Root - _Hell Symphony_
(I Hate Records, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Alongside Master's Hammer, Root are the Czech cult elite, but sadly little known west of the former Iron Curtain. This is the re-release of their second album, and their first with English lyrics, which are sparse and broken but as Satanic as the day they started: big boss Big Boss is the founder of the Church of Satan in the former Czechoslovakia. The music is old-school thrash with dashes of death and a touch of proto-black; like Vulcano, this is the kind of "true cult" that would make Fenriz (Darkthrone) salivate heavily. Obligatory bonus tracks are included but won't be a deal clincher, consisting of a few live tracks. In later years they would improve on virtually all aspects -- English lyrics, musicianship, arrangements, production -- but this proved to be a Faustian pact as they would never again release an album as grim and unsettling as this undisputed classic.
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