are rather conventional, but have their high points, Dark Roots of Earth is nearly perfect thrash metal from seasoned masters of the trade. This is how it's done. Testament could put the smack down on any modern 'thrash' band, any day of the week. Very recommended.
Dark Roots of Earth is nearly perfect thrash metal from Testament, seasoned masters of the trade. This is how it's done. Testament could put the smack down on any modern 'thrash' band any day of the week.