Root - _The Temple in the Underworld_
(I Hate Records, 2009)
by: Quentin Kalis (
For all intents and purposes, this is Root's _Blood Fire Death_: a stepping stone between the primitive blackened thrash of their salad days and the epic grandiosity of their later work, drawing in new listeners without alienating the self-consciously "kvlt as fukk" crowd. As with the Bathory classic, the songs are markedly more complex, yet still retaining a haunting underground aura that would be diluted with each subsequent album.Root do not favour bursts of speed, maintaining a comfortable mid-pace that allows them to fully develop a unique and foreboding atmosphere situated at the forefront of their compositions. This also represents their first proper use of English; slightly broken, but saved by Big Boss' expressive and expansive vocal tones which take in everything from grandiose clean singing through to ominous whispers and snarls -- easily the best extreme metal vocalist this side of Attila Csihar. Although I preferred Root's first two albums, subsequent records would have subject to the law of diminishing returns, as Root struggle to extract something new from an inherently limited style and a change of direction was imperative, and I can think of nothing better to close the first chapter of Root's long and continuing career.
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