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Root - Heritage of Satan Review

by Matt Hensch

If you've never heard of Root, you're missing out. Big time. These Czech warlords have traveled a vast path across the musical spectrum, starting out as a prototypical black metal band before eventually coming to this weird nexus of 'dark' metal with a transcendental gloss. "Heritage of Satan" vaguely retreats to the uncolored texture of heavy goodness that is simpler and with a go-for-the-jugular attitude. Compared to the group's discography, the album sort of falls short, but that's no reason for panic. Big Boss and crew are often known for releasing material that is exceptionally magnificent, and although that standard seems a bit improbable for "Heritage of Satan," the Czech kings of metal still walk away with another fun, consistent release.

There's definitely more of a jam-orientated essence, what with the magnitude of simple, nodding guitar work and the balanced percussion working to make Root's ninth album a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of record. Despite the initial lack of variety between tracks, there's overall little to truly complain about as the songwriting remains addictive and the musicality never seems to run out of interesting pieces. Granted, there are only a few truly outstanding numbers, mainly "Darksome Prophet" and its blast beats, tremolo riffs, and awesome structuring. "Greetings From the Abyss" is a total festival of metallic bliss, and Nergal's vocal cameo ends up being very appropriate and spellbinding. Two very, very stellar tunes. A portion of the album also has a lot of mid-paced numbers that don't match the sky-high expectations, but Root still keeps the factor of reliability at the forefront of their ritualistic voyage.

Can't say I'm really crazy about "Heritage of Satan" like I am Root's other releases, however. The album isn't bad at all, and it's actually very impressive a band like Root can continue to cram so much relevancy into their material after such a brooding biography, but the craft seems rather weak compared to "The Book" or "The Temple of the Underworld," two seminal records from this legendary group. Still nothing I'm crying about though, and "Heritage of Satan" might make a nice starting point for the newly-converted Root prophets and the occasional metalhead looking for something deep, dark, and maybe a little on the retrogressive side as well.

Root - Heritage of Satan


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