Label: Nuclear Blast
To start, I want to preface this by saying I have only got to watch half of the DVD ‘Dark Roots of Thrash’ as I have been a bit busy and attending to other things but I have listened fully to the Live CD of the same concert so from a listening viewpoint I’m fully ready to go from a viewing standpoint I’m at 50%. Also, I decided to review both DVD and CD together as the live CD is also the same concert from the Live DVD recorded at the Paramount in Huntington, New York.
Taking on the live CD on its own ‘Dark Roots of Thrash’ is a true beast of thrash showcasing Testament at their very best. With today’s technology bands really have no excuse to sound bad live unless they are just shitty bands to begin with but Testament are veterans in the metal world and even without the technology they sound great live. If you don’t believe me you can go back and watch their older live shows and it’s evident that if a band is talented and know what they are doing they don’t need fancy tech to ‘help’ them out. So just how good is ‘Dark Roots of Thrash’? Damn fucking good.
Chuck Billy has not lost a step in the singing department and he gives a menacing vocal performance live that gives all the
Testament songs that punch in the face attitude that thrash songs really need. Also, Testament would not be Testament without the AMAZING lead guitar work of Alex Skolnick. The man is truly a master guitarist that does not get some of the recognition I feel he deserves. The man is truly a very versatile player in Testament and outside the band with his other projects. Without him or Chuck I’m not sure Testament would or could be the same.
From the opening song ‘Rise Up’ to the closing tune ‘Disciples of the Watch’ Testament deliver a nonstop thrash attack that only veterans of the 80’s thrash scene can deliver and with their new album ‘Dark Roots of Earth’ being some of the strongest Testament material they have ever recorded makes ‘Dark Roots of Thrash’ a true beast to listen to.
On the DVD side of the things, what I got to see and listen to was fantastic. I was graciously given an advance copy of the DVD by Nuclear Blast that contained only the concert so I can’t comment on extras just the show itself but what I saw was truly a great viewing experience. The filming is very professional, the sound is great and seeing of course the band and the great stage presence they put out is a true treat. Chuck Billy really knows how to excite the crowd and Skolnick of course does a great job at throwing shapes. It was also cool to see Testament bring out some fans on stage to help sing during a song. I know these guys probably paid extra to have a chance to do this but it’s cool to see fans being able to interact and be a part of something special like this.
If I had to give a complaint or a negative I would say by the end of everything some of the songs start to sound a bit samey to me and I got a little bored. But then again maybe that’s just me and other people won’t mind and really you have a 19 song two hour set so who am I to complain.
‘Dark Roots of Thrash’ is an excellent example of what thrash metal should be, played by veterans who know how to write and play it. Do yourself a favor and go out and pick it up, it will be one of the best things you can do for yourself. The only other thing you could do better for yourself is to go see Testament live…they kill it.
Special thanks to Nuclear Blast for allowing me the opportunity to listen and view this great work.
Chuck Billy | vocals
Eric Peterson | rhythm & lead guitars/back-up vocals
Alex Skolnick | lead & rhythm guitars
Greg Christian | bass
Gene Hoglan | drums