A fitting name for a fitting band, Testament are exactly that to their preferred genre of metal and their hordes of fans would certainly agree. Missing out on the ‘Big Four’ by the skin of their teeth (along with a few others we should add), Chuck Billy and co have been through more testing times than most and yet they still remain to tell their tales of thrash, a story conveyed all the greater when heard live. Dark Roots Of Thrash (Nuclear Blast) is a live 2 side CD (and DVD) that documents one of these moments, their show at Huntington, NY’s Paramount to be exact, and whilst the musical gold still gleams bright, it’s far to shiny to feel real.
Blasting through a catalogue of ten albums worth of music, or 19 songs of it anyway, Testament blister out classics such as ‘Burnt Offerings,’ ‘Over The Wall’ and ‘Disciples of the Watch,’ with the youthful vigour reminiscent of the old book who penned these songs all those years ago. As a live outfit, there’s no denying the awesome power of the Californian legends, but this LP comes across as more of a greatest hits compilation than a gig recording. Produced to the hill, the random splices of audience chatter are there to hear but they feel out of place next to the polished (as much as they can be) sounds of Billy and his band of speedy musicians.
Dark Roots Of Thrash reads more like a Testament through the ages rather than a document of band during a live performance but whilst the desired effect may not be achieved with this CD, it is still a worthy homage to an amazing and time-testing band. On DVD however, this translation should work better as the visual aspects of the show give the music some situational context and it’s this version you should go for it you’re wanting to feel some live atmosphere. If you just want to listen to some great music however, then Dark Roots Of Thrash is a worthy recipient of your hard-earned pennies.
Original article can be seen on the Ghost Cult site here