|Review: Root - The Book|
Label: Red Black
Year released: 1999
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 12, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Root may just be the greatest band the world has ever produced. At other times I might admit that that statement goes a bit far, but only a little, and while I am enveloped in a masterpiece like this album it is almost impossible for me to entertain the notion that you could ever want any other music for any reason. That is the kind of band this is: while their music plays, you are so in the thrall of it that you can't imagine ever wanting to hear anything else. They may not be the greatest band ever, but that the argument could be made proves just how amazing they are. Since 1987 this utterly underground Czech band has been crafting and releasing their dark occult masterworks, and they never seem to lose their genius. If you told me this band had made a deal with Lucifer, I would not be surprised in the slightest.
That is how cool Root are, actually describing their sound is almost impossible. "The Book" was their fifth album, and by the time of its recording they had long since moved away from the Bathory/Venom sound of their early works and into their own country, where no one else has ever been. Root play dark, atmospheric music with magnificent riffs, breathtaking melodies and leads, and an utterly unique and odd songwriting sensibility. You literally never know what Root are going to do next, because they can do absolutely anything. They could crank up some monster doom riff, they could segue into an acoustic sequence with whispered incantations, they could slip into a torch song. Anything. Vocalist Big Boss is once again in amazing form, with his mercurial baritone that dances effortlessly between croon, bellow, and intone. The man is just all-powerful, and his charisma is so overwhelming on disc that live he must be just incredible to see.
Every Root album is like a guided tour through a dark, flame-lit underworld, and this one is no exception. Through unexpected twists and turns they never disappoint, and you can barely bring yourself to stop the disc for anything. This is a band that just has to be heard to be understood, as no amount of description is going to convey how completely awesome they are. Superlative. Amazing. Essential.
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