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Review: Root - The Temple In The Underworld
The Temple In The Underworld

Label: Monitor Records
Year released: 1992
Duration: 57:12
Tracks: 14
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: August 23, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.29/5 (85.82%) (55 Votes)

This is without a doubt one of the weirdest and coolest albums I have ever gotten to hear. Root are so kvlt that hardly anyone knows who they are even though they have been around since 1987. They are often classed as a Black Metal band due to their lyrical content and the fact that their earlier albums were very much in the Bathory/Venom mode. But by this release they had already evolved into something quite different and unique.

This is a heavy, crunchy album with some simply incredible riffs. I have to class this band as simple Heavy Metal, because while they do have stylistic relations to a lot of subgenres, they have really stripped metal down to a bare essence of heavy groove and epic riffery. I just can't express in words how catchy and heavy the riffs here are. If you think Usurper crossed with later Bathory you will be in the right area, only these are cooler. This is generally midpaced, with some faster bits here and there, but overall there is a cloud of doomy goodness over this whole CD. Add to that the distinctive vocals of frontman/giant Big Boss, who is probably the best all-around vocalist for this kind of metal it would be possible to find, simply because he can do everything. He can growl and snarl, he can rasp and scream, he can actually sing, and he can do that Tom Warrior/Celtic Frost thing that's right in between. Sometimes he does this theatric narrative voice that sounds like Byron from Bal-Sagoth. The man is just awesome, and he travels effortlessly between one style or another, always in keeping with what the music is doing. The guy may have been almost 40 when he recorded this (now he's over 50!) but he rules.

It's very hard to compare this album to anyone else, because Root don't really sound like anyone else. They rage with heavy riffs that put Sabbath's best work to shame, they produce beautiful instrumentals like "The Solitude" and the gentle, acoustic number "My Name…" where Big Boss proves he can really sing. They do weird, atmospheric bits, and they produced The Coolest Riff Ever on the epic, headbanging monster "My Deep Mystery" – Turn that motherfucker up!

So Root are the shit, and I mean that it the "Completely Fucking Cool" sense. It is to my shame that Tony was the one to introduce me to this band and not the other way around. Good luck finding this one, as it was released 12 years ago on a forgotten label in Czecho-frigging-slovakia, but there was a reissue by Redblack Productions in 1999, so you might get lucky, especially if you live in Europe. So all I can say is, if you can get ahold of this album GRAB IT! This is an album you have got to have. Beg, steal or borrow for it, you will not be sorry.

More about Root...
Review: Hell Symphony (reviewed by Jason Cominetto)
Review: Heritage of Satan (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Kargeras - Return from Oblivion (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Madness of the Graves (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Book (reviewed by Jason Cominetto)
Review: The Book (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Temple In The Underworld (reviewed by Jason Cominetto)
Review: Zjeveni (reviewed by Jason Cominetto)
Review: Zjeveni (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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